Woodlin Geography Bee Overview
The Woodlin Geography Bee (Geo Bee) has been an annual PTA-teacher learning partnership and tradition for more than 15 years, supporting geography education and friendly competition for third, fourth, and fifth graders.
Classroom teams, consisting of four students, compete in one-hour long grade-level Geo Bees held in the multipurpose room each Spring. Each classroom team works together to answer questions about geography and history for the regions studied, including basic landforms, bodies of water, and some cultural information. Question types include straight answer, “find it on a map,” and navigation- and direction-based questions.
The PTA developed study packets for each grade level which includes multiple regional maps, information about history and culture, and geographic information. The packets range in size from 40-60 pages. Only content from the packets is used in the preliminary and final grade-level bees, so students do not need additional books, maps, or globes to participate. The content is as follows:
- Third Grade – Geography of the United States
- Fourth Grade – Refresher of United States’ geography + Canada, Latin America, Australia, and Antarctica
- Fifth Grade – A sample of the rest of the world including Europe, Africa, and Asia
- February 15: Classroom kick off and packets distributed
- March 15: Packets due back to teachers for checking (all grades)
- March 15: 5th grade preliminary bee
- March 22: 4th grade preliminary bee
- March 29: 3rd grade preliminary bee
- April: Final Bees (Dates TBD)
Every student in the third, fourth and fifth grade can participate on some level in the Geo Bee. Each student receives a packet and can work on the packet at home and during in-school free time. They have 4 weeks to complete their packet and check their work. Once checked, students will receive their packets back for further review, completion and study time as needed. If a student completes the packet within the allotted timeframe and turns it in to their teacher by the deadline they receive a prize. Completion of the packets is voluntary.
The Preliminary Bee (one per class)
The PTA Geo Bee Team visits each classroom to conduct the “preliminary bee.” The “preliminary bee” takes about 30 minutes. The preliminary bee will be done online this year. Those who get the highest scores on the test will proceed to the 2nd level of the preliminary bee with some additional questions. The top (4) students will be selected to represent their class in the final bee, along with (2) alternates.
The Final Geo Bee (one per grade)
Classroom teams work together to answer the questions posed by the master of ceremonies with final answers provided by the team captains. Families and friends are welcome to attend and second grade students attend the third grade bee to get a sense of the event. During the Geo Bee, each classroom performs a cheer for their team. The Geo Bee invite parent volunteers to serve as the master of ceremonies, timekeeper, and scorekeeper; two staff members serve as judges. The principal or assistant principal closes the event with a few short remarks and words of thanks.
Incentives & Prizes
The PTA provides incentives to students who complete their packets in the designated timeframe. The PTA usually provides Woodlin Geo Bee Logo T-shirts to each team member and alternate. The students on the winning teams have their names engraved on a plaque that hangs in the front hallway of the school.
The PTA spends about $1000 annually which covers printing of packets, folders for each student, incentives, t-shirts, and engraving of the plaque.
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