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North Chevy Chase Elementary School

Geography Bee Packet

Africa and

Geo Bee packets released electronically- Oct. 14, 2016

Geo Bee packets due Nov. 11, 2016

Geo Bee quiz- Nov. 11, 2016

Teams announced - on/by Nov. 15, 2016

Fall Geo Bee- Nov. 29, 2016

(Dates are subject to change.)

Special thanks to Ms. Borlase and Ms. Duggirala for updating this year’s packet!

Geo Bee 2016

Mrs. Mosley-Ramsey, NCC staff Ms. Breeding, NCC Staff Ms. Liu, NCC Staff



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The NCC Geography Bee

How it works?

Welcome Aboard! The Geography Bee has been an NCC tradition for many years. Originally brought to NCC by parents, the NCC staff have continued this tradition to help our students enjoy geography as much as we do! These Geo Bee packets are updated periodically by volunteers and every effort is made to ensure accuracy.

This year the Geography Bee packet will take students on an exploration of much of and Asia. (We studied last year.) On these two , you will explore fascinating countries, tropical , the highest on , the home of ancient , wild rivers, dense jungles and the more.

● Students in grades 3-6 should try to complete the Geo Bee packet. ● Completed packets may be turned into a basket on the circulation desk in the Media Center. ● Students may receive a small prize or bookmark for completing the packet. ● After a few weeks of study in class and in Media, students will take a short quiz based on facts from the packet ● The top five scorers in each homeroom will become that homeroom’s Geography Bee team ● Teams are invited to a friendly competition on Geography Bee Day. ● There is a separate Bee for each grade. ● This is an optional activity for most students. 2

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Table of Contents Page Title Page Number How it works? 2 Table of Contents 3 Introduction to Africa 4-6 List of African Countries 7 and more facts 8 Map of Africa 9 Tour of Ten Countries Botswana 10 11 12-13 14 15-16 17-18 Congo 19 21-22 23-24 25-26 Quick Africa Quiz 27 Geography Words to Know 27 Introduction to Asia 28 List of countries of Asia 29 30-37 Map of Asia 38 Tour of Ten Countries 39 UAE () 40-41 42-43 44 45-46 47 48-49 50-51 Korean 52-55 Quick Asia Quiz 55 Wrap Up 56


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Geography Bee Packet: Africa and Asia An Introduction to Africa Africa (ăf'riku) is the second largest with a land area of 11.6 million square miles (30,244,050 sq km) including adjacent islands and the second most populous continent with approximately 1.2 billion people (2016[Dl1] ). At its widest point, Africa is approximately 4,600 mi (7,400 km) wide. The continent straddles the and stretches approximately 5,000 mi (8,050 km) from Blanc () in the north to Cape Agulhas (South Africa) in the south. It is connected with Asia by the , from which it is separated by the , and is bounded on the north by the Mediterranean , on the west and south by , and on the and south by the . The largest offshore is Madagascar. Other islands include St. Helena and Ascension in the South ; São Tomé, Príncipe, Annobón, and in the Gulf of ; the , Canary, and islands in the North Atlantic Ocean; and , Réunion, , Pemba, and the Comoros and Seychelles in the Indian Ocean.

Physical Geography Most of Africa is made up of stable, ancient , low in the north and west and higher in the south and east, rising to more than 6,000 ft (1,830 m). The African is composed mainly of metamorphic rock that has been overlaid in places by . The escarpment of the plateau is often close to the coast, generally forming a narrow coastal as well as many and rapids in rivers. The lowest point on the continent is 509 ft (155 m) below in in ; the highest point is Mt. Uhuru (Kibo; 19,340 ft/5,895 m), a of Kilimanjaro in northeast Tanzania. From north to south the principal ranges of Africa are the Atlas Mts. rising to more than 13,000 ft (3,960 m), the rising to more than 15,000 ft (4,570 m), the Ruwenzori Mts. rising to more than 16,000 ft (4,880 m), and the Range rising to more than 11,000 ft (3,350 m). The continent's largest rivers are the (the 's longest river), the Congo, the Niger, the , the Orange, the Limpopo and the . The largest lakes are ('s second largest freshwater lake), Tanganyika, Albert, Turkana, and Nyasa (or ), all in eastern Africa; shallow Lake , the largest in western Africa, shrinks considerably during dry periods. Large-scale earth movements, volcanoes and flows, are believed to be responsible for the formation of one of Africa’s most spectacular land features - the Great 4

NCC Bulldogs love the Geography Bee! . The Rift is a massive depression of the Earth’s crust extending from in the , through the Sea and into . From 40 to 100 mi (60–160 km) wide, it extends 1,800 mi (2,900 km) from the northern end of the Rift Valley in southwest Asia to near the mouth of the Zambezi River. The eastern branch of the rift valley is occupied in sections by Lakes Nyasa and Turkana and the western branch, curving north from Lake Nyasa, is occupied by Lakes Tanganyika, Kivu, Edward, and Albert. of the vary from more than 500 ft below sea level in Djibouti to over 6,000 ft above sea level in Kenya.

Climate Africa's climatic zones are largely controlled by the continent's location straddling the equator and its almost symmetrical extensions into the Northern and Southern Hemispheres. Except where high can affect temperature or (like some permanently snowcapped mountain peaks found near the equator), Africa is generally divided into six climatic . 1. Tropical forest : areas near the equator and on the shores of southeast Madagascar that experience heavy rain and high temperatures throughout the year. 2. Tropical climate: north and south of the rain forest are areas that experience high temperatures year-round and seasonal during the . 3. Semiarid climate: north and south of the tropical savanna zone, the semiarid steppe has limited summer rain. 4. Arid climate: the hot and dry (north) and the Kalahari (south) extend from the semiarid steppe. 5. Semiarid steppe climate: additional zones with limited rain are located north of the Sahara and south of the Kalahari. 6. Mediterranean-type climate with subtropical temperatures: narrow, coastal belts located at the northern and southern extremities of the continent that experience a concentration of rainfall mostly in the and winter months. People African peoples, who account for approximately 16[Dl2] % of the world's population, are distributed among 54 nations and are further distinguishable in terms of language and cultural groups, which number around 1,000. Sub-Saharan Africa is occupied by a diverse variety of peoples including, among others, the Amhara, Mossi, Fulani, Yoruba, Igbo, Kongo, Zulu, Akan, Oromo, Masai, and Hausa. European descendents in Africa are concentrated in areas with subtropical or tropical climates modified by altitude; in the south are persons of


NCC Bulldogs love the Geography Bee! Dutch and British descent, and in the northwest are persons of French, Italian, and Spanish descent. Lebanese descendents make up an important minority community throughout , as do Indian descendents in many coastal towns of South and East Africa. There are also significant Arab populations both in East Africa and more recently in West Africa. As a whole, Africa is sparsely populated; the highest population densities are found in Nigeria, the Ethiopian Highlands, the Nile Valley, and around the Great Lakes (which include Victoria and Tanganyika). The principal cities of Africa are usually the national capitals and the major ports, and they typically contain a disproportionately large percentage of the national populations. Africa has the longest of any continent. Evidence of humans in Africa date from at least 4 million years ago and anthropologists believe that modern humans may have first developed in or near the Great Rift Valley. Scientists believe that agriculture and domesticated were brought to Africa from southwest Asia around the 6th or 5th millennium B.C. Africa's first great began in around 3400 B.C. and other ancient centers were Kush and Aksum in what is now parts of Egypt, , Ethiopia and .

Economy and Industry Africa produces three quarters of the world's cocoa beans and about one third of its . Rare and precious minerals (including much of the world's diamonds) are abundant in the continent's ancient crystalline rocks, which are found mostly to the south and east of a line from the to the Sinai Peninsula. Extensive oil, gas and phosphate deposits occur in the north and west of this general line. Manufacturing is concentrated in the Republic of South Africa and in North Africa (especially Egypt and ). Despite Africa's enormous potential for hydroelectric power production, only a small percentage of it has been developed. Africa's fairly regular coastline affords few natural harbors, and the shallowness of coastal waters makes it difficult for large ships to navigate. However, some deep water ports that are protected by manmade breakwaters, facilitate commerce and trade in primary cities. Major fishing areas are located off the northwest and southwest coasts as well as off South Africa and northwest Madagascar.


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List of African Countries

Algeria Ethiopia Niger Gambia Nigeria Benin Ghana Botswana Guinea Sao Tome and Burkina Guinea- Principe Senegal Kenya Seychelles Cape Verde Sierra Leone Central African Liberia Republic South Africa Chad Madagascar Comoros Malawi Sudan Congo Swaziland Congo, Democratic Tanzania Republic of Mauritius Togo Djibouti Tunisia Egypt Equatorial Guinea Eritrea Zimbabwe


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Geography of Africa more facts...

Did you know that? • The African continent is the second largest in the world in terms of both land mass and population. Which continent do you think is the largest both in land mass and population? (hint: keep reading) • The Nile River is the world’s longest river, at 4,160 miles (slightly longer than the distance between Chevy Chase and Berlin, ). • At 3.5 million square miles, the Sahara (which means “wilderness” in the language) is the world's largest and hottest desert. • Africa is home to more than 50 independent countries, representing more than 25% of the countries of the world. Over 1,000 languages are spoken on the African continent. • Mt. Kenya, which sits directly on the equator, and Mt. Kilimanjaro, which is slightly south of the equator, are volcanoes covered with snow year round due to their high . (giant rivers of ) are present on every continent on Earth including these two African volcanic peaks. • The Great Rift Valley is one of Africa’s most important land features. It extends over 1,800 miles from north to south and contains many of the most important anthropologic sites where remains of early humans have been found. • Africa is surrounded by bodies of water on all sides – the Atlantic Ocean to the west and south, the to the north, and the Indian Ocean on the east and south and to the east.


NCC Bulldogs love the Geography Bee! Map of Africa


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A Tour of Ten African Countries

Botswana Twice the size of Arizona, Botswana is in south-, bounded by Namibia, Zambia, Zimbabwe, and South Africa. Most of the country is a near-desert climate, with the Kalahari occupying the western part of the country. The eastern part is hilly, with salt lakes in the north. The population is approximately 2.2 million[Dl3] . The city is Gaborone. Today, Botswana’s government is a parliamentary republic. The earliest inhabitants of the region were the San, who were followed by the Tswana. The term for the country's people, Batswana, refers to national rather than ethnic origin. Encroachment by the Zulu in the 1820s and by Boers from Transvaal in the 1870s and 1880s strained the peace of the region. In 1885, Britain established the area as a protectorate, then known as Bechuanaland. In 1961, Britain granted a constitution to the country. Self-government began in 1965, and on Sept. 30, 1966, the country became independent. Botswana is Africa's oldest democracy. Botswana is rich in diamonds and has a strong tourism industry around its national parks and wild game reserves. Nevertheless, the country has high unemployment and stratified socioeconomic classes. In 1999, the nation suffered its first budget deficit in 16 years because of a slump in the international diamond market which is the country’s most valuable natural resource. Botswana remains one of the wealthiest and most stable countries in Africa.

1. Name three of Botswana’s national parks and wild game reserves? ______2. ______is the capital of Botswana. 3. What are four countries that border Botswana? ______, ______, ______,______4. Botswana is Africa’s oldest ______. 5. What is Botswana’s most valuable natural resource? ______. 6. Where is the located in Botswana? ______.


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Ghana Ghana is a West African country bordering on the Gulf of Guinea; Ghana is bounded by Côte d'Ivoire to the west, Burkina Faso to the north, Togo to the east, and the Atlantic Ocean to the south. It compares in size to Oregon, and its largest river is the Volta. The population is about 27[Dl4] million. The present- day government is a constitutional democracy. Several major civilizations flourished in the general region of what is now Ghana. The ancient of Ghana (located 500 mi northwest of present-day Ghana) reigned until the . The Akan peoples established the next major civilization, beginning in the 13th century. The Empire flourished in the 18th and 19th centuries. Also called the Coast, the area has been under colonial rule of the Portuguese, English, Dutch, and the Swedes. ruled over the starting in 1820. Neighboring Togoland, a German and British , was incorporated into Ghana by vote in 1956. Ghana became the first sub-Saharan country in colonial Africa to gain its independence on March 6, 1957. It became a republic on July 1, 1960. Ghana suffered from civil unrest under military rulers for over 30 years after its independence. But since 1996, Ghana has been widely viewed as one of Africa's most stable democracies. In 2001, John Agyekum Kufuor was freely elected president and was reelected in 2004. English is the official language of Ghana, but dozens of African languages are also spoken there. , the capital city of Ghana is a word from the Akan language that means “black ants.” The climate in Ghana is tropical. The eastern coastal area is warm and comparatively dry; the southwest corner, hot and humid; and the north, hot and dry. There are two distinct rainy in the south (May-June and August-September). In the north, the rainy seasons tend to merge. A dry, northeasterly wind, the , blows in January and February. Annual rainfall in the coastal zone averages only 33 inches. The economy of Ghana is based in agriculture (60%), manufacturing and mining. Major crops include cocoa, rice, , cassava (), peanuts, corn, shea nuts, bananas and timber. Industries include mining, lumber, aluminum smelting, food processing, cement, small commercial ship building. Natural resources include gold, timber, industrial diamonds, bauxite, manganese, fish, rubber, hydropower, , silver, salt and .


NCC Bulldogs love the Geography Bee! 1. The name of the capital of Ghana means “black ants” in Akan. Name the city. ______2. The ancient kingdom of Ghana controlled the mining and trade of gold in Africa, so the British called this area the “Gold Coast.” If you west from Ghana toward Liberia, you would pass through the country of ______, which is French for “ivory coast.” 3. Ghana was the first European colony in sub-Saharan Africa to gain ______. 4. The largest river in Ghana is the ______. 5. The dry, northwesterly wind during January and February is called the______.

Liberia Lying on the Atlantic in the southern part of West Africa, Liberia is bordered by Sierra Leone, Guinea, and Côte d'Ivoire. It is comparable in size to Tennessee and has a population of 4[Dl5] .5 million. Most of the country is a plateau covered by dense tropical forests, which thrive under in the tropical climate with an annual rainfall of about 160 inches. The capital city of Monrovia, with a metropolitan population of approximately 1.35 million, was named after James Monroe, president of the when Liberia was founded. The southeastern corner of Liberia, near Cote D’Ivoire, is called Maryland County – after the State of Maryland in the U.S. Liberia, Africa's first republic (modeled after that of the Unites States), was founded in 1822 as a result of the efforts of the American Colonization Society to settle freed American slaves in West Africa. The society contended that the immigration of blacks to Africa was an answer to the problem of as well as to what it felt was the incompatibility of the races. Over the course of forty years, about 12,000 slaves were voluntarily relocated to the colony. Originally called Monrovia, the colony became the Free and Independent Republic of Liberia in 1847. Today, the English-speaking Americo-Liberians, descendants of former American slaves, make up only 5% of the 12

NCC Bulldogs love the Geography Bee! population but have historically dominated the country’s society. Liberia's indigenous population is composed of 16 different ethnic groups. Between 1920 and 1971, the country suffered decades of civil unrest that ended only recently. Liberians freely elected its first woman president in 2006. The economy is dominated (70%) by agriculture. Liberia’s agriculture crops include rubber, coffee, cocoa, rice, cassava (tapioca), palm oil, sugarcane, bananas, sheep, and timber. Chief industries include rubber processing, palm oil processing, timber and diamond mining. Natural resources include iron ore, timber, diamonds, gold and hydropower.

1. Liberia (which means “the free land”) was settled by the U.S. government in 1822, as a home for freed African-American slaves. The capital was named after James Monroe, the American president at that time. Name the capital city: ______2. The southeastern tip of Liberia is called Maryland County, and is named after the U.S. state of Maryland. It borders the ______Ocean and the country of ______. 3. Liberia has over 130 inches of rain annually. It has a ______climate. 4. Liberia was Africa’s first ______(form of government) and elected its first woman president in ______(year). 5. What countries border Liberia? ______


NCC Bulldogs love the Geography Bee! Kenya Kenya lies across the equator in east central Africa, along the coast of the Indian Ocean. It is twice the size of Nevada. Kenya borders Somalia to the east, Ethiopia to the north, Tanzania to the south, Uganda to the west, and Sudan to the northwest. In the north, the land is arid; the southwest corner is in the fertile Basin; and a length of the eastern depression of the Great Rift Valley separates western highlands from those that rise from the lowland coastal strip. Kenya’s population is approximately 46 million[Dl6] . , the capital and largest city, has a metropolitan population of 3 million. Kenya’s form of government is a republic. Scientists believe people may first have inhabited Kenya about 2 million years ago. Presently, more than 40 ethnic groups live in Kenya. Its largest group is the Kikuyu. The land became a British protectorate in 1890 and a colony in 1920, when it was called British East Africa. Kenya achieved full independence in 1963. Jomo Kenyatta, a leader during the 20- year struggle for independence struggle who had been jailed by the British, was Kenya’s first president. Unfortunately, the country did not prosper under independence and it was ruled by a series of dictators. A series of disasters plagued Kenya in 1997 and 1998: severe flooding, epidemics, and ethnic clashes that erupted between the Kikuyu and Kalenjin groups in the Rift Valley. Again in 2000, a devastating drought in east Africa brought risk of starvation to an estimated three million Kenyans. Despite international efforts to end government corruption and bring about a stable economy, Kenya continues to suffer from unrest today. Its people have also had to overcome repeated drought and continual ethnic conflict. Agriculture dominates the economy with major crops of tea, coffee, corn, , sugarcane, fruit, vegetables, dairy products, beef, pork, poultry and eggs. Industries include small-scale consumer goods (plastic, furniture, batteries, textiles, soap, cigarettes and flour), agricultural products, oil refining, aluminum, steel and tourism. Major natural resources include limestone, soda ash, salt, gemstones, fluorspar, zinc, diatomite, gypsum, wildlife and hydropower. Tourism is significant in Kenya and is focused around wildlife parks and expeditions, mountain expeditions to Kilimanjaro (in neighboring Tanzania) and Mt. Kenya, Lake Victoria (Africa’s largest lake) and the Great Rift Valley. Some of the animals of this country include , , Elephants, Buffalos and Rhinos.


NCC Bulldogs love the Geography Bee! 1. Although Kenya lies across the equator, the country has a very diverse landscape and climate including snowcapped mountains and tropical highlands. The arid (desert) region in the north is called the ______Desert. 2. Name two large bodies of water along Kenya’s east and west boarders. ______3. Anthropologists believe that people have lived in Kenya for______years. 4. Kenya’s western region is dominated by this huge land form.______5. Use the box below to draw some of the animals that live in Kenya. Label the animals.

Nigeria Nigeria is 30% larger in land area than Texas and it is the most populous country in Africa with a population of 182[Dl7] million. Situated on the Gulf of Guinea in West Africa, its neighbors are Benin, Niger, Cameroon, and Chad. The lower course of the flows south through the western part of the country into the Gulf of Guinea. Swamps and forests border the southern coast; inland are hardwood forests. The climate is tropical in the southern half of the country with tropical highlands in the east and limited tropical savanna in the northeast. The capital city is but the largest city is (population 10 million).The first inhabitants of what is now Nigeria were thought to have been the Nok people (500 B.C.– A.D. 200). The Kanuri, Hausa, and Fulani peoples subsequently migrated there. Islam was introduced in the 13th century, and the empire of Kanem controlled the area from the end of the 11th century to the 14th.The Fulani Empire ruled the region from the beginning of the until the British annexed Lagos in 1851 and seized control of the rest of the region by 1886. It formally became the Colony and Protectorate of Nigeria in 1914. Nigeria gained independence in 1960, becoming a member of the and joining the . Organized as a loose federation of self-governing states, nation faced the overwhelming task of unifying a country with 250 ethnic and linguistic groups. Civil unrest dominated Nigeria from 1966 until 1971. After years of military rule, the return of civilian leadership was finally established with the election of Alhaji Shehu Shagari as president in 1979. An oil boom in the 1970s buoyed the economy and by the 1980s Nigeria was considered an exemplar of African democracy and economic well-being. However, the military again seized power in 1984 and despite periods of peace and prosperity the country has been challenged by military, ethnic, religious and civil unrest to this day. Today, Nigeria is governed by a multiparty government transitioning from 15

NCC Bulldogs love the Geography Bee! military to civilian control. Nigeria is one of the world's largest oil producers and is a major supplier of oil to the United States. The economy is dominated by oil production but also has significant agriculture. Main crops include cocoa, peanuts, palm oil, corn, rice, sorghum, , cassava (tapioca), yams, rubber, livestock, fish, and timber. Industries include oil, coal and tin production, animal hides and skins, textiles, cement and construction materials, food products, footwear, chemicals, fertilizer, printing, ceramics, steel, small commercial ship construction and repair. Natural resources include , petroleum, tin, columbite, iron ore, coal, limestone, lead and zinc. 1. Using the map, name the three of Nigeria’s major rivers. ______,______and ______. 2. ______is Nigeria’s greatest natural resource, largest export and dominates the economy. 3. Nigeria coast is on this (part of the Atlantic Ocean). ______4. The ______people are thought to be the first inhabitants of present- day Nigeria, to 500 B.C. 5. What countries border Nigeria? ______


NCC Bulldogs love the Geography Bee! Ethiopia Ethiopia, in east-central Africa, is bordered on the west by the Sudan, the east by Somalia and Djibouti, the south by Kenya, and the northeast by Eritrea. It has several high mountains, the highest of which is Ras Dashan at 15,158 ft (4,620 m). The , or Abbai, rises in the northwest at and flows in a great semicircle before entering the Sudan. Lake Tana, is also the country’s chief reservoir. Ethiopia has a variety of climates including arid desert, semi-arid steppe and tropical highlands. The Great Rift Valley dominates the landscape and bisects the country from southwest to northeast. The population is 99[Dl8] million and the capital (and largest city) of has a population of 3 million. Over 70 languages are spoken in Ethiopia including Amharic, Tigrigna, Orominga, Guaragigna, Somali, Arabic and English. Archeologists have found the oldest known human ancestors in Ethiopia, including Ardipithecus ramidus kadabba (ca. 5.8–5.2 million years old) and Australopithecus anamensis (ca. 4.2 million years old). Originally called Abyssinia, Ethiopia is sub-Saharan Africa's oldest state, and its Solomonic dynasty claims descent from King Menelik I, traditionally believed to have been the son of the queen of Sheba and King Solomon. Ancient Ethiopia was a trading capital with major ports along the Red Sea and trade routes with Asia and the Middle East. Modern Ethiopia established its independence by defeating an Italian invasion in 1896. In 1931, the Ethiopian emperor created a constitution that called for a parliament with an appointed senate, an elected chamber of deputies, and a system of courts. But basic power remained with the emperor. Today, Ethiopia has a federal republic government. Fascist invaded Ethiopia in 1935 and Ethiopia was annexed to Eritrea, then an Italian colony, and to Italian , forming Italian East Africa. In 1941, British troops defeated the Italians and the emperor returned to power. In 1952, Eritrea was incorporated into Ethiopia. Since Eritrea's independence, Eritrea and Ethiopia had disagreed about the exact demarcation of their borders, and despite a peace agreement, border conflict still occur. Like many of its neighbors, Ethiopia has suffered from recent drought and the nation has struggled to feed its people. Additionally, Ethiopia and Somalia have been in conflict along their border for the last decade.


NCC Bulldogs love the Geography Bee! The economy is dominated by agriculture including cereal grains, coffee, oilseed, cotton, sugarcane, potatoes, flowers, hides, livestock and fish. Industries include food processing, beverages, textiles, leather, chemicals, metals processing and cement. Natural resources include small reserves of gold, platinum, copper, potash, natural gas and hydropower. Ethiopia is considered the birthplace of coffee which is one of the most important traded goods (commodities) in the modern world.

1. Ethiopia is the oldest independent country in Africa and the only one to successfully defend against European invasion. Its capital city is ______. 2. Name Ethiopia’s three neighbors to the north and east ______, ______, and ______. All of these countries are considered to be in the “” because of the shape they form, jutting out into the Indian Ocean. 3. Ethiopia is the birthplace of this important commodity. ______4. The country is bisected by this dominant land form where archaeologists have discovered evidence of the oldest known human ancestors. Name this important land form. ______. 5. Draw several popular agricultural items produced in Ethiopia. Label the items.


NCC Bulldogs love the Geography Bee! Congo The Democratic Republic of Congo (sometimes called Congo), in west central Africa, is bordered by the Republic of Congo, the , the Sudan, Uganda (UG), Rwanda (RW), Burundi (BI), Tanzania (TZ), Zambia, Angola, and the Atlantic Ocean. It is one-quarter the size of the U.S. The principal rivers are the Ubangi and Bomu in the north and the Congo in the west, which flows into the Atlantic. The Congo River Basin is one of the great tropical rain forest climate zones in Africa. The entire length of lies along the eastern border with Tanzania and Burundi. Congo’s population is approximately 77[Dl9] million. The capital and largest city is ; population about 8 million. Formerly known as Belgian Congo, this territory was inhabited by ancient Negrito peoples (Pygmies), who were pushed into the mountains by Bantu and Nilotic tribes. An American correspondent, Henry M. Stanley, navigated the Congo River in 1877 and opened the interior to exploration. Commissioned by Belgian King Leopold II, Stanley made treaties with native chiefs that enabled the king to obtain personal title to the territory in 1885. Leopold accumulated a vast personal fortune from ivory and rubber through brutal treatment of Congolese slave labor during Belgian colonial rule which ended when the country gained independence in 1960. Unfortunately, like many African nations emerging from decades of colonial rule, Belgian Congo entered into a long period of civil unrest, civil war and political turmoil that continues today. The country was renamed the Democratic Republic of the Congo in 1997, which had been its name before it was changed to Zaire in 1971. Despite instability, political progress has continued. In May 2005, a new constitution was adopted and in 2006, the first democratic election in the country since 1970 took place. However, despite this slow progress, Congo remains a nation in turmoil and many of its citizens suffer each year from civil fighting. Currently, the country is under a transitional government. Economically, Congo relies on agriculture and natural resources. Major crops include coffee, , palm oil, rubber, tea, quinine, cassava (tapioca), palm oil, bananas, root crops, corn, fruits and wood products. Industries include mining (diamonds, copper, and zinc), mineral processing, consumer products (including textiles, footwear, cigarettes, processed foods and beverages), cement, and commercial ship repair. Natural resources include cobalt, copper, cadmium, petroleum, industrial and gem diamonds, gold, silver, zinc, manganese, tin, germanium, uranium, radium, bauxite, iron ore, coal, hydropower and timber.


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1. The Democratic Republic of Congo was also once known as Zaire, and before that, it was a colony of what European country?______2. Name the capital and largest city of the Democratic Republic of Congo. ______3. One of the Democratic Republic of Congo’s neighboring countries has a very similar name. But they are two completely separate nations. This country just to the west of the Democratic Republic of Congo is the Republic of Congo. Please name four other countries that border Democratic Republic of Congo. ______, ______, ______, ______4. At first glance, the Democratic Republic of Congo appears to be landlocked. But if you look carefully at the map, you will discover the country’s small coastline. What ocean is this coast on and what is the major river that flows throughout the Democratic Republic of Congo that empties into this ocean? ______Ocean and ______River 5. Several countries border the Congo. Name at least three. ______6. Make up your own question and answer it below.


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Madagascar Madagascar lies in the Indian Ocean off the southeast coast of Africa opposite the country of Mozambique. The world's fourth-largest island, it is twice the size of Arizona. The country's low-lying coastal area gives way to a central plateau and the Ankaratra Mountains. The once densely wooded interior has largely been deforested. Most of the island has a tropical and sub-tropical climate heavily influenced by the surrounding Indian Ocean and . The island was once connected to Africa but broke off about 65 million years ago as the continental plates moved. Because it is isolated from the rest of Africa, Madagascar is home to over 150,000 of plants and animals that are only found on the island. Madagascar’s population is about 22 million and the capital of Antananarivo is the largest city. The Malagasy (as island citizens are known) are of mixed Malayo-Indonesian and African-Arab ancestry. Indonesians are believed to have migrated to the island about 700 A.D. King Andrianampoinimerina (1787–1810) ruled the major kingdom on the island, and his son, Radama I (1810–1828), unified much of the island. The French made the island a protectorate in 1885, and then, in 1895, ended the monarchy. A colonial administration was set up, to which the were attached in 1908, and other territories later. As an autonomous republic within the French Community since 1958, Madagascar gained full independence from in 1960. However, starting in 1973, a series of military and socialist leaders have fought back and forth to lead the nation. Since 2001 the nation has had relatively stable government despite some contested elections. The Madagascar government is a multiparty republic. The island nation is still heavily influenced by its French colonial era and French is still an official language along with Malagasy. As with many African nations, the economy is dominated by agriculture. Main crops include coffee, vanilla, cotton, sugarcane, cloves, cocoa, rice, cassava (tapioca), beans, bananas, peanuts and livestock. Industries include meat processing, fishing, soap, breweries, tanneries, sugar, textiles, glassware, cement, automobile assembly, paper, petroleum and tourism. Natural resources include graphite, chromite, coal, bauxite, salt, , tar sands, semiprecious stones, mica and hydropower. Madagascar is known for its vanilla, one of its chief exports.


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1. Madagascar is the world’s fourth largest island. It was once attached to the rest of Africa, but broke off about 65 million years ago. Madagascar is located in which ocean? ______2. Many Malagasy (the people of Madagascar) call their capital city by its nickname, Tana. What is the full name of the capital city? ______

3. The island of Madagascar is home to over 150,000 plant and animal species that are found nowhere else in the world. Among them are mongooses, lemurs and giant jumping rats. These unique animals evolved on the island because it was isolated from the rest of theAfrican continent. What body of water separates Madagascar from mainland Africa? ______4. Madagascar was once a French colony. Today, the country has two official languages. Name them. ______and ______

5. Draw a few of the animals that can be found there. Label the animals you include.


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South Africa The Republic of South Africa, on the continent's southern tip, is bordered by the Atlantic Ocean on the west and by the Indian Ocean on the south and east. Its neighbors are Namibia in the northwest, Zimbabwe and Botswana in the north, and Mozambique and Swaziland in the northeast. The kingdom of Lesotho forms an enclave completely surrounded by South Africa, which has a land area nearly three times the size of . The southernmost point of Africa is Cape Agulhas, located in the Western Cape Province about 100 mi (161 km) southeast of the Cape of Good Hope. South Africa has three official capital cities: Pretoria, Cape Town is the legislative center, and Bloemfontein-is the judicial center. Today, the population of the country is approximately 54 million. in South Africa are known to be quite hot, especially in the southern coastal areas, while inland in the higher elevations, temperatures are more moderate. are generally mild countrywide, with some snow in the hills and mountains. Like its neighbors, South Africa seasons are the inverse or opposite of the : is September - October, summer is November - March, fall is April - May, and winter is June - August. The San people were the first settlers of South Africa; the Khoikhoi and Bantu-speaking tribes followed. The Dutch East Company landed the first European settlers on the Cape of Good Hope in 1652. Known as Boers or Afrikaners, and speaking a Dutch dialect known as Afrikaans, the settlers tried to establish an independent republic as early as 1795. After occupying the Cape Colony, Britain took permanent possession in 1815 at the end of the Napoleonic Wars. Anglicization of government and the freeing of slaves in 1833 drove about 12,000 Afrikaners to make the “great trek” north and east into African tribal territory, where they established the republics of the Transvaal and the Orange Free State. The discovery of diamonds in 1867 and gold in 1876 brought an influx of “outlanders” into the republics and spurred the British controlled Cape Colony to attempt to annex the Boer republics. The “inevitable” war with the Boers broke out in late 1899 and ended with defeat of the Boers in 1902. The Union of South Africa, composed of four provinces, the two former republics, and the old Cape and Natal , formed in 1910. Organized political activity among non-European Africans started with the establishment of the African National Congress


NCC Bulldogs love the Geography Bee! in 1912. South Africa became a charter member of the United Nations in 1945, but refused to sign the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Apartheid—racial separation—dominated domestic politics as South African Nationalists gained power and imposed greater restrictions on Bantus (black Africans), Asians, and nonwhite persons. The Group Areas Acts of 1950 and 1986 forced about 1.5 million non-white Africans to move from cities to rural townships, where they lived in abject poverty under repressive laws. South Africa declared itself a republic in 1961 and severed its ties with the British Commonwealth, which strongly objected to the country's racist policies. The white supremacist National Party, which had first come to power in 1948, would continue its rule for the next three decades. In 1960, the African National Congress (ANC), the principal antiapartheid organization, was banned, and in 1964 its leader, Nelson Mandela, was imprisoned. Protests against apartheid grew stronger and more violent. International pressure to end apartheid intensified. In 1989, the ban on the ANC was lifted and Nelson Mandela was released after 27 years of imprisonment. In 1991, a multiracial forum led by President F. W. de Klerk and Mandela, the Convention for a Democratic South Africa (CODESA), began working on a new constitution. In 1993, an interim constitution was passed, which dismantled apartheid and provided for a multiracial democracy with majority rule. The peaceful transition of South Africa from one of the world's most repressive societies into a democracy is one of the 's most remarkable success stories. Mandela and de Klerk were jointly awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1993. South Africa now has a growing and diversified, industrialized economy. The chief agricultural products are corn, wheat, sugarcane, fruits and vegetables, livestock, wool and dairy products. Industries include mining (world's largest producer of platinum, gold and chromium), automobile assembly, metalworking, machinery, textiles, iron and steel, chemicals, fertilizer, foodstuffs and commercial ship repair. Natural resources include gold, chromium, antimony, coal, iron ore, manganese, nickel, phosphates, tin, uranium, gem diamonds, platinum, copper, vanadium, salt and natural gas.

1. Name South Africa’s three official capitals. ______, ______and ______2. Cape Town is located on the Cape of Good Hope, which got its name from Portuguese explorers because it symbolized the turning point in their long journey sailing around the continent. If traveling East around the Cape of Good Hope past Cape Town, you would go from the ______Ocean to the ______Ocean. 3. South Africa completely surrounds the small kingdom of ______. 4. The southern-most point of Africa is Cape ______5. Draw a few of the chief agricultural products of South Africa. Label them. 24

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Tanzania Tanzania is in East Africa on the Indian Ocean. To the north are Uganda and Kenya; to the west, Burundi (BI),Rwanda (RW), and Congo; and to the south, Mozambique, Zambia, and Malawi. Its area is three times that of New . Tanzania contains three of Africa's best-known lakes—Victoria in the north, Tanganyika in the west, and Nyasa in the south. in the north, 19,340 ft (5,895 m), is the highest point on the continent. The island of Zanzibar is separated from the mainland by a 22- mile channel. Arab traders first began to colonize the area in 700 A.D. Portuguese explorers reached the coastal regions in the 14th century and held some control until the 17th century, when the sultan of took power. With what are now Burundi and Rwanda, Tanganyika became the colony of German East Africa in 1885. After I, it was administered by Britain under a League of Nations and later as a United Nations trust territory. Zanzibar was believed to have had connections with southern Arabia. The Portuguese made it one of their tributaries in 1503 and later established a trading post, but they were driven from Oman by in 1698. Zanzibar was declared independent of Oman in 1861 and, in 1890, it became a British protectorate. Tanganyika became independent in 1961; Zanzibar in 1963. On April 26, 1964, the two nations merged into the United Republic of Tanganyika and Zanzibar. The name was changed to Tanzania six months later. Tanzania did not escape the same civil unrest of neighboring countries. Between 1978 and 1985, the country experienced invasions by the army of neighboring Uganda and civil fighting over control of the government. Finally in 1985, following a presidential election, plans were announced to institute a multiparty democracy, and in 1995 the country's first multiparty elections since independence took place. The Tanzania government is a multiparty republic. The country has two official capitals: (the largest city with 2.5 million) and Dodoma, where governmental offices are housed and which will eventually be the new national capital. Like much of East Africa, Tanzania has two distinct warm (often hot) and humid rainy seasons. Lighter rain falls (March - June), while heavy downpours and storms occur (November - January). Tanzania is home to many of Africa’s best known and frequently visited natural features and wild game preserves: the Serengeti Plain, Mt. Kilimanjaro and Zanzibar. These famous places have captured the imagination of explorers and tourists for decades and conjure up well known images of East African safaris and wildlife expeditions.Tanzania’s economy is strongly based in agriculture and tourism. Agricultural


NCC Bulldogs love the Geography Bee! products include coffee, sisal, tea, cotton, chrysanthemums, cashew nuts, tobacco, cloves, corn, wheat, cassava (tapioca), bananas, fruits and vegetables and livestock. Industries include tourism, sugar, sisal twine, diamond, gold, and iron mining, salt, soda ash, cement, oil refining, shoes, apparel, wood products and fertilizer. Natural resources include hydropower, tin, phosphates, iron ore, coal, diamonds, gemstones, gold, natural gas and nickel.

1. The name of Tanzania’s capital city means “Haven of Peace” in the Arabic language. Name the two capital cities: ______, and ______2. Tanzania is famous for wild animal safaris and dramatic land forms (mountains, , , etc.). Name two of Tanzania’s most famous wild places. ______and ______. 3. Tanzania shares this lake (Africa’s largest), with several neighboring countries. Name this lake: ______. 4. The name “Tanzania” is a combination of Tanganyika and what island? ______

5. Draw a few of the chief agricultural products of Tanzania. Label them.


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Quick Africa Quiz

1. What ocean lies on Africa's western border? ______2. What ocean lies on Africa's eastern border? ______3. What sea forms Africa's northern border? ______4. What long, narrow sea forms Africa's northeastern border? ______5. What is the name of the cape at the southern tip of Africa that separates the Atlantic and Indian ? ______6. What is the name of the large island nation off the southeastern coast of southeastern Africa? ______7. What is the name of the large African lake that lies on the equator?______8. What is the name of the very long African river that flows north into the Mediterranean? ______9. What is the name of the major central African river that crosses the equator and flows into the Atlantic? ______10. What is the name of the huge desert in northern Africa? ______

11. What is the name of the smaller desert in ? ______12. Mt. Kilimanjaro is Africa’s highest point. What is its elevation?______A Few Geography Words to Know 1. Cape-a piece of land sticking out into a body of water 2. Capital -the seat (headquarters) of government 3. Colonize- to establish a colony of another country 4. Colony -a territory distant from the country controlling it 5. Continent- a main, large land area of the earth 6. Desert -a very arid or dry (either hot or ) place with little rainfall 7. Equator- an imaginary line around the Earth that is the exact midpoint between the North and South Poles and which separates the Northern and Southern Hemispheres of the planet. 8. Landlocked- entirely surrounded by land; cut off from oceans 9. Peninsula-a piece of land surrounded by water on three sides—often narrower than a cape 10. Strait-a narrow waterway connecting two large bodies of water tropical a climate characterized by hot and humid air and a large amount of annual rainfall 11. Valley-a large depression in the landscape typically formed over Millions of year by a river or movement of the Earth’s crust


NCC Bulldogs love the Geography Bee! An Introduction to Asia

As the planet's largest continent, Asia covers about 30 percent of the world's and includes (44) independent countries, assorted islands and territories. Significant features of the continent of Asia include the world's tallest mountain, Mt Everest in (and ), rising to 29,035 ft (8,850m). It also includes the world's lowest point, found in the , /Jordan, at 1,286 ft (392m) below sea level. In addition, the continent includes the world's most populated countries, China and India; the world's longest coastline, the world's deepest lake; and some of the most important rivers on Earth. Asia contains 17.2 million square miles (44.6 million sq km) of land, which accounts for 30% of Earth’s land area. With approximately 3.5 billion people, Asia is home to nearly 60% of the world’s population. Asian countries are generally categorized into four regions: the Middle East (sometimes called the or West Asia), (or the ), and . Two countries, and , are trans-continental because they are officially part of both Asia and .


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List of countries of Asia

o o Malaysia o o o o o Bangladesh o - Burma o o Nepal o Brunei o Oman o Burma - Myanmar o Pakistan o o Philippines o China - People's Republic of o o East o o India o Singapore o Indonesia o o Iran o Syria o o Taiwan- Republic of China o Israel o Tajikistan o Japan o o Jordan o Timor-Leste o o Turkey o (North) o Turkmenistan o Korea (South) o United Arab Emirates o o Uzbekistan o Kyrgyzstan o o o o


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Geography of Asia Major Landforms of the Middle East The is approximately 200,000 sq, miles (518,000 sq, km) and covers parts of Jordan, Syria, Saudi Arabia and western Iraq. Very little rain falls in this arid wasteland; however, Arab nomads inhabit the desert and successfully raise and camels. Oil pipelines are commonplace, as well as scattered oases. AN NAFUD DESERT (part of the ) of northwestern Saudi Arabia is famous for gigantic sand , some reaching over 100 ft. in . The AR RUB' AL KHALI DESERT (the “Empty Quarter”) also (the Arabian Desert) is the largest (only sand) desert in the world and famed for huge sand dunes that can extend for over 25 miles. It covers most of southernSaudi Arabia, and is nearly moisture-less. The Ad Dahna' is the northern expanse that connects to the An Nafud Desert. The entire Arabian Desert is about 1,000,000 sq miles in total size. The ASIR & MOUNTAINS are found along Saudi Arabia's border with the Red Sea; this range of lower mountains averages 6,000 - 7,000 ft. in height (1,829 - 2,130m). The HADRAMAWT (and region) of Yemen averages about 3,500 ft. (1,067m) in height, with the highest peak estimated at 8,000 ft., (2,440m). The ANATOLIAN PLATEAU is a generally barren and arid plateau of central Turkey that averages about 500 meters in elevation. Farming and livestock raising (the major industries), are difficult here as extreme temperatures during both summer and winter are common. Scattered towns and villages cover this landscape. The MOUNTAINS are located between the Black and Caspian . These mountains dominate the landscape of , Azerbaijan and Georgia (all part of southeastern Europe,) where the Middle East (Asia) borders Europe. Many of the volcanic peaks in these mountains exceed 15,000 ft. in height, with the highest point being Mt. Elbrus at 18,481 ft. (5,633m). The are a rugged chain extending across southern Turkey to its borders with Iraq and Iran. The highest point (Mt. Ararat) is located in the Eastern Taurus range. This extinct is 16,583 ft. (5,137m) high. It is believed by biblical scholars that Noah's Ark landed here. The ELBURZ MOUNTAINS (or ) extend for almost 620 miles along Iran's northern border with the , these jagged mountains average over 9,000 ft, with the highest point being Mt. Damavand, a dormant volcano, at 18,602 ft. (5,670m) high. The are comprised of many ranges of the extending along southern and western Iran and into northern Iraq. Many of these peaks exceed 9,000 ft., with the highest point being Zard Kuh at 14,921 ft. (4,548m). 30

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The KARA KUM DESERT is a desert of south-central Turkmenistan; a large mass of sand known for its towering sand dunes extending in all directions. It is about 115,000 sq. miles in size. DASH E LUT (Lout Desert) is a region of eastern Iran and is an arid, wind-blown desert, completely surrounded by mountains. In the summer months, it can be one of the hottest and driest spots on the planet. In some areas here, measurable rainfall does not exist. DASHT-E KAVIR (Kavir Desert) is a plateau of north-central Iran and is often referred to as the "Great Salt Desert." It's the largest desert in Iran and is mostly uninhabited wasteland covered with crusty salt ridges. KUSH includes dramatic mountains that form a natural border between Afghanistan and Pakistan, with many snow-capped peaks reaching over 22,000 ft. The highest point is Tirich at 25,282 ft. (7,706m). The PAMIR region and its namesake mountains stretch across much of Tajikistan and parts of Afghanistan, China and Pakistan. Similar to the , numerous peaks in the Pamir region exceed 22,000 ft, with the highest point being Pik Samani at 24,590 ft. (7,495m). Stretching almost 1,500 miles across Kyrgyzstan and well into China, the TIEN SHAN (also Tian) is composed of multiple mountain ranges commonly exceed 19,000 ft. The highest point is Pik Pobeda at 24,407 ft. (7,439m).

Major Rivers of the Middle East

Dozens of rivers are found in the Middle East, but four (4) major rivers dominate the region. The AMU DARYA flows from a high plateau in the Pamir Mtns. of , across southern Tajikistan, forming its border with Afghanistan, continues northwest, forming parts of the borders between Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan and on into the . It is (1,578 miles) (2,539 km) in length. In ancient times the Amu Darya was called the Oxus. It was part of Persia, and played a significant role in the military campaigns of . The EUPHRATES begins in the Caucasus Mtns. Of Armenia. It flows southwesterly across West- central Turkey, then southeast through Syria and Iraq, ending in the waters of the . The Euphrates joins with the Tigris in southern Iraq. Overall it is 2,235 miles long (3,596 km), making it the longest river in the Middle East. Historically important in ancient times, the once great city of Babylon stood on its banks. The TIGRIS rises in the mountains of southern Turkey and flows southeast through Iraq, where in the southern part of that country it merges with the Euphrates to become the Shatt al Arab, which then flows to the Persian Gulf. The river has numerous small tributaries running from its eastern bank, and is 1,180 miles long (1,899 km). The area bounded by these two great rivers 31

NCC Bulldogs love the Geography Bee! forms an area known as the and throughout history has been home to many great civilizations. The INDUS begins in the high mountains of in southwestern China and flows northwest through the Jammu & region of India and Pakistan. It then flows generally south through Pakistan to the near Pakistan’s border with India. The Indus, through a series of dams and canals, provides much of the irrigation and power for central Pakistan. It is 1,800 miles long (2,896 km). The Indian Subcontinent (South Asia)

The land referred to as the Indian subcontinent is a tectonic plate that began to separate itself from surrounding slabs of rock (or plates) millions of years ago. The movement of that plate changed the landscape, and formed the , the world's most elevated mountain range and home to , the world's tallest mountain. The subcontinent land is a peninsula that extends south into the Indian Ocean. Geographers call it as a subcontinent because although it is quit large, it's not big enough to be considered an individual continent. It includes the countries of India, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Maldives and parts of Pakistan.

Major Landforms of South Asia

The Himalayas form the highest mountain range in the world, and slope southward into a large fertile plain that covers much of the Indian Subcontinent. Three mountain ranges, the Himadri, Himachal and Shivaliks, extend from the in the northwest, to the in the east. They all have deep canyons gorged by fastflowing rivers fed by extensive snowfall. The land rises slightly into two plateaus, bordered in the central and south by lower mountains (the Eastern and Western ), that gently slope into narrow coastal plains. The subcontinent has over 5,000 miles of coastline and is bordered by the Arabian Sea, the Bay of , the and the Indian Ocean. While numerous rivers drain the land, without question, the River is the most important and significant rivers on Earth. The name Ganges is known all throughout the region. This river runs for 1,560 miles from the Himalayas all the way to the , and is more than just flowing water. It is the lifeblood to the people who live nearby. While the Ganges is a crucial source of water and is considered holy by many people, it is also, unfortunately, one of the most polluted rivers in the world.


NCC Bulldogs love the Geography Bee! Influence of India With more than 1.2 billion people (yes, that’s BILLION!), India is one of the two most populated countries in the world (the other being China) and lies at the center of this Asian region. The ancient diamond-shaped country of India, the largest part of the Indian Subcontinent, extends from the Himalayan Mountains in the north, south into the tropical reaches of the Indian Ocean. This diverse and fertile country once included present-day Bangladesh and Pakistan. India was colonized and controlled by Britain during much of the 19th and 20th centuries. In 1947, India declared independence. Shortly thereafter, Pakistan and then Bangladesh became independent countries. Numerous major languages and hundreds of dialects are spoken in India. Dozens of very large cities (over 1 million people each) and over 700,000 villages are located throughout the country.

Southeast Asia Southeast Asia includes the countries of Myanmar (formerly Burma), Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam, Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, Brunei, and Philippines. Much of Southeast Asia is comprised of large volcanic islands and island chains that straddle the equator and divide the Indian and Pacific Oceans. Two of the largest of these island chains are the Philippines and the Indonesian , which is the longest and largest island chain in the world with over 18,000 counted islands. The large islands of Indonesia include , Java, and . Other major land forms of Southeast Asia are the Malay and Indochinese which jut south from China and the Indian Subcontinent


Indochina is a geographical region of Southeast Asia. It occupies the easternmost region of the Indochinese Peninsula, on land located directly east of Thailand, and south of China. It was originally comprised of the French colony of Cochin, China, and the French protectorates of Annam and Tonkin (later united with Cochin to form Vietnam); Cambodia (formerly Kampuchea), Laos and Vietnam. Formed in 1887, its capital city was Hanoi, but this French Indochina federation of countries only lasted into the mid-1950s. After the events of World War II, and the end of Japanese influence in Southeast Asia, and after the defeat of the French in 1954 by the Vietnamese, this area of the world changed dramatically. After agreements were reached among China, France, Russia, the United States and the , France relinquished any claims on the area, and all three countries (Vietnam, 33

NCC Bulldogs love the Geography Bee! Cambodia and Laos) went on to become independent nations.

North Asia

The largest land component of Asia is a vast stretch of land extending from the Caspian Sea in the West to the North and Bearing Sea in the East, from Indochina in the South to the Ocean in the North. Within this vast area of Asia are the countries of Kazakhstan, Mongolia, China, Russian Federation (Russia), Japan, North Korea, South Korea and Taiwan and include two of the three largest economic countries in the world (Japan and China are the second and third largest economies – the U.S. is the largest).

Influence of Russia Russia, like Turkey, is officially located both in Asia and Europe. The Mountains, running south to north from the Kazakhstan border to the , form the divide between European and Asian Russia. Russia (officially the Russian Federation) is the world's largest country by land area. It covers 11 time zones, all climate zones except tropical and stretches almost halfway around the Earth. Russia is approximately 5,592 miles across (9000km). In fact, check the map: when travelling by jet from Moscow to , it takes about 8 hours. If you were to take that trip on the Trans-Siberian Railroad, count on your journey taking at least four days! Russia has over 1,000 major cities, with 16 having a metro population of more than one million. The most populated cities are Moscow, St. Petersburg, Nizhny Novgorod, and . The population of Russia today is about 143.5 million. Moscow, the capital, with over 12 million (metro) residents, is the country's major economic and political center – and the seat of the national and state governments. The Russian landmass west of the is referred to as by most educational atlases and geography experts. It is not a separate country, but rather called that because of its political, cultural and geographical blending with Europe. While most of Russia’s population lives west of the Ural Mountains, the vast majority of land and natural resources lies east of the Urals in Asian Russia. Historically, most of the land in Asian Russia was occupied for centuries by tribes from Mongolia and China. In the early 17th century, the 300- year reign of the Romanov began, and it was Czar Peter I who really began the transformation of the . Following the reign of Queen Catherine II in the late , it emerged as an influential and powerful European force. In 1991, the USSR (Union of Soviet Socialist Republics) dissolved. When that union ended, Russia itself and its former republics all became independent countries but many of them remained closely tied in a federation. Because of its vastness and cultural influences from both Europe and Asia, Russia 34

NCC Bulldogs love the Geography Bee! has a rich cultural diversity that includes a wide variety of languages, , cuisine and arts. These cultural variations tend to tie closely to the neighboring regions. For example, Islam tends to be the dominant in parts of Russia closest to the Middle East and Central Asia while Russian Orthodox and tend to be more dominant in Northern and Western Russia. The vast Russian Federation has a wide variety of weather conditions. Generally, winters are somewhat mild along the coastal areas, much colder inland and in the northwest, and frigid in . Summers vary from mild to warm in the west and central, with cooler conditions in the north, and along the Arctic coast.

Russia has more than 100,000 rivers that are 7 miles long, or greater. Significant rivers include the Volga, Dnieper and Dvina (west), the , , and (central) and the in the far-east. Lake Baykal in south-central Russia is the deepest lake in the world, at 5,310 ft. (1,620m). The lowest point in Russia is -92 ft. (-28 m) below sea level at the Caspian Sea. Russia is only about 60 miles from the US via the in the Pacific Ocean to and it can often be walked in the winter! However if you are going from New York to Moscow by jet, it is over 4600 miles. Russia is bordered by the Arctic and Pacific Oceans, a dozen seas and 14 countries, including Azerbaijan, Belarus, China, Estonia, Finland, Georgia, Kazakhstan, North Korea, Latvia, Lithuania, Mongolia, Norway, Poland and the Ukraine. Russia contains 6,562,112 sq. miles (16,995,800sq km) of land area and has a coastline of 23,396 miles (37,653 km) along the Pacific and Arctic Oceans and numerous seas. The broad or Volga River Plain extends from the Ural Mountains to its western borders with Europe. In the far southwest the slice across the land between the Black and Caspian Seas. The country's highest point, Mt. Elbrus at 18,481 ft. (5,633 m), is located there. The central and southern areas include large fertile areas, marsh, (plains without trees) and massive coniferous forests. Russia also has vast reserves of precious minerals, oil and natural gas. Siberia is the largest region of Russia. It is a combination of frozen tundra, with rolling hills rising to plateaus, and numerous rugged mountain ranges. The northeast, south-central and southeast areas are covered by a wide variety of mountain ranges. A few ranges on the contain active volcanoes that are part of the .


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Influence of China (People’s Republic of China) Any meaningful discussion of Asian geography must include China. Much like the ancient Roman and Egyptian , China led much of the world in the arts and sciences for thousands of years. Then, in the 19th Century, China experienced debilitating civil unrest, significant food shortages, military defeats, and foreign occupation. With the end of World War II, under the leadership of Mao Zedong, the government established a dictatorship that, while ensuring China's sovereignty, imposed strict and harsh controls over everyday life of citizens. Since 1978, China has gradually introduced market- oriented and civil reforms. Those efforts were successful as the Chinese economy quadrupled by the year 2000. Today, modern China is an economic and political powerhouse and a dominant force in Asia.

Tourism, always popular in China, is a growth industry. The amazing variety of physical and cultural resources of China makes it a truly unique destination. China is the most populous country in the world with a current population of 1,306,313,800 (yes – BILLION!). The capital city is Beijing with a metro population of 12 million. Spoken languages include Standard Chinese or Mandarin (Putonghua,) Yue (Cantonese), (Shanghaiese), Minbei (Fuzhou), Minnan, Xiang, Gan and Hakka dialects. Officially, China is an atheist nation. However the country has a long religious history tied to Daoist, Buddhist, Muslim and Christian faiths.

A broad range of weather is common in the large country of China. There is mostly tropical weather in the South and southeast, much cooler (and colder) temperatures in the , and subarctic conditions in the far southwest in the Himalaya Mountain system. Rainfall is heavy along the southern coastal areas, lighter in the , while in the North (in the areas) participation is generally sparse. China occupies a huge part of eastern and central (or North) Asia and is bordered by the , , Pacific Ocean and by (14 countries) including North Korea, the Russian Federation, Mongolia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Afghanistan, Pakistan, India, Nepal, Bhutan, Burma, Laos and Vietnam. China has 23 provinces, five autonomous regions and four municipalities and two special administrative regions of and Macau.


NCC Bulldogs love the Geography Bee! China has 9,010 miles of coastline and 3,600,945 sq miles of land area. In the vast western reaches of China, mountains, high plateaus and deserts dominate the landscape, while the land slopes into broad plains and deltas in the center and East. The Himalayas, the world's highest mountain range, forms its southwestern borders with India, Nepal and Bhutan. Mt. Everest, the highest mountain on Earth at 29,025 ft. (8.850 m), sits on the border between China (Tibet) and Nepal. In the far northeast, high mountains ring its border with the Russian Federation. The Gobi Desert, one of the largest and driest on Earth, runs west to east along its border with Mongolia. Here the varies from sand desert into the low mountain and plateaus that stretch into Mongolia. The lowest point in China isTurpan Pendi at -154 m below sea level. From the higher elevations in the West, literally thousands of rivers drain the country. The most significant rivers include the (third longest river on the planet), as well as the Heilong (Amur), Mekong, and Yellow. Nearly all of the major rivers of Central, South and Southeast Asia originate in China.

Whew! That was a lot of information. Take some time here to draw a mountainous scene from China’s Himalayan Mountains. Label the borders.


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Map of Asia


NCC Bulldogs love the Geography Bee! A Tour of Ten Asian Countries

Iran (Islamic Republic of Iran)

Iran is the second largest country in the Middle East region of Asia and has 5,000 years of fascinating history. Known as Persia until 1935, Iran became an Islamic republic in 1979 after the ruling shah was forced into political exile. The country is rich in natural gas and petroleum as well as natural beauty and cultural resources such as ancient ruins, and museums that support tourism. Iran’s population is 79,000,000 and its largest and capital city is Tehran (metro population of 11.7 million). The major languages spoken in Iran are Persian and Turkic. Iran is an Islamic nation and the main religions are Shi'a Muslim and Sunni Muslim The country is bordered by the Caspian Sea, Persian Gulf and , and by the countries of Iraq, Turkey, Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan, Afghanistan and Pakistan. Its coastline is 1,516 miles (2,440 km) along the Persian Gulf and Gulf of Oman. The country also borders the Caspian Sea in the North. Iran is a very rugged country of plateaus and mountains, dominated by the Elburz Mountains in the north, and the Zagros Mountains along its western borders. The Dasht-e Kavir is a and salty desert plateau that is one of the hottest places on Earth in the summer. The most significant river is the Karun, in the southwestern corner of the country. Lake Urmia (in the far-northwest) is the country's largest body of water. The county’s highest point is Mt. Damavand at 18,934 ft. (5,771m) while the lowest point is the Caspian Sea (-28 m).

1. Iran was previously known by this name. ______2. Name three bodies of water bordering Iran. ______, ______, ______3. Iran is located on the continent of Asia. What Asian region is Iran part of? ______4. Name the salty desert plateau in Iran that is one of the hottest places on Earth during the summer. ______


NCC Bulldogs love the Geography Bee! 5. Find a picture of a . Sketch it below.

U.A.E. (United Arab Emirates)

Formerly known as the Trucial States, the United Arab Emirates are a federation of seven individual states, all ruled by emirs. Founded between the 7th and 8th centuries, the Trucial States granted the United Kingdom control of their defense and foreign affairs in treaties signed during 19th century. In 1971, six of these states - Abu Zaby, 'Ajman, Al Fujayrah, Ash Shariqah, Dubayy, and Umm al Qaywayn - merged to form the United Arab Emirates. They were then joined in 1972 by Ra's al Khaymah. The economy is based primarily on oil and the U.A.E. plays an important role in the leadership of the Middle East. , the country's capital, and Dubai (the largest city), are the largest and most modern cities famed for their high-rise buildings and stylish hotels. The country’s population is about 5 million. The U.A.E. has a coastline of 819 miles (1,318 km) along the Persian Gulf. Most of the federation is a desert wasteland, with large, rolling sand dunes, as the outer reaches of the Rub'Al Khali Desert stretch into the country. The coastal areas fronting the Persian Gulf are flat. The Hajar Mountains dominate the landscape in the northeast, and the country's highest point is located there. Interestingly, there are no significant rivers or lakes. The country also includes numerous small islands situated offshore in the Persian Gulf. The highest point is Jabal Yibir at 5,666 ft. (1,727 m), and the lowest point is the Persian Gulf - at sea level. The U.A.E. is located on the Tropic of Cancer and bordered by Saudi Arabia, Oman and the


NCC Bulldogs love the Geography Bee! Persian Gulf. The desert weather of the United Arab Emirate is hot and dry throughout the year, with very little rainfall. The brief winter months (December - February) do bring some mild cooling, especially in the hills and mountains of the northeast. Summer high temperatures (July - August) reach the low 100s, while winter low temperatures seldom drop below 40º F.

1. Name the capital city and the largest city in the UAE. ______and ______2. The UAE is a federation of seven individual states each ruled by an ______. 3. UAE was formerly known as the ______States. 4. The economy of the UAE is based primarily on what natural resource? ______5. Draw a picture to show the lowest and highest points of UAE. Label them.


NCC Bulldogs love the Geography Bee! Pakistan (Islamic Republic of Pakistan)

In 1947, as British rule came to an end in India, Pakistan was created when the Muslim- dominated parts of India (to the west and east) of Hindu India, were given autonomy. Those two areas were called East and and they were separated (right down the middle) by India. The city of Islamabad became the capital city when it was officially moved from (the largest city) in 1959. Then, in 1971, demanded independence, and is now the country of Bangladesh. Today, West Pakistan is simply known as Pakistan. As one of the most populous but poor countries in the world with a population of 190 million, Pakistan faces enormous economic and social problems. Fortunately it possesses a growing, diverse economy and immense natural resources. speak many languages including Punjabi, Sindhi, Siraiki, Pashtu, and English. Founded as an Islamic nation, the prominent religions are Sunni Muslim and Shi'a Muslim. Pakistan is considered to be both part of the Indian subcontinent and positioned in the Middle East. The country is bordered by Iran, Afghanistan, China, India and the Arabian Sea with a coastline of 650 miles (1,046 km). At the heart of Pakistan is the Plain which is bisected by the Indus River and fronts its border with India. In the southwest part of the country is the arid and dry Baluchistan Plateau that extends to the border with Iran. Pakistan’s most dramatic landscape is located in the North, at the western edges of the Himalayas, including the Hindu Kush which is home to some of the tallest mountain peaks in the world. The highest point in Pakistan is , or (Mount Godwin- Austen), is the second tallest mountain on Earth at 28,250 ft. (8,611 m). The mountainous areas of west-central Pakistan, along the border with Afghanistan, include the Ras Koh, Safed Koh and ranges. The Indus River and its numerous tributaries, one of the world's most significant waterways drain the entire country. Pakistan has four provinces, including , North-West Frontier Province, Punjab and plus the Federally Administered Tribal Areas and the Islamabad Capital Territory. From the Arabian Sea, to the high mountain of the north, Pakistan's climate varies widely. Generally, south and east of the mountains, the country is hot and dry in the summer months, with very little rain. Along the southern coastal areas humidity is very high. In the northern and western mountains, summers are much cooler, and winter brings heavy


NCC Bulldogs love the Geography Bee! snow. Throughout the Hindu Kush and the rugged peaks of the far north, Arctic-like conditions in winter are normal. The heaviest rain (central and south), falls July through September, while winters do bring some light rain. In the central Punjab region, May - July are the hottest months, with daily high temperatures averaging near 90º F. High temperatures above 100º F are common. Winter lows seldom fall below 40º F. The coastal areas enjoy milder, more consistent temperatures, with daily highs averaging near 85º F, and winter lows near 55º F. Some of the agricultural products of Pakistan include cotton wheat, rice, sugarcane, fruits, vegetables, milk, beef, mutton and eggs.

1. Pakistan is officially part of two different regions of Asia. Name the two regions. ______and ______2. Pakistan’s climate is widely varied with humid sub-tropical zones in the southeast near the Arabian Sea and Arctic-like winters in the mountainous region to the North. What is the name of this mountainous region at the western edge of the Himalayas? ______3. This important Asian river drains nearly all of Pakistan. ______4. Pakistan was formed after 1947 when it became independent from what neighboring country? ______5. What countries border Pakistan? ______

6. Draw some of the agricultural products of Pakistan. Label them.


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For many thousands of years a long list of regional empires and European nations fought for control of the waterlogged land now called Bangladesh (official name is Peoples’ Republic of Bangladesh). Ruled by Britain in the 19th and 20th centuries, and once part of India, Bangladesh (formerly called East Pakistan), was formed in 1971 when it officially separated from its union with West Pakistan (now called Pakistan). As one of the most crowded countries on Earth, much of the lush, low-lying landscape is subject to yearly flooding, and the subsequent devastation of cyclones. Those natural hazards have adversely affected the nation's economy and its people, as they often cause great loss of life. Although not a major tourism destination, Bangladesh is known for its natural beauty, the friendly people, the capital city of , and the easy-going beach resort of Cox's Bazar - home to the world's longest beach. The population is 161 million. The capital city of Dhaka has about 14 million residents. Major languages are Bengali (official) and English. Major religions are Muslim and Hindu. Bangladesh is located on the Indian subcontinent in south-central Asia and is bordered by the Bay of Bengal, India and Burma (Myanmar). It has a coastline of 360 miles (580 km). As a nation of rivers, Bangladesh is in essence a large delta comprised of three significant rivers; the Ganges, Brahmaputra and Meghna. The Ganges is one of the most important rivers in the world that begins in the Himalayas and drains much of northern India as well as Bangladesh, two of the most densely populated nations on Earth. Unfortunately, Bangladesh is one of the most flood-prone countries in the world, and when the spring snowmelt from the Himalayas runs south to the Indian Ocean, the rivers often overflow. Replete with coastal mangrove forests and tropical rain forests, the land is mostly flat, with a few hilly areas in the east and southeast. The highest point is Keokradong - 4,035 ft. (1,230 m) and the lowest point is the Indian Ocean at sea level. Bangladesh, one of the wettest places on the planet, is hot and rainy in the summer months. Most of the annual rainfall (often over 60 inches per year) comes during the season from June to September. In contrast, very little rain falls in the cooler months (November - February). March, April and May are the warmest months with high temps near 90º F. Winter lows seldom Fall below 55º F.


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1. Like Pakistan, Bangladesh was once part of what neighboring country? ______2. Due to immense rainfall during the summer monsoon season and low-lying river deltas, Bangladesh is one of the ______places on Earth that is subject to repeated flooding. 3. Three major rivers drain Bangladesh, but the most famous and important is the______4. What resort area in southeast Bangladesh is home to world’s longest beach?______


Archaeological evidence indicates that human beings began inhabiting present-day Malaysia over 40,000 years ago. Malaysia has been controlled by outsiders for much of its modern history. Europeans arrived on the in the 17th century, as the Dutch established trading posts along the coasts. It was the British that recognized the strategic position of the Malay states and their abundance of natural resources, subsequently colonizing and controlling the region for over 150 years. During World War II, the Japanese invaded, and occupied the area until 1945. In 1948, the British-ruled territories on the Malay Peninsula (southern parts of Burma ((Myanmar)), Thailand and the ) formed the Federation of Malaya, and in 1957, gained independence from Britain. Malaysia itself was formed in 1963 when Singapore and the states of and Sarawak joined the Peninsular Malaysia Federation; the island, city-nation of Singapore located at the very tip of the Malay Peninsula subsequently became independent in 1965. Located in Southeast Asia, just north of the Equator, the exotic, tropical islands and lands of Malaysia contain some of the most beautiful beaches on the planet and a collection of unrivaled rainforests and national parks. The country’s population is about 24 million. The capital city of Kuala Lumpur has a metro population of about 3.8 million. Malaysians speak many different languages including Bahasa Melayu (official), English, assorted Chinese dialects and other indigenous languages. Religions in Malaysia included Muslim, Buddhist, Daoist, Hindu and


NCC Bulldogs love the Geography Bee! Christianity. Malaysia is immediately north of the Equator and located on both the southern tip of the Malay Peninsula and on the northern edges of the island of Borneo. With an extensive coastline of 2,905 miles (4,675 km), Malaysia borders by the South China Sea, , assorted smaller seas, and the countries of Brunei, Burma (Myanmar),Thailand, Indonesia and neighboring Singapore across the narrow Singapore Strait). Malaysia is comprised of Peninsular Malaysia, which is part of , and the states of Sabah and Sarawak on the northern edges of the island of Borneo. The coastal plains in Malaysia (in some areas rather wide) rise gently into hills and mountains that are covered by dense rain forest. Off its coastlines, Malaysia includes hundreds of very small islands. Over two dozen rivers flow from the mountains, with the Pahang, Rajang and Sugut being the most significant. Malaysia’s highest point is Mt. Gunung Kinabalu -13,451 ft. (4,100 m) on the island of Borneo. The lowest point is sea level. Due to its location near the Equator, Malaysia has a tropical climate with many sunny days. Temperatures ranging from 70 to 90ºF (22 to 33ºC) are consistent throughout most of the year. Two monsoon seasons (April to October) and (October to February) bring consistent, yet moderate rainfall. Relative humidity is very high year-round. The natural beauty of Malaysia is a major tourism draw, as few places on Earth are as pristine and unspoiled. The country offers an incredible array of un-crowded beaches, rain forests and hundreds of tropical islands. Malaysia has a world-renowned park system, including Taman Negara , with its gigantic trees, plants and colorful wildlife; Sabah's state parks and stunning ; the world's largest sanctuary near the town of and Sarawak's collection of national parks, some of the most unique anywhere.

1. Malaysia is located on two different land masses in Asia, the Malay Peninsula and what island? ______2. Malaysia is famous for its natural beauty and parks including the world’s largest sanctuary for what animals? ______3. Name three foreign countries that have occupied, controlled or established trading posts in Malaysia. ______, ______and ______4. Much of Malaysia has a tropical climate due to its location just north of the ______. 5. Draw an orangutan in the box below. See if you can find out what they like to eat and include that in your drawing.


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Indonesia (Republic of Indonesia)

Indonesia is comprised of over 18,000 counted islands and is by far the largest and most varied archipelago (island chain) on Earth. It spans almost two million square kilometers between Asia and and is positioned on the Equator across a region of immense volcanic activity. Many of the smaller islands here are still uninhabited with the larger islands of Java, (Borneo), Irian Jaya (), Sumatra and Sulawesi home to most of the country’s 250 million people. The capital (and largest) city of is on the island of Java. This tropical country and its many islands are one of the most stunning destinations on our planet and tourism is a cornerstone of the Indonesian economy. Because Indonesia spans so many islands and cultures many languages are spoken across the country including Bahasa Indonesia (official), English, Dutch, Arabic and many local dialects. Although Indonesia is not officially an Islamic nation, the majority religion is Muslim (88%), along with Protestant, Catholic and others. Indonesia straddles the Equator and is therefore in both the northern and southern hemispheres, as well as the . It's positioned just to the north of Australia in far Southeast Asia and is bordered by the Indian Ocean, Pacific Ocean, over a dozen regional seas, and the countries of Malaysia, and East Timor. Because of its many islands, Indonesia’s has an amazing 33,999 miles (54,716 km) of coastline (one of the longest in the world). The larger islands of Sumatra, Java, Kalimantan, Sulawesi, and Irian Jaya are quite mountainous, with some peaks reaching 12,000 ft. The highest elevations (over 16,000 ft) are found on Irian Jaya in the east with the highest point at Mt. at 16,502 ft. (5,030 m). Located along the “Ring of Fire” (a circle of active volcanoes circling the Pacific Ocean), Indonesia has some 400 volcanoes within its borders, of which at least 90 still active in some way. Significant rivers include the Barito, , Hari, Kampar, Kapuas, Kayan and Musi. Due to its location at the Equator, Indonesia is generally hot and humid throughout the year, with moderate cooling in the higher elevations. Average temperatures (highs and lows) vary little throughout the year. Brief, daily rainstorms are the norm, and the rainy season runs from mid-December through March. 47

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1. Indonesia is the largest and most varied ______on Earth. 2. With over 400 ______, Indonesia earns its place on the “Ring of Fire.” 3. According to the map of Indonesia, the main islands that make up northern Indonesia are also collectively named the______Islands. 4. Indonesia shares the large island of Borneo with two other countries. Name them. ______and ______

Philippines (Republic of Philippines)

Located on the western edge of the Pacific Ocean and along the Ring of Fire, the Philippines is the second-largest archipelago on Earth after Indonesia, with over 7,100 individual islands counted within its borders. For hundreds of years the Philippines was a Spanish colony, but then was ceded to the U.S. in1898, following the Spanish- American War. At the end of World War II in 1946, the Philippines attained total independence. Since gaining independence the government has struggled with failed dictators and ineffective elected leaders. The country has suffered from a number of natural disasters and struggles economically with a largely poor population nearly 88 million. Despite many natural resources, the Philippines also has one of the highest rates of deforestation in the world. At the current rate of deforestation it has been estimated that the country’s virgin forests are in danger of disappearing by 2010. The capital and largest city of is located on . Languages spoken include Filipino (official), English (official), Tagalog and Spanish. Major religions are Catholic (81%), Muslim (5%) and Protestant (5%). The Philippines is positioned off the southeastern coast of Asia, directly east of Vietnam and northeast of Malaysia. This island nation is literally surrounded by the Pacific Ocean, and many smaller bodies of water including the , , Sula Sea and the South China Sea. Like Indonesia, the Philippines has a vast coastline of 22,549 miles (36,289 km). The Philippine islands, positioned on the Ring of Fire, are subject to frequent earthquakes and volcanic eruptions. The Mayon Volcano is the most active in the Philippines, and is considered one of the most dangerous on Earth. However, it does not stand alone. In 1991, Mount Pinatubo erupted and proved to be one of the most significant volcanic events in 48

NCC Bulldogs love the Geography Bee! recorded history. Spanning about 1,100 miles (North to South), its many volcanic islands are mostly mountainous, with narrow coastal plains. Many islands are covered by tropical rain forest. Luzon is the largest island, followed by , and both have numerous volcanoes. The longest river is the Cagayan (Río Grande de Cagayan) on Luzon, 217 miles, (350 km) long. Other significant rivers (on Luzon) include the Abra, Bicol, Chico, and Pampanga. On Mindanao, important rivers include the Mindanao River and the Agusan. Laguna de Bay, just southeast of Manila, is the largest lake of the Philippines. Lake Taal, also south of Manila, occupies a huge volcanic crater and contains an island that is itself a volcano. Lake Lanao is the largest lake of Mindanao and the source of the Agusan River. The highest point in the country is Mt. Apo at 9,692 ft. (2,954 m) and the lowest point is sea level. The Philippines is tropical, very warm and humid throughout the year, and are subject to seasonal monsoon rains (May - October) and (November - February). Annual rainfall is heavy but varies widely. The greatest amounts Fall along the mountainous east coasts of Luzon, Samar, and the northern tip of Mindanao. The Philippines (especially the eastern coasts of Luzon and Samar) are also subject to frequent typhoons (the same as hurricanes) (July - October). On average, five may cause significant destruction each year. Between March and May, hot, dry weather prevails across the islands, with high humidity levels. Temperatures in Manila range from 70° F to 90° F, with an average annual temperature of 80° F.

1. Much of Philippine culture, including language, place names and food are influenced by the past colonial rule by what European country? ______2. Like Indonesia, the Philippines has many active volcanoes. Which active volcano located on the island of Luzon had a major eruption in 1991? ______3. Surrounded by the Pacific Ocean, name three of the small seas that border the Philippines. ______, ______, and ______4. The Philippine archipelago is comprised of more than ______islands. 5. What is meant by the term ring of fire? ______6. What is a ? Draw one below. What animals might you see there?


NCC Bulldogs love the Geography Bee! Japan

Steeped in centuries of culture and history, Japan, an archipelago of four major islands (Hokkaido, Honshu, Shikoku and Kyushu) and over 4,000 smaller islands, is a mostly mountainous country with only 15% of its land cultivable. As a result, its largest cities ring the coastline -18,486 miles (29,751 km) long. The mammoth and dense metropolis (and capital city) of (metro population of 31.8 million), and the other huge cities along the Pacific Ocean are home to most of Japan’s 127.8 million people. Despite its relatively small land area and moderate sized population, Japan has the second largest industrialized economy in the world behind the U.S. Japan is a world leader in technology, electronics and automobiles. Japan’s cities have a fast-paced culture and excitement, especially in Tokyo and Osaka. However, the rural coastal villages and wilderness areas, the winter wonderland of Sapporo, and remote islands exist as well. The official language is Japanese and main religions include Buddhist and Shinto (85%). Positioned off the eastern coast of Asia, east of the Korean Peninsula, this island country is bordered by the Philippine Sea, , (East Sea), and the North Pacific Ocean. A long ridge of rugged mountains runs through the heart of Japan, punctuated by steep treelined slopes, and deep valleys on the Pacific Ocean side, and lower hills and mountains along the Sea of Japan side. The main interior mountain ranges include the Akaishi, Hido and Kiso, where elevations exceed 9,800 ft. (3,000 m). The country's highest point, Mt. Fuji, southwest of Tokyo, is a dormant volcano with a height of 12,388 ft. (3,776 m). The lowest point in Japan is Lake Hachirogata at -13 ft. (-4 m) below sea level. Like many other island nations of eastern Asia, the islands of Japan are located on the Ring of Fire and as a result suffer from frequent, violent earthquakes and some serious volcanic activity. A small series of plains are situated along the coastal areas. A notable number of (very short) rivers flow briskly down the mountains into the coastal areas. The largest river in Japan is the Shinano. The weather in Japan varies dramatically north to south, and many travelers feel the ideal months to visit are March through May. In the northern reaches of the country, the summers are warm and comfortable, while winters are long and cold. In the central regions, summers are hot and


NCC Bulldogs love the Geography Bee! humid, and winters short. In the southwestern areas, summer weather can be subtropical, very hot and humid, with mild winters. The islands of Japan receive significant amounts of rain, with the highest amounts occurring during summer and early fall.

1. Which of Japan’s four major islands is home to the capital city of Tokyo? ______2. Because major mountain chains cover most of Japan, only ______% of the land is cultivable (can be used to grow crops). 3. Japan has the second largest ______in the world; only the United States is larger. 4. Name the four seas surrounding the islands of Japan. ______, ______, ______and ______5. Draw a scene from any Japan location (urban, suburban, rural) and label.


NCC Bulldogs love the Geography Bee! The Korean Peninsula (North and South Korea)

Archaeological evidence on the Korean Peninsula indicates that humans inhabited this land some 500,000 years ago. In the last century much has happened on this volatile land. In a land-grab, Japan annexed the entire peninsula in 1905, but at the end of World War II in 1945, Korea was split into North and South, with the 38th parallel the general demarcation line. In many cases, were literally split in two by this action. Five years later, in 1950, North Korea, with from China and the former , tried to conquer the southern region, but was defeated by the army of the South Korean Republic which was backed by the United States. Today, North and South Korea are as different as black and white when economies, living conditions and personal freedoms are compared, but on the Korean Peninsula today there are millions of people still hoping for the eventual reunification of their common culture and extended families.

North Korea (Democratic People's Republic of Korea) ~ Population approx. 25 million ~ Capital City Pyongyang (2.6 million) metro (3.4 million) ~ Languages: Korean ~ Religions: Buddhist, Confucianism, some Christian ~ Coastline 1,550 miles (2,495 km)

North Korea occupies the northern half of the Korean Peninsula, which extends southward from the Asian continent and China. North Korea is bordered by China, Russia and South Korea, and by the Korean Bay, Yellow Sea and East Sea (Sea of Japan). North Korea is an economically and socially isolated nation which is closed to


NCC Bulldogs love the Geography Bee! foreigners. Its totalitarian government does not allow travel to and from the country and little is known about life for average North Koreans. North Korea is composed of a series of medium-sized mountain ranges and large hills, most separated by deep, narrow valleys. The highest peak is located on its northern border with China at Paektu-san at 9,002 ft. (2,744 m).

Along the west coast there are wide coastal plains, while along the Sea of Japan coastline, narrow plains rise into mountains. Similarly to South Korea, dozens of small islands dot the western coastline. North Korea’s longest river is the Yulu (Yalu). Other large rivers include the Tumen, Taedang and Imjin. The lowest point is sea level. North Korea experiences long, cold, and somewhat dry winters. Summers are brief; often hot (central and south) and quite humid. Winter temperatures (November - February) seldom rise above 32º F, and temps below -10º F are not uncommon. Summers (June - August) enjoy high temperatures in the 80s. Approximately 65% of North Korea's annual rainfall occurs between June and September. South Korea (Republic of Korea) Unlike North Korea, South Korea has a democratic government with elected leaders and an open society. Despite its young age, the new South Korea has made great strides in becoming an important, leading industrialized nation. Following years of on-going political rancor and much-needed social policy changes, the modern, transformed country of South Korea, and its dramatically expanded economy garnered the world's attention in a big way by successfully staging the Summer Olympics of 1988, and the 2002 soccer World Cup. South Korea is a growing and prosperous industrial economy focused on technology, consumer products, heavy machinery and automobiles. Tourism is also now growing rapidly, especially in the Australian and Asian markets.

~ Population approx. 49 million ~ Capital City Seoul (9.8 million) metro (20.5 million) ~ Languages: Korean, English ~ Religions: No affiliation (46%), Buddhist (26%) Christian (26%) ~ Coastline 1,499 miles (2,413 km)

South Korea occupies the southern half of the Korean Peninsula, which extends southward from the Asian continent. South Korea is bordered by North Korea, and by the Yellow Sea, East Sea (Sea of Japan) and the Korea Strait. South Korea shares much of the same geography and


NCC Bulldogs love the Geography Bee! climate as North Korea. South Korea is very hilly and mountainous in the east, where the Taebaek Mountains dominate the landscape. The hilly land (central) slopes toward the West and becomes undulating coastal plains where most of the people live and useable agricultural land is found. The country's highest point is Mt. Halla-san, an extinct volcano located on Cheju Island at 6,398 ft. (1,950 m). The lowest point is sea level.The western and southern coastlines are covered by thousands of islands and narrow channels. Significant rivers include the Kum, Han and Naktong. The weather in South Korea is of the four-seasons variety: Spring is chilly with frequent drizzle; summers are hot and often rainy, with the heaviest rainfall during the monsoon season (June - July). The fall months are beautiful and pleasant as dry cooler winds blow in from the North. Winters bring much colder conditions with snow or rain. Milder winter temperatures are the norm along the southern coastal islands. Winter high temperatures (November - February) seldom rise above 45º F, and in the higher elevations, low temperatures below -10º F are common. Summers (June - August) enjoy high temperatures in the 80s, and in the far south, conditions border on tropical.

1. Archeological evidence indicates that humans have lived on the Korean Peninsula over ______years ago. 2. In 1945, following decades of occupation by Japan, Korea was split into two countries at what parallel (latitude) line? ______3. South Korea’s highest point is an extinct volcano Mt. Halla-san located on ______island. 4. The capital city of North Korea is ______. 5. In box #1, draw and label a scene from North Korea. In box #2, draw a scene from South Korea and label.



NCC Bulldogs love the Geography Bee! Quick Asia Quiz

1. Both the highest point and lowest point on the surface of the Earth are located in Asia. What is the highest point? ______What is the lowest point? ______2. Asia is generally separated into four regions. Can you name all four? ______. ______, ______, ______3. Two Asian countries are “trans-continental” because they span both Asia and Europe. One such country is Russia. Can you name the other? ______4. The two highest mountains on Earth can be found in what Asian range? ______5. What is the name of the north-to-south mountain range that separates European Russia from Asian Russia? ______6. Which Asian country has the largest population of any nation on Earth: China or India? ______7. The deepest lake on Earth is ______, located in ______. 8. The largest island chain or archipelago is also this Asian country? ______9. Many Asian countries including Japan, the Philippines and Indonesia have active volcanoes. What is the name of the chain of volcanoes that connect all of these mountains along the Pacific Ocean? ______10. Can you name the three countries that share the large island of Borneo? ______, ______, and ______11. The second highest mountain on Earth is K2 located in what country? ______12. Many Southeast Asian countries are affected by heavy late summer rains (June – September) called ______. 13. The ______is one of Earth’s most important rivers because it drains two of the most populous areas on the plant: northern India and Bangladesh. 14. Name the countries of Indochina. ______, ______, and ______15. Japan is very mountainous. How much land in Japan is cultivable? ______16. North and South Korea are separated by a line that crosses which latitude? ______


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Fill in the the continents! 56

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List of Asian Countries and Capitals - study them

Countries Capital Countries Capital Afghanistan Russia Moscow Armenia Yerevan Saudi Arabia Azerbaijan Singapore Singapore Bahrain Al Manamah Sri Lanka Bangladesh DhaDhaka Syria Bhutan Thimpu Taiwan Taipei Brunei Bandar Seri Begawan Tajikistan Dushanbe Cambodia Thailand China Beijing Turkey Ankara East Timor Georgia Tbilisi Turkmenistan Ashgabat India New Dehli United Arab Emirates Abu Dhabi Indonesia Jakarta Uzbekistan Tashkent Iran Tehran Vietnam Ha Noi Iraq Yemen Israel Jerusalem Phillippines, Manila Japan Tokyo Qatar, El Pakistan, Islamad Jordan Amman Kazakhstan Astana South Korea Seoul North Korea Pyongyang Kuwait Kuwait Kyrgyzstan Bishkek Laos Lebanon Beirut Malaysia Kuala Lumpur Maldives Male Mongolia Ulaanbaatar Myanmar Rangoon Nepal Oman Mascat


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Asia-Africa Word Search-Just for Fun




NCC Bulldogs love the Geography Bee! More Geography Resources Want to find out more information about your favorite continent or country? Check out these websites:

Most maps were taken from the website Other resources include:

Don’t forget to also use your MCPS Online Resources!

Hey alright!


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Malawi Lilongwe Algeria Algiers Mali Angola Luanda Mauritania Benin Porto-Novo Mauritius Port Louis Botswana Gaborone Morocco Rabat Burkina Faso Mozambique Burundi Bujumbura Namibia Windhoek Cameroon Yaounde' Niger Niamey Cape Verde Islands Nigeria Abuja Central African Republic Rwanda Chad N'Djamena Sao Tome' and Principe Sao Tome' Comoros Moroni Senegal Dakar Congo Seychelles Victoria Cote d'Ivoire Sierra Leone Freetown Djibouti Djibouti Somalia Egypt South Africa Pretoria Equitorial Guinea Malabo Sudan Eritrea Swaziland Mbabane Ethiopia Addis Ababa Tanzania Dar es Salaam & Gabon Libreville Dodoma Gambia Togo Lome' Ghana Accra Tunisia Tunis Guinea Conakry Uganda Kampala Guinea-Bissau Bissau Democratic Republic of Congo (Zaire) Kenya Nairobi Kinshasa Lesotho Maseru Zambia Lusaka Liberia Monrovia Zimbabwe Harare Libya Tripoli List of African Countries Madagascar Antananarivo