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Geography Bee Preparations???
Old 08-14-2010, 10:11 AM
 
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What do you do to help your students be prepared for a geography bee? I am new to fourth grade, and have no idea!!! Thanks!


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Old 08-14-2010, 10:50 AM
 
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I'm assuming you are talking about the National Geographic geography bee, right? The one on TV in May?

My dd entered this two years and did well, but she is too old now. We prepped her at home but not enough. It was tough because she went up against two state champs from the previous year who had been to Nationals! One was from our school and another moved into our school from another state, so she was basically doomed! So was one of the state champs!

There are a few official prep books out there with questions. Look at Amazon. They are loaded with hints, strategies, and practice questions.

And Nat. Geo had a bee quiz website with questions from the past bees.

A lot of prep we did at home included reading the newspaper and finding where different countries are (and where they were -- some like Siam no longer exist). So, if there is an earthquake somewhere, we find it. If there is a war somewhere, we know where it is.

Know general geography terms for landforms (butte vs mesa vs plateau as well as weird things like oxbow lakes and archepelago) and where to find deserts (oops I nearly put "where to find desserts" which is equally important to me but not on the bee) and rivers and plains in each continent. Know the biome names (tiaga, tundra, wetland, desert, grassland).

It's good to know the biggest, longest, deepest, tallest of things (desert, river, sea, ocean, mountain, mountain range, grassland, rift, peninsula, island, island group). Don't just what these tallest and deepest things are but also what country, what ocean, etc. They will often ask questions where knowing more than a name is a good thing!

It's good to know few cities per country, including the capital and the largest (which isn't always the capital) and the main rivers, lakes, seas, and mountain ranges.

And know oceans, seas, etc. And basic currents (gulf stream) and conditions (El Nino, La Nina).

While it sounds obvious, know names of USA areas such as Appalachia or New England and Midwest which is a bit east to be called west, if you ask me!

Memorize the countries in each continent using blackline maps. Of course the first step here is learning to fill in that black line map with country names, but you can take it a step further by asking, "What states border the Pacific?" or "What states border Colorado?" or "What country has the longest coastline in Africa?" (Madagascar, I believe!).

And, you better know the locations and capitals of each state as well as a few facts (gold rush, oil, coal, uranium) about natural resources. And disasters like Katrina, the Dust bowl, etc.

Know a few "trails" such as the Mormon Trail, the Oregon Trail, and the Santa Fe Trail.

Learn the location of major earthquakes and volcanoes and the Ring of Fire.

There are a few cultural questions but most can be found by reading simple kids books on different countries and learning terms like fjord, shogun, czar, sari, etc. If you were to read a simple introductory picture book on a country a week and make one index card on the country, you'd get it.

We also googled "geography quiz" and found a lot of helpful links. Don't have them here but you can find them too. One was a fill in the country name quiz. A few were landform quizzes.
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DD went to state
Old 08-14-2010, 12:22 PM
 
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DD went to state for the Geography Bee. I think it takes more than just one year to soak up the knowledge needed to compete.

They need to have a general underdstanding of countries and culture. The knowledge is for the whole world and one school year isn't enough if they don't alreay have a base.

To prepare your 4th graders I would have a geo question of the day. I'd put out some map puzzles. If you look online there are some geography practice sites that you could use as a free time activity or homework. I beleive that the National Geography Bee even has a practice game.
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