While National Geographic Kids isn't well-organized for teachers, it is a fantastic resource for students to explore their interests and follow their curiosity. The site would be a great way to introduce the diversity of life on Earth: Encourage students to learn about new animals, watch the science and geography series, and explore the interactive world map. The Homework Help section can provide additional information for light research papers or projects. Teachers can search, themselves, for resources that match topics they're working on in the classroom.
Teachers of younger students will find this easy-to-use educational tool a great way to increase engagement and add extension activities for science and social studies lessons. Note: Though the site content is free, there are abundant links to subscribe to the National Geographic Kids and National Geographic Little Kids magazines.Continue reading Show less
By building on National Geographic's reputation for breathtaking photography and in-depth reportage about the world's cultures and exotic wildlife, National Geographic Kids provides an overwhelming number of high-quality visual learning tools. Profiles of animals and countries include videos, photos, maps, and facts. Videos are brief (one to five minutes) and include excerpts from National Geographic's nature films and exploration shows. The reading level is appropriate for kids as young as second grade and might even provide some motivation for reading instruction in class.
In the extensive animal section, students can search for animals by type of animal and/or habitat. They can find animal species from the luna moth and desert tortoise to the caracal and wolverine. Each listing gives overview information, scientific name, habitat, range, endangered status, and plenty of other details. Articles add more text to the site's offerings, and students can travel the world with the interactive world map. Along with the more traditional educational material, National Geographic Kids also has a games section that allows students to explore topics such as code breaking, national parks, settling in Jamestown, recycling, Greek gods, and, of course, animals.
National Geographic Kids is well-organized and easy to navigate, even for young students. They can just browse, narrow their browsing to certain areas, or do a keyword search for something specific. In-depth sections of the site include topics such as the 50 Birds, 50 States video series; How Things Work videos; Brain Games; and plenty of experiments. There are also countless animal videos, articles, and activities on history and culture. Allowing kids to search on their own, as well as using the site for targeted lessons or homework help, keeps students involved with guiding the direction of their own learning, which makes for lifelong learners.
The section on animals is where this site really shines, with a seemingly never-ending list of specific animals to study. Kids are bound to find a favorite creature among the hundred or so profiled. For social studies lessons, the site also profiles dozens of countries all over the globe. Each country profile is objective and informative, designed to captivate kids with images and video. National Geographic has created a one-stop shop for elementary and middle school kids interested in animals or peoples of the world.