National Geographic for Teachers
My typical joke is “Who is Bob and why is he carrying 40 watermelons?” As a math teacher pretty much the entire textbook is “who cares?” it’s hard to engage students with contrived word problems. However, I believe students DEEPLY CARE! They want to change the world and be influential. This is what is so amazing about National Geographic, their educator resources are an opportunity to connect student learning to the world around them and around the world.
I am a huge fan of infographics. They are not a poster. They are an analysis and synthesis of data visualized. Check out this infographic on invertebrates. It’s not so complex that students could not make something like this themselves. Be inspired by looking at and analyzing multiple infographics. Ask students to identify elements of the infographic and then have them start to make infographics… ugly ones… they will get better with practice.
Engage, Explore, Explain, Extend, Evaluate
The 5 E’s lesson plan model starts with engage and explore. Engage students with real data, give them a cause to dive deeper in. In this solar infographic from National Geographic students can examine solar solutions and apply math, history, ELA, and other subject areas for debating if solar energy is a viable alternative energy source.
“Students form teams of between four and six people and—through research, collaboration, and creativity—take action on a real-world environmental issue. “
I am a fan of project based learning. Identifying a real world problem and the students find solutions. Through the project their standards are learned, just in time. National Geographic has PBL projects for you to get started with using in your classroom. Real problems for students to tackle!