Geography is a fascinating subject. There is so much of the world to explore, and so little most of us will ever see with our own eyes. Thankfully modern technology and photography give us access through books, pictures, video feeds, vlogs, blogs, and more.
Learning about other countries deepens our understanding and appreciation for other cultures and ways of life. It may also help us understand our own culture more as we learn about our ancestors and where the traditions we celebrate stem from.
To up the ante, so to speak, for our Geography Quest, we asked our Scholars to be detectives as they traversed the world following a thief who stole the Hope Diamond. Our mission began at the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History in Washing, D.C., and ended at the famous World Heritage site Machu Picchu in Peru.
Our Scholars put their investigative skills to the test as they became geography sleuths. They took on the role of the detective to chase down a thief, similar to Carmen Sandiego, as they trekked around the globe.
On the journey, they examined the following questions: What are some effective means of communication when we don’t speak the same language? Why is it important to learn about diversity and culture? What would happen if all people were the same?
Scholars delved into our global community and learned about the importance of various cultures. They used their problem-solving skills to decipher clues as they learned about different languages, music, clothing, customs, geographical features, foods, traditions, and religions. They also honed their traveler skills to learn about map reading, communicating, telling time and reading timetables, and preparing for emergencies and treks into the wilderness.
At the quest’s end, they used the knowledge they gathered to create a geography quiz-scavenger hunt. Parents were invited to solve the clues based on the final presentation materials their Scholars assembled into a display.
Clues Around the World
Our sleuths were called to the scene of the crime in Washington, D.C. and from there followed clues across North America, Europe, The Middle East & Australia & New Zealand, Asia, Africa & South America until they apprehended the thief!
Our sleuths discovered clues at various famous locations worldwide, which they had to solve to figure out their next destination. They put their thinking caps on to determine the quickest and most efficient modes of transportation between locales, learned some words in local languages, and examined travel guides to learn about historical sites.
The Scholars worked together to decipher various types of maps and timetables and traverse through mazes to discover clues. Scholars also tried their hand at various art forms from around the world, listened, played, and danced to different musical styles, and dipped their toes into the practice of meditation and mindfulness.
Scholars compared and contrasted their life in America to children in other parts of the world and learned fun facts like New Zealanders celebrate Christmas in the summer and Japanese children celebrate Children’s Day with unique, colorful kites.
The Scholar’s final presentation consisted of clues they selected to test their parents’ geographical and world culture knowledge. First, they compiled samples of their quest work and a world map to create a display. They then chose 10-12 clues from a pre-determined list for their parents’ to solve. Next, parents used push-pins to place their answers on their children’s displays. Finally, once parents answered all the scavenger hunt questions, children reviewed the answers and showcased their geographical and cultural knowledge!