National Geographic's Education Activities for Grades 6-8 is a collection of lesson plans and resources for class activities related to both science and history. In addition to the site's own content, there are links to resources from a number of trusted sources, including PBS, various museums, and historical sites. Activity pages feature vivid images, detailed worksheets, lesson plans, and handouts.
To best utilize the site, toggle between the site's Educators, Students, and Families selections -- though most of the resources are found within the Educators view. Some pages also toggle helpfully between English and Spanish. As you search the site, keep in mind that some of the activities here are more detailed and well-conceived than others. Use the Related-Topics list and Related-Materials menus to find other resources related to the same topic, time period, or general subject area. If an interesting lesson plan doesn't have the depth you're looking for, you can still link it to other activities on the site. Overall, there's enough solid content here on a variety of subjects (especially sustainability, the environment, and exploration) to make it a usable resource.Continue reading Show less
Key Standards Supported
Reading History/Social Studies
Integrate visual information (e.g., in charts, graphs, photographs, videos, or maps) with other information in print and digital texts.
Determine the central ideas or information of a primary or secondary source; provide an accurate summary of the source distinct from prior knowledge or opinions.
Identify key steps in a text’s description of a process related to history/social studies (e.g., how a bill becomes law, how interest rates are raised or lowered).
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 author’s purpose in providing an explanation, describing a procedure, or discussing an experiment in a text.
Integrate quantitative or technical information expressed in words in a text with a version of that information expressed visually (e.g., in a flowchart, diagram, model, graph, or table).
Compare and contrast the information gained from experiments, simulations, video, or multimedia sources with that gained from reading a text on the same topic.
Determine the central ideas or conclusions of a text; provide an accurate summary of the text distinct from prior knowledge or opinions.
Follow precisely a multistep procedure when carrying out experiments, taking measurements, or performing technical tasks.
Key Standards Supported
Earth and Human Activity
Apply scientific principles to design a method for monitoring and minimizing a human impact on the environment.
Ask questions to clarify evidence of the factors that have caused the rise in global temperatures over the past century.
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.
Define the criteria and constraints of a design problem with sufficient precision to ensure a successful solution, taking into account relevant scientific principles and potential impacts on people and the natural environment that may limit possible solutions.
Evaluate competing design solutions using a systematic process to determine how well they meet the criteria and constraints of the problem.
Analyze data from tests to determine similarities and differences among several design solutions to identify the best characteristics of each that can be combined into a new solution to better meet the criteria for success.
Develop a model to generate data for iterative testing and modification of a proposed object, tool, or process such that an optimal design can be achieved.
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.
Motion and Stability: Forces and Interactions
Plan an investigation to provide evidence that the change in an object’s motion depends on the sum of the forces on the object and the mass of the object.
Ask questions about data to determine the factors that affect the strength of electric and magnetic forces.
Conduct an investigation and evaluate the experimental design to provide evidence that fields exist between objects exerting forces on each other even though the objects are not in contact.