BioGraphic is a valuable resource for teachers because of its high-quality content and lack of ads or paywalls. Teachers can include its material in any geography, biology, ecology, or environmental science class. Encourage younger students to pick a topic covered on the site and research it further. Older students can research additional places, species, systems, and solutions that aren't covered on the site, perhaps even topics local to your area, where they can also take their own photographs or videos.
Since bioGraphic is intended to be a reference site, it's up to teachers to find out how best to work it into lessons or create meaning for their students. Have your students browse the site, reading articles that interest them, exploring themes, and watching videos. Then have them write response papers on what they thought, or have them share what they've learned with the class. Students with similar interests can work together to learn more about them, or to discover projects in your local area.Continue reading Show less
BioGraphic is a nonprofit, multimedia nature magazine run by the California Academy of Sciences. It's filled with impressive photos and videos that highlight animals, plants, places, natural systems, and the people who are working to implement solutions -- such as technologies, tools, and ideas -- to keep our environment running sustainably, combating threats to our environment and our planet's future. The site includes photo galleries, videos, articles, photo essays, spotlighted animal stories, and more, which generally focus on one species or one area that's threatened, or one kind of technology that might help.
By diving deep into a topic, students learn -- both locally and on a grander scale -- about environmental challenges, adaptations, possible solutions, and why it's all important. They learn specifics about how climate change is affecting ecosystems and how animal species manage to survive, along with getting a close look at local areas, through illustrative photographs and videos paired with compelling narratives.
The site's search capabilities are simple but effective, and each of the resources lists related topics/content at the bottom of the page, making it easy to connect similar content.
It's fantastic for browsing, with students following wherever their interests take them, but bioGraphic's basic search capabilities and general topics can also give them a bit of guidance. Regardless of how students get to the content, they'll come away with detailed knowledge of how animals live in the wild along with a better idea of challenges that currently face our planet. The high-quality imagery combined with top-notch writing and reporting speak to students on more than one level, leaving them with inspiration to learn more about all kinds of animal species and areas of the world. They may also be inspired to learn more about technologies being developed to combat climate change and to guide our planet in a healthy direction.
Students will learn about how animals survive in our changing world, about specific places and habitats that need protection, about how Earth's systems are affected by climate change, and about people working to protect the environment. Scientific discoveries and conservation issues, along with solutions to major sustainability problems, are also highlighted. Students may even be inspired to work toward creating change in their own community.
Key Standards Supported
Cite specific textual evidence to support analysis of science and technical texts.
Determine the central ideas or conclusions of a text; provide an accurate summary of the text distinct from prior knowledge or opinions.
Determine the meaning of symbols, key terms, and other domain-specific words and phrases as they are used in a specific scientific or technical context relevant to grades 6–8 texts and topics.
Analyze the structure an author uses to organize a text, including how the major sections contribute to the whole and to an understanding of the topic.
Analyze the author’s purpose in providing an explanation, describing a procedure, or discussing an experiment in a text.
Distinguish among facts, reasoned judgment based on research findings, and speculation in a text.
Compare and contrast the information gained from experiments, simulations, video, or multimedia sources with that gained from reading a text on the same topic.
By the end of grade 8, read and comprehend science/technical texts in the grades 6–8 text complexity band independently and proficiently.
Cite specific textual evidence to support analysis of science and technical texts, attending to the precise details of explanations or descriptions.
Determine the central ideas or conclusions of a text; trace the text’s explanation or depiction of a complex process, phenomenon, or concept; provide an accurate summary of the text.
Determine the meaning of symbols, key terms, and other domain-specific words and phrases as they are used in a specific scientific or technical context relevant to grades 9–10 texts and topics.
Analyze the structure of the relationships among concepts in a text, including relationships among key terms (e.g., force, friction, reaction force, energy).
Analyze the author’s purpose in providing an explanation, describing a procedure, or discussing an experiment in a text, defining the question the author seeks to address.
Assess the extent to which the reasoning and evidence in a text support the author’s claim or a recommendation for solving a scientific or technical problem.
Compare and contrast findings presented in a text to those from other sources (including their own experiments), noting when the findings support or contradict previous explanations or accounts.
By the end of grade 10, read and comprehend science/technical texts in the grades 9–10 text complexity band independently and proficiently.
Cite specific textual evidence to support analysis of science and technical texts, attending to important distinctions the author makes and to any gaps or inconsistencies in the account.
Determine the central ideas or conclusions of a text; summarize complex concepts, processes, or information presented in a text by paraphrasing them in simpler but still accurate terms.
Determine the meaning of symbols, key terms, and other domain-specific words and phrases as they are used in a specific scientific or technical context relevant to grades 11–12 texts and topics.
Analyze how the text structures information or ideas into categories or hierarchies, demonstrating understanding of the information or ideas.
Analyze the author’s purpose in providing an explanation, describing a procedure, or discussing an experiment in a text, identifying important issues that remain unresolved.
Integrate and evaluate multiple sources of information presented in diverse formats and media (e.g., quantitative data, video, multimedia) in order to address a question or solve a problem.
Evaluate the hypotheses, data, analysis, and conclusions in a science or technical text, verifying the data when possible and corroborating or challenging conclusions with other sources of information.
Synthesize information from a range of sources (e.g., texts, experiments, simulations) into a coherent understanding of a process, phenomenon, or concept, resolving conflicting information when possible.
By the end of grade 12, read and comprehend science/technical texts in the grades 11–12 text complexity band independently and proficiently.
Key Standards Supported
Earth and Human Activity
Apply scientific principles to design a method for monitoring and minimizing a human impact on the environment.
Evaluate or refine a technological solution that reduces impacts of human activities on natural systems.
Analyze geoscience data and the results from global climate models to make an evidence-based forecast of the current rate of global or regional climate change and associated future impacts to Earth systems.
Use a computational representation to illustrate the relationships among Earth systems and how those relationships are being modified due to human activity.
Use a model to describe how variations in the flow of energy into and out of Earth's systems result in changes in climate.
Ecosystems: Interactions, Energy, and Dynamics
Construct an argument supported by empirical evidence that changes to physical or biological components of an ecosystem affect populations.
Evaluate competing design solutions for maintaining biodiversity and ecosystem services.
Evaluate the claims, evidence, and reasoning that the complex interactions in ecosystems maintain relatively consistent numbers and types of organisms in stable conditions, but changing conditions may result in a new ecosystem.
Design, evaluate, and refine a solution for reducing the impacts of human activities on the environment and biodiversity.
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