Geography class offers insight on where we are and where we're

September 17, 2004|by Lisa Tedrick Prejean

Are you a geography whiz? Test yourself. Try to answer these 10 questions without gazing at a map. Circle your response and check your work with the answers at the end of this column.

1. How many oceans are there?

a. 3

b. 4

c. 5

d. 7

2. How many continents are there?

a. 5

b. 7

c. 10


d. 11

3. What is the correct spelling of the coldest continent?

a. Artica

b. Anarctica

c. Antarctica

d. Antartica

4. Greenland is part of this continent.

a. Europe

b. South America

c. Canada

d. North America

5. This is the largest bay in the world.

a. The Chesapeake Bay

b. The Hudson Bay

c. The Bay of Pigs

d. The Bay of Fundy

6. Where is the highest peak in North America?

a. Hawaii

b. New York

c. Alaska

d. Colorado

7. What is North America's longest river?

a. St. Lawrence River

b. Mississippi River

c. Missouri River

d. Amazon River

8. Where is the Yucatn Peninsula?

a. Florida

b. Mexico

c. Cuba

d. Jamaica

9. What is the largest freshwater lake in the world?

a. Lake Superior

b. Lake Michigan

c. Great Salt Lake

d. Lake Erie

10. What is the capital of Canada?

a. Toronto

b. Ottawa

c. Montreal

d. Quebec City

Most of the answers to these questions can be found in the Western Hemisphere, which includes North America, South America and the many islands in the Caribbean Sea.

These questions focus on this side of the world because that's where my focus has been for the last few weeks as I've been teaching fifth-graders about the "New World."

We're also learning about the "Old World" as we read a novel about a woman's travels through England, Russia, Japan and China.

Why all this focus on world geography? Geography is the study of the earth. It includes the study of animals and their habitats, people and their cultures. It helps us learn what is happening around us.

It adds perspective to who we are, where we live and where we're going.

Now that's one test I want to pass.

How'd you do on the "test"? Here are the answers:

1. b. There are four oceans: Atlantic, Pacific, Indian, Arctic.

2. b. There are seven continents: North America, South America, Europe, Asia, Africa, Australia and Antarctica.

3. c. The correct spelling is Antarctica. The first "c" is often forgotten.

4. d. Greenland is part of North America.

5. b. The Hudson Bay is the largest bay in the world.

6. c. The highest peak in North America is Mount McKinley, which is in Alaska.

7. b. The Mississippi River is North America's longest river. (If you picked "d," you're in the wrong continent. The Amazon River is in South America.)

8. b. The Yucatn Peninsula is in Mexico.

9. a. Appropriately named, Lake Superior is the largest freshwater lake in the world. It borders the United States and Canada and is larger than the state of South Carolina.

10. b. Ottawa is the capital of Canada.

Lisa Tedrick Prejean writes a weekly column for The Herald-Mail's Family page. Send e-mail to her at

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