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Why Study Geography?

By: Social Studies Teacher Erin Moore

December 5, 2019

It is that time again for the preparation of the annual Geography Bee at Rossman School. Every year, the fourth through sixth graders brave the unknown and take a risk with the GeoBee, and every year I am asked “why do we do this?” This year, instead of saying “because it’s tradition” I decided to talk with the students and together figure out, why do we have the GeoBee? 

While yes, tradition is one reason, we also talked about how our world is ever changing and that can feel overwhelming to us. Students feel these same challenges in social studies and when they witness what is happening in this world, they are inclined to want to make a difference. You might ask what this has to do with geography, but I think it has everything to do with it. To learn the location of places and the physical and cultural characteristics helps us to function more effectively in our increasingly interdependent world. I think that is why the annual Geography Bee at Rossman is so important. We are encouraging our students to go outside of themselves and learn about the world around them and see how their actions can have a lasting effect.

It is essential that students understand the history of the past and how geography has played important roles in the evolution of people, their ideas, places and environments. Why is there conflict in certain areas? What materials or natural resources are located there and how does that influence the conflict? These are all questions we study and ask in class and to know the answer, we look at the geography of the area. The Geography Bee helps students make connections to places that they hear about in the news or in class and brings these places into their realm. 

Studying geography gives us a chance to appreciate Earth as the home of humankind and provide insight for wise management decisions about how the planet’s resources should be used. This last idea that I came across might have impacted me the most. Here at Rossman we want our students to know that while they are so important, they are also one part of our world and to understand global interdependence and to become a better global citizen is a goal of ours. I want my students to leave my class understanding that what they do impacts our world and that when they feel like they aren’t making a difference, to know they are.

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Rossman School, nestled on a 20-acre campus in Creve Coeur, is an independent private preparatory school for students in Junior Kindergarten (four years old) through Grade 6. The school’s mission is to provide a strong, well-balanced education in a nurturing school community committed to excellence. Dedicated to developing personal, nurturing relationships with each child, Rossman’s experienced educators provide a solid foundation in academics, athletics and arts while emphasizing strong character development and leadership skills.​ Request a free Rossman School brochure here.

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