Showing posts with label National Geographic Kids. Show all posts
Showing posts with label National Geographic Kids. Show all posts

Saturday, August 10, 2019

Try This! - A Series of Hands-on Science Lessons for Kids

Try This! is a series of videos produced by National Geographic Kids. Each of the videos in the series presents a hands-on science lesson or experiment that elementary school and middle school kids will enjoy.

Middle school students can probably do all of the experiments in the Try This! series on their own. Elementary school students will need some help from adults. As you can see in the couple of videos from the series that I have embedded below, each video states the concept that can be taught with the experiment and concludes with a brief explanation of what happened in the experiment.

Applications for Education
If you're elementary school teacher who is looking for some hands-on science lessons to do with your students, the Try This! series could be a good source of inspiration for you. This could also be a good resource to share with parents who are looking for fun and educational activities to do at home with their kids.

Friday, August 9, 2019

27 Birds, 27 States - A Good Nat Geo Series for Kids

A few years ago National Geographic Kids started publishing a series of videos called 50 Birds, 50 States. For some reason they never got beyond 27 states. The 27 videos that were released do present a fun way for students to learn some basic facts about each state.

The videos are presented as animated rap videos featuring a bald eagle and the state bird of the state that the video features. For example, the video about Maine features an animated chickadee rapping with an animated bald eagle. Is it a bit hokey? Yes, it is. Would elementary school students like it? Yes, they probably will. You can find the videos here on the National Geographic Kids website or here on YouTube.

Applications for Education
The YouTube versions of these videos are good candidates to be used in services like EDpuzzle to develop simple video lessons for students to complete on their own or with guidance from you.

Here's my tutorial on how to use EDpuzzle to create a video-based lesson.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

National Geographic Big Cats Education

One of the features in this month's issue of National Geographic is Big Cats in Danger. Next month the National Geographic Channel is running a series that they're calling Big Cats Week. To accompany the television and print features, National Geographic Education has a number of lesson activities, videos, and interactive maps.

National Geographic Education's Big Cats section contains nine lesson activities. There are two lessons for K-2 students, two lessons for grades 3-5, and five lessons for students in grades 6-12. Each lesson is designed to promote thinking about the threats to big cat populations and conservation efforts. Each of the lessons includes the use of images, videos, and other multimedia resources like this map and timeline that shows the decline of lion  habitat from the 19th Century through today.

Applications for Education
Perhaps it's just my own predisposition, but I remember being fascinated by lions and tigers when I was a little kid. If your students are also fascinated by the big cats, these lessons from National Geographic could be a good way to get your students thinking about habitat, adaptation, and conservation.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Check Out the New National Geographic Education Site

National Geographic recently unveiled a new education section for students and teachers. This morning I spent some time exploring the new site and its great offerings. I was impressed by what I found on the new site.

National Geographic Education offers a great map making tool. Map Maker Interactive offers six themes on which users can create custom map displays. Within each theme there are subcategories to choose from. For example, you can select the theme Physical Systems Land then choose Tectonic Plates to display on your map. Map Maker Interactive also provides drawing tool and marker icons that you can place on your map. Overall, the ease of use and the variety of themes makes Map Maker Interactive an excellent alternative to creating maps on Google Maps.

The multimedia gallery on National Geographic Education offers a new option for a "teachers" view. The teachers view provides discussion questions, fast facts, and a list of key vocabulary terms associated with each video or slideshow.

National Geographic Education now offers a new collection of hands-on classroom activities addressing topics in geography and environmental science. The activities are targeted toward elementary and middle school students.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Resources for Teaching & Learning About Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving, in the US, is less than a week away. If you have school next week and you are looking for some resources for teaching and learning about Thanksgiving, I have some things for you.

Where Does Thanksgiving Grow? is a neat data set produced by Linda Zellmer at Western Illinois State University. The data sets contain information about where the main ingredients in Thanksgiving meal come from. The data sets are displayed on maps showing you which states produce the most and least of each ingredient. For example, click on the turkey production data set and you will see that in 2007 Minnesota and North Carolina were the leading producers of turkeys. You can access the data sets individually or as a comprehensive PDF poster.

If you're looking for a writing activity to do with the students in advance of Thanksgiving, National Geographic Kids offers a Mad Libs-like story writing activity. Funny Fill-In generates a funny Thanksgiving story based on the words that kids write in response to Thanksgiving prompts.

James Hollis at Teachers Love SMART Boards has developed an excellent list of Thanksgiving lessons that can be done using a SMART Board or other interactive whiteboard.

ABC Teach has numerous free lesson plans, coloring pages, and offline games that are designed for elementary school use. has a dozen videos related to the origins and history of Thanksgiving as well as video about current Thanksgiving traditions. Below I've embedded History of Thanksgiving, but I also recommend watching Mayflower Deconstructed.

Last, but certainly not least, Larry Ferlazzo has an extensive list of Thanksgiving lesson resources. In general, if there is a holiday in the US, Larry has a list for it.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Learn About Owls & Virtually Dissect a Pellet

Kid Wings is a site designed to provide teachers and students with information and learning experiences about owls. The site has distinct web 1.0 feel, but none-the-less offers some good stuff for students and teachers. The highlight of Kid Wings is the virtual owl pellet dissection activity. In the virtual owl pellet dissection students pick apart an owl pellet, examine the bones inside it, then match those bones to the skeleton outline they've been provided. The names of the bones are read aloud to students when they click on the bones.

In addition to the virtual owl pellet dissection, Kid Wings offers some informational graphics about the anatomy of birds, bird photographs, bird call recordings, and some resources specifically for teachers.

After exploring Kid Wings I took a look at National Geographic's website in search of some more information about owls. On National Geographic's site I discovered a couple of nice resources about Snowy Owls. National Geographic Kids has a nice little photo essay about Snowy Owls and a map of the Snowy Owls' range. I also found the following two minute video about Snowy Owls.

Applications for Education
The Kid Wings and National Geographic resources about owls could be useful in an elementary school science lesson. After showing students the video of the snowy owl in flight, have them try one of the flight experiments outlined in teachers' resource section of Kid Wings.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

One Last Thanksgiving Resource

If you're looking for an educational activity to do with the children in your life on Thanksgiving, National Geographic Kids offers a Mad Libs-like story writing activity. Funny Fill-In generates a funny Thanksgiving story based on the words that kids write in response to Thanksgiving prompts. If you don't use this at home tomorrow, consider bookmarking it for next year.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

A Cute Lesson About Lions

The Telegraph recently posted this short video of three rare white lion cubs. The video could make a cute introduction to a lesson on genetics as your class explores how traits are passed from parents to offspring.

If you're working with younger students, National Geographic Kids has an informational slideshow about lions designed for elementary school students. National Geographic Kids also offers a short video and a short audio recording of a lion roaring.

National Geographic Halloween Quizzes and Games

National Geographic Kids is currently offering some games, quizzes, and offline activity suggestions for Halloween-themed fun. All of the activities are designed for elementary school students. In the quiz section you will find a quiz about Halloween and a quiz about Edgar Allan Poe. The games section offers a Mad Libs like game about Halloween and a "spooky" e-card game. The activities category offers ideas to students and parents for pumpkin carving designs as well as costume designs.

In addition to the National Geographic Kids Halloween resources, I suggest checking out Larry Ferlazzo's list of Halloween resources.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Fun Dinosaur Games and Lesson Plans

As an elementary school student I loved reading books about dinosaurs and I especially enjoyed a field trip to a local museum where we could look at fossils and touch fossil replicas. I also had a collection of plastic model dinosaurs. Recently, one of my friends mentioned in an email that his son is now into learning about dinosaurs. Reading that email prompted me to look for a few web-based games about Dinosaurs. Here are some of the better items that I found.

1. Discovery Channel's Dinosaur Central has games, quizzes, puzzles, and a virtual prehistoric zoo. Students can also go back in time to see, displayed on a map, the dinosaurs that walked in different places of the earth.

2. Kids Dinos is a part of the Kids Know It Network. Kids Dinos offers elementary school students an easy-to-navigate and easy-to-understand database of dinosaur information. Students can learn the names of various dinosaurs through a flashcard game. Kids Dinos also offers students fun activities like "make your own dinosaur," "dinosaur memory," "dinosaur hangman," or "dinosaur painter."

3. The Dinosphere is a website hosted by The Children's Museum of Indianapolis. In the Dinosphere students can choose from five games and activities including building a virtual dinosaur.

4. Scholastic offers students a dinosaur tour, a dinosaur picture book, and a "digging for dinosaurs" fact hunt. Scholastic offers teachers some lesson plans and research projects about dinosaurs.

5. National Geographic Kids has a few dinosaur themed games and displays including this dinosaur brain teaser game. On National Geographic Xpeditions teachers will find a handful of lesson plans like How Do Scientists Find Dinosaur Fossils? that can be used for teaching about dinosaurs in elementary school classrooms.

On the topic of dinosaurs, Snag Films offers National Geographic's Dinosaur Hunters: Secrets of the Gobi Desert.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Write an Essay, Win a Trip to Peru

National Geographic Kids, one of my favorite educational websites, is holding an essay contest. The contest requires students to write a 300 word essay about what they have discovered as a "hands-on" explorer of their world. The contest also requires an original photograph depicting the theme of the essay. The winner of the contest will join the National Geographic Kids expedition to Peru. You can read all of the contest rules and requirements here.

National Geographic Kids is also holding a contest for teachers through which they can also win a trip to Peru. In order to enter the contest teachers must conduct a lesson plan about Peru and write a 500 word essay about the best practices for teaching about Peru. Read all of the requirements for the teacher contest here.

Thanks to Karen at Teaching and Learning Spanish for the tip about this contest.

Applications for Education
Having your students write essays for this contest could be a good way to get students to explore the habit around them. Take your students for a walk outside around your school to let students make observations about their environment. Then bring them inside to work on writing a essay about their observations.