Map image from National Geographic Atlas of the World, Ninth Edition
Building a strong “geo-vocabulary” is an important part of learning geography. But simply memorizing terms and place locations can be tedious and even boring. One solution to this learning challenge is to turn the task into a game in which students take charge of their own learning. For example, students can participate in an atlas-based scavenger hunt to learn new information and also become more familiar with the atlas as an important tool of geography.
Conducting a Geo-Scavenger Hunt
a) Divide students into teams of two or three. Then provide each team with several atlases and copies of the handout.
b) Explain to students that their task is to use the atlases and the clues provided in the handout to identify 26 place locations that begin with the letters of the alphabet – A to Z.
Geo-Scavenger Hunt Key
F: Faroe Islands
J: James River
M: Marquesas Islands
N: Nile River
O: Ob River
P: Paraná River
Q: Queen Maud Land
R: Rhine River
T: Thames River
U: Ucayali River
V: Viti Levu
W: Weddell Sea
Y: Yalu River
Extending the Activity
a) Distribute blank world physical maps.
b) Have students use the atlases to locate and label each of the place locations identified in the Geo-Scavenger Hunt on blank world maps.
Join 11,000 schools and participate in this year’s National Geographic Bee. Get a notification to alert you when registration opens in August.
About the National Geographic Bee
Each year thousands of schools in the United States participate in the National Geographic Bee using materials prepared by the National Geographic Society. The contest is designed to inspire students to be curious about the world. Schools with students in grades four through eight are eligible for this entertaining and challenging competition.
The national championship preliminary rounds took place on Monday, May 23, in Washington, D.C. The national championship final rounds featuring the top 10 finalists and moderated by humorist, journalist, and actor Mo Rocca were held on Wednesday, May 25, at National Geographic’s Washington, D.C., headquarters.
The national champion receives a $50,000 college scholarship, a lifetime membership in the National Geographic Society, and a Lindblad expedition to Southeast Alaska provided by Lindblad Expeditions and National Geographic.
Watch the 2016 National Geographic Bee Finals
The National Geographic Bee aired on the National Geographic Channel on Friday May 27, and may still be available via streaming services. It is also airing on public television stations; check local television listings for dates and times.
Meet the 2016 Champions
National Geographic Bee contestants aren't just geography geniuses. They're also savvy park planners! See where they would create a National Park in their own state.
Host Mo Rocca interviews the Top 10 Finalists on stage during the 2016 competition.
How to Help
Donations help fund schools to participate in the National Geographic Bee.
Teachers can use these activities in the classroom to prepare students for the bee!
Simply memorizing terms and place locations can be tedious and even boring. One solution is to make the task fun with an atlas-based scavenger game.
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