Teachers can use the National Geographic Education site as a trusted resource for geography-based lessons, as well as lessons for other subjects that can be rooted in geography, such as weather, animals, history, and culture. Resources are available for pre-K to higher education in formats such as activities, videos, photos, interactives, maps, educator guides, and more. In fact, there's so much on offer that teachers may need to browse before searching just to get a sense of the breadth of what's available. As teachers discover useful resources, they can sign in to bookmark and organize them into collections for each topic or class. Saved resources can then be searched.
Use the preplanned activities as lesson plans to cover topics in your curriculum. Use the photos, videos, and interactives to supplement lessons. Check out the What to Teach This Month section (in the Classroom Resources tab), which highlights resources that are timely and relatable. Design entire individual or group projects around the MapMaker Interactive option. It's a powerful and captivating format for telling stories about places, travel, natural and human resources, and change over time. Use the one-page maps for quick homework assignments, asking students to map locations, resources, or routes throughout the world. Also consider downloading a MapMaker Kit so that the class can print and assemble giant maps of the world, continents, or other areas and do accompanying activities. The website is great for homework help as well (vocabulary and encyclopedic entries provide reference information), along with free exploration.
For classrooms wanting to get more involved, there's also the GeoChallenge competition where students devise solutions to real-world problems. Students might also enjoy the Explorer Classroom events featuring scientists, researchers, and storytellers, and Student Matinees, which are basically field trips to locations around the United States and the world.Continue reading Show less
The National Geographic Education website offers high-quality, standards-based resources relating to geography and other topics, such as world history, biology, oceanography, ecology, engineering, cartography, and current events. It focuses on classroom resources -- for pre-K through adult -- but also includes sections for teacher professional development, special student challenges and experiences, and a blog, which includes articles that offer a personal perspective on geographic topics. Classroom resources fall into three general sections: the Resource Library, Mapping resources, and Explorer Magazine.
The Resource Library is the heart of the site. The Library includes activities, articles, collections, educator guides, encyclopedic entries, historical articles, ideas, images, interactives, games, lessons, maps, media, photos, unit studies, and videos. Each element of the Resource Library lists the topics and subtopics it addresses and designates the grades (from pre-K through higher education) of the intended audience. Users can also search by subject (from human and physical geography to algebra to U.S. history), grade, content type, and keyword. Some resources have been curated into thematic collections, such as Landforms and Landscapes or Westward Expansion, and some are in unit studies, such as for the sinking of the Titanic, which gathers together a multitude of materials relating to the tragedy. There are also plenty of links to quality external resources.
The Mapping resources are invaluable tools for classrooms of all grades. The one-page maps can be customized and generated for the world, countries, and states and provinces. Geographic features, cities, borders, and other items can be labeled or left off, and users can draw on the map or add different kinds of markers. The maps can then be downloaded in several formats and printed for classroom or homework use. MapMaker Interactive is a more modern, zoomable map-making application that's also extensively customizable. Users choose from seven different base maps and then can add layers from dozens of options, including animal ranges, climate and weather, and U.S. history. Users can also draw on the maps with lines and shapes, and different kinds of markers can be added. Map pages can be collected together to tell a geographic story.
Explorer Magazine provides interactive content in grade-specific editions for K-5/6. Teachers and students can access current and back issues of Lexile-leveled material providing interactive visuals, audio, and more, packaging compelling and easily accessible content for younger students. This section includes teacher's guides and projectables, and the magazine is also available in Spanish.
Amazing videos and mesmerizing photos of animal life, natural phenomena, world events, and culture give students a firsthand look at the world and make learning come alive. Students won't just passively read dry text here; lesson plans, offline activity suggestions (art, scavenger hunts, and discussion questions), online games, and reference materials lead to deeper learning and give teachers creative ideas for constructing lessons and units. There's also an important and inspiring overall message encouraging students to learn more about the world and become responsible, "geo-literate" citizens.
The website's resources are ideal to integrate into both formal and informal education. Students can take virtual field trips, study maps of the world through history or themed by topic, engage with and discuss the high-quality resources with their class, and create their own map-based stories and projects. The Explorer Magazine option makes content feel even more approachable and familiar. The site contains everything from basic vocabulary and encyclopedic references to complete lesson plans for classroom use. Curated collections can also focus students' attention on multimedia materials for their study topic, and any user with an account can save resources and organize them into collections for research and projects. Students can work independently or as directed by teachers. While the resources are grounded in geography, there's a focus on merging the study of our physical and cultural world with other classroom topics, creating cross-curricular connections.
The amount of content on the site can be overwhelming, especially since there are no classroom or student tracking features, but this site will immerse students in all things geography, and they'll come out the other side with a better understanding of their place in the world, physically and metaphorically.
Key Standards Supported
Biological Evolution: Unity and Diversity
Use evidence to construct an explanation for how the variations in characteristics among individuals of the same species may provide advantages in surviving, finding mates, and reproducing.
Construct an argument with evidence that in a particular habitat some organisms can survive well, some survive less well, and some cannot survive at all.
Construct an explanation based on evidence that describes how genetic variations of traits in a population increase some individuals’ probability of surviving and reproducing in a specific environment.
Evaluate the evidence supporting claims that changes in environmental conditions may result in: (1) increases in the number of individuals of some species, (2) the emergence of new species over time, and (3) the extinction of other species.
Earth and Human Activity
Apply scientific principles to design a method for monitoring and minimizing a human impact on the environment.
Construct an argument supported by evidence for how increases in human population and per-capita consumption of natural resources impact Earth’s systems.
Ask questions to clarify evidence of the factors that have caused the rise in global temperatures over the past century.
Evaluate competing design solutions for developing, managing, and utilizing energy and mineral resources based on cost-benefit ratios.
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.
Analyze geoscience data to make the claim that one change to Earth’s surface can create feedbacks that cause changes to other Earth systems.
Use a model to describe how variations in the flow of energy into and out of Earth's systems result in changes in climate.
Develop a quantitative model to describe the cycling of carbon among the hydrosphere, atmosphere, geosphere, and biosphere.
Ecosystems: Interactions, Energy, and Dynamics
Analyze and interpret data to provide evidence for the effects of resource availability on organisms and populations of organisms in an ecosystem.
Construct an explanation that predicts patterns of interactions among organisms across multiple ecosystems.
Develop a model to describe the cycling of matter and flow of energy among living and nonliving parts of an ecosystem.
Construct an argument supported by empirical evidence that changes to physical or biological components of an ecosystem affect populations.
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.
From Molecules to Organisms: Structures and Processes
Construct a scientific explanation based on evidence for how environmental and genetic factors influence the growth of organisms.
Heredity: Inheritance and Variation of Traits
Use evidence to support the explanation that traits can be influenced by the environment.