Championing geographic knowledge at your school

by Chelsea Zillmer, director of the National Geographic GeoBee

Registering your school to participate in the National Geographic GeoBee isn’t the only way to inspire your students to learn about the world. Want to keep the geo-enthusiasm going all year long? Here are some tips to help bring geography to life at your school.

Start a geo club

Provide a space for geo-minded students to gather during recess or after school to talk about current events, participate in geography-themed games and activities, and study for the GeoBee. Find ideas for activities and games in the GeoBee Study Corner at  

Announce a “question of the day”

Keep geography top of mind with a “question of the day” (or week) during morning announcements. Students can answer on paper in their classrooms with prizes for the top scorers. You can use the non-confidential questions from the GeoBee Study Toolkit (pdf)

Keep it fun with Kahoot! 

Add some fun to the learning with weekly Kahoot! tournaments between your classrooms. Give prizes or rewards to the classes with the highest cumulative scores each week. Check out our newest Kahoots! 

More free GeoBee Kahoots! are available at

Go big with Giant Maps

What better way to teach young people the power of maps than with a half court-sized map of a continent or a classroom-sized state map on which they can explore, travel around, compete, collaborate, and have lots of fun? Visit the National Geographic Giant Maps website for ordering information.

Photo by Dan Beaupre.
An educator leads a lesson with a National Geographic Giant Map. Photo by Dan Beaupre.

Assemble MapMaker Kits

MapMaker Kits offer students the opportunity to work with key mapping concepts at a variety of scales and to see the world in new ways. Each kit is free of charge and enables the user to download, print, and assemble maps in various sizes. Visit the National Geographic MapMaker Kits website to download.

Go global with pen pals

Set up a pen pal exchange with a teacher in another city or country to help kids practice their writing skills while gaining a global perspective. Bring the experience to life by ending the year with a Skype chat where kids can finally “meet” their pen pals.

GeoBee registration is open until January 24, 2020. School materials are available to download once payment is received. The GeoBee is designed to be flexible; School GeoBees can be held anytime between now and February 7, 2020. Learn more at 

Is your school new to the GeoBee? Save 10% on registration by using code BEE10 by 10/31/2019. Additional discounts are available for Title I schools.

One thought on “Championing geographic knowledge at your school

  1. This is a really great article, Chelsea to inspire students about the world. I really like your thoughts & tips to increase the awareness of geography and at Amphitheater, I will try to implement them. Keep sharing such ideas for the bright future of students. Thank you so much.

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