Beyond the beautiful photos and the fun contests that invite kids to write their own captions or even submit their own photos, the site hosts compact video clips of various animals. This would be a great way to introduce the diversity of life on Earth. Every young student is bound to find a favorite creature among the hundred or so profiled.
For social studies lessons, the site also profiles more than four dozen countries all over the globe. Each country profile is objective and informative, designed to captivate kids with images and video. As with the animal profiles, kids can send e-cards full of country information via email. In addition, students and teachers can print out or email the country or animal "profile cards" for use in class.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, this kids' site provides an overwhelming amount of high-quality visual learning tools. Profiles of animals and countries include videos, photos, maps, sounds, and brief fact sheets. The reading level is appropriate for kids as young as second grade and might even provide some motivation for reading instruction in-class. National Geographic has created the perfect one-stop shop for elementary and middle school kids interested in animals or peoples of the world.
Teachers of younger kids will find this easy-to-use educational tool a great way to increase engagement and add extension activities for science and social studies lessons. Interactive games and video clips are arranged by topic. Videos are brief (one to five minutes) and include excerpts from National Geographic's nature films and exploration shows. Kids also can explore sections focused on animals and people, each of which uses printable or downloadable "profile cards" with videos, sounds, and images to teach kids about various creatures and places.
Along with the more educational material, National Geographic Kids also has a Fun Stuff section and an online role-playing game called "Animal Jam," similar in many ways to Disney's Club Penguin. Both of these are really more for fun, but teachers may find some learning value there. "Animal Jam" lets kids play the part of a young animal investigating its world and making friends along the way. If the game put more emphasis on learning about the planet and a little less on socializing, it would have more potential as a classroom tool.