Good geographers combine information from different sources to arrive at logical conclusions. Through participating in the National Geographic GeoBee, your students will use the knowledge they have of the basic patterns of climate, geology, vegetation, landforms, human settlement, history, migration, and commerce—combined with their knowledge of regions and place-names—to answer questions. GeoBee questions are designed to teach students about these topics in varied ways, and the competition is designed to promote many different types of learning.
Familiarize your students with the kinds of questions asked in the GeoBee with this guided exercise using rounds 1 and 8 from the 2018 National Geographic GeoBee Championship. Have your students play along with the competition, pausing the video before the answer is given. Talk them through the ways that they can approach the first few questions, then see if they can answer the rest on their own!
Round 1 of the 2018 GeoBee Championship was all about state capital cities in the United States. Students were asked to name the city and state represented in a photo using clues provided in the question. Details on how students can approach these questions are listed below.
Question 1 (0:22)
This state capital on the Pearl River was named after a president of the United States. Name this city and state.
Your students can approach this question from different angles. They have a set number of answers to choose from since they know the answer is a U.S. state capital. However, 50 state capitals is still a long list! They will have to narrow it down using the clues provided. The first clue is the Pearl River. They may know that the Pearl River flows from Mississippi through Louisiana to the Gulf of Mexico. If they do, their list of choices just got much smaller—down to two! If not, students will use their knowledge of U.S. presidents to narrow down their choices. These facts and the photo will help them come to the correct answer of Jackson, Mississippi.
Question 2 (0:40)
Home to the Mark Twain House and Museum, this state capital is north of Long Island Sound. Name this city and state.
Students might know that Mark Twain lived in many different places around the country, many of which were in the central and eastern part of the United States, thus narrowing their focus. Students will then picture where Long Island is using their mental map, and infer that Long Island Sound is near the island. Long Island Sound is located between Long Island, New York (to the south) and Connecticut (to the north). Students will use these facts and the photo to come to the correct answer of Hartford, Connecticut.
Question 3 (0:55)
Located in the Central Valley, this state capital was the western terminus for both the Pony Express and the first transcontinental railroad. Name this city and state.
Students will use their knowledge of U.S. history to answer this question. Since “terminus” is the end of a transportation route, they determine that the answer will be one of the ends of the first transcontinental railroad. They also may know that the Central Valley is a great valley in central California between the Sierra Nevada and Coast mountain ranges. Students will use these facts and the photo to come to the correct answer of Sacramento, California.
Now, see if your students can answer the questions on their own.
Question 4 (1:11)
This state capital is northwest of Daniel Boone National Forest and is located in the Bluegrass region. Name this city and state.
Question 5 (1:25)
This state capital is located near the Big Belt Mountains and the source of the Missouri River. Name this city and state.
Question 6 (1:41)
Founded by the French, this state capital is located 150 miles upstream from the Mississippi River Delta. Name this city and state.
Baton Rouge, Louisiana
Question 7 (1:56)
Located on the Hudson River, this state capital was an active trading post in the 1600s. Name this city and state.
Albany, New York
Question 8 (2:09)
Located about 20 miles from the Platte River, this state capital building is topped by a nearly 20-foot-tall statue of a farmer. Name this city and state.
Question 9 (2:25)
Located on the eastern edge of the Sierra Nevada, this state capital experienced a silver rush in the 1850s. Name this city and state.
Carson City, Nevada
Question 10 (2:40)
This state capital is east of the Ouachita [WAHSH−uh−tah] Mountains and is home to the William J. Clinton Presidential Library. Name this city and state.
Little Rock, Arkansas
Round 8 of the 2018 GeoBee Championship was all about world capitals. Students were asked to name the city represented in a photo using the clues provided in the question. Details on how students can approach these questions are listed below.
Question 1 (0:13)
Once a Viking settlement, this capital city is located on the east coast of an island where the River Liffey enters the sea. Name this city.
Students might not know where the River Liffey is, but they will use their knowledge of the history of Vikings to narrow down their mental map to countries in northern Europe. They also have the clue that this capital city is located on the east coast of an island, which further narrows down the potential answers. They will use these inferences and the photo to get the correct answer of Dublin, Ireland.
Question 2 (0:28)
This capital city is home to the Grand Palace, which was once the official residence of the Kings of Siam. Name this city.
Historical knowledge comes in handy here, as students can use the reference to Siam to determine the answer to this question. (Siam is the former name of Thailand.) The architecture in the photo of the Grand Palace should help a student narrow the choice to an Asian country. The Grand Palace is also one of the most famous landmarks in Bangkok. Using this knowledge, they will come to the correct answer of Bangkok, Thailand.
Question 3 (0:41)
In 2011, Tahrir Square was the focal point of a revolution in a capital city. Name this city, which is located between the ruins of the ancient city of Memphis and one of the world’s major river deltas.
This question involves current events, history, and geographic features. Students will use their mental map to picture the world’s major river deltas, which will help them narrow down the choices. The photo includes a camel—an animal that lives in Asia, Africa, and Australia. Students can then use their knowledge of current events to further narrow the answer to countries in West Asia and North Africa, where protests and revolutions occurred in 2011. They may also know that the ancient city of Memphis was once the capital of ancient Egypt. These facts and the photo will lead them to the correct answer of Cairo, Egypt.
Now, see if your students can answer the questions on their own.
Question 4 (1:01)
Southwest of the highest point in the Andes Mountains, this capital city is located on the Mapocho [mah-PO-cho] River in a geological zone prone to earthquakes. Name this city.
Question 5 (1:18)
Founded by the Spanish, this capital city was supported by Soviet subsidies for much of the second half of the 20th century. Name this city, located along the Straits of Florida.
Question 6 (1:34)
This capital city is located northwest of the Cyclades [SIH-kluh-deez] on a peninsula that borders the Aegean Sea. Name this city, which was once a powerful city-state.
MORE WAYS TO PREPARE
We hope you enjoy these questions as you prepare your students for the GeoBee. Please visit the GeoBee Study Corner for more ways to prepare your students! You can also watch the full video or round-by-round segments of the 2018 GeoBee Championship on YouTube.
The National Geographic GeoBee is an annual academic competition designed to inspire and reward students’ curiosity about the world. Students in grades four through eight (4-8) from nearly 10,000 schools across the United States will compete in the 2019 National Geographic GeoBee for a chance to win college scholarships and the glory of being the National Geographic GeoBee Champion. Register your school today at natgeobee.org.