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Bring the World into Your Classroom

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When am I ever going to use this? Students are crying out for contexts that help them to make connections to what they are learning. When students can make meaningful connections they learn more and for longer. National Geographic provides a plethora of resources for educators that can be used in any classroom, any subject.

Several years ago I worked with the Bing in the Classroom team to create standards aligned lesson plans. They would send me each day the Bing image of the day that would appear the following week. I will tell you this was challenging. How do I take this picture and what does it have to do with a particular standard? What was rewarding about this was that the lesson tied back to something that was tangible and real in the world.

Who is Bob and why is he carrying 40 watermelons?

All of the resources on National Geographic provide pictures and lesson supports that exist in the real world. Use the 5 E’s lesson plan model: Engage, Explore, Explain, Extend Evaluate. Engage students with the world around them or the world they would like to be in. We can not live in all parts of the world at once but we can take students around the world with the resources we choose.

National Geographic has resources for all grade levels and subjects

Select your grade level

While there is a filter for grade level and subject do not feel constrained to what a lesson is labeled. This lesson on Plankton is for grades 3-5 yet could be upgraded to high school level by increasing the complexity of the questions asked. This could be used as a warm up to a larger lesson, but allows students to make a connection with which they can refer back to in the lesson.

Share to Google Classroom or Microsoft Teams

For each resource find the share icons. You can quickly post to Google Classroom or Microsoft Teams.

Tip: Save as draft

One of my teacher tricks is I post things to Google Classroom as a DRAFT with no intention of posting for students. This is one way I save and organize resources or post reminders to myself where I need to see them.

Bookmark

On the resources is an option to bookmark. Peruse through the resource site and click the bookmark icon to come back later.

Post to Google Calendar

Whether you use Google Calendar, Outlook, or something else… try creating a lesson planning calendar. Google Calendar users can find “Other calendars” and click the plus icon. I use my main default calendar for meetings. I have other calendars I use to help me remember things. If I find a resource I think I will want to use later in the year, rather than only bookmarking it, I will create a calendar event and paste the link to the resource into the description to remind me to come back to it around when I think I am going to use it.

Not every lesson will include something from National Geographic, but I bet there are a few resources you can use to enhance a lesson. See what you can find!

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