Science

National Geographic Kids

General Overview

The National Geographic Kids website houses scientific games, videos, articles, and videos that are interesting and aesthetically pleasing. There are quizzes that range from shark facts, space knowledge, animal information, how electricity works, various technological quizzes, holidays, the human body, and more. The best part is that every quiz provides detailed scientific information that can be chosen based on the personal interest of each child. The action game section offers puzzle games, introduces scientific concepts (such as physics), provides scientific facts, and insights about how the world works. My favorite game is called “Recycle Roundup”, in this game you are a monster that walks around picking up trash. You need to separate the items in their proper bins (recycling, compost, or trash); this game teaches children how they can help save the Earth.

There are videos on the site that show amazing animals, exploration (traveling videos), how things work, funny animals, and experiments to try at home. Each video has scientific relevance. My favorite videos are under the exploration category, you can see kids from around the world in some videos, travel to the bottom of the ocean, virtually hike mountains, and see the world. I also enjoyed the “weird but true facts” and “try this” videos! National Geographic Kids also has countless animals to study, U.S. facts to enjoy, history to learn, and space to discover!

Authentic Learning Experienced

National Geographic Kids offers lesson in animals, astronomy, biology, chemistry, Earth science, electricity, inventions, physics, plants, and more. Each topic holds great importance to the real-world that children are discovering every day. Children can learn a great deal about animals; different species, how to take care of them, where they live, and what they eat. They can learn about space; where we live (Earth), planets around us, galaxies, gravity (and how it is different from planet to planet), stars, space rocks, moons, and more! Learning about our biology, every-day chemistry, how we can take care of the Earth, and how things work around us also helps children understand the life around them.

Scientific discovery encourages open-ended inquiry and promotes thinking skills. Asking children how they think something works before they discover how it works might blow them away. Their questions might lead to more questions, making National Geographic Kids a resource that keeps children coming back! Children might even be encouraged to directly ask National Geographic Kids a question that they are unable to find on their site, this would promote social learning and allow them to join an online community of learners. With the wide variety of topics available, children can freely explore topics that interest them, directing their own learning.

Developmentally Appropriate Practices

National Geographic Kids encourages brain development by encouraging children to ask questions, think about topics larger than themselves, use scientific inquiry, lean about the Earth that they are living in, and explore. Using problem solving, inventive, and inquisitive skills are appropriate for all ages. Individually, there are multiple interests for children to pursue. Children can dive into the Jurassic period with dinosaurs, launch into space exploration, investigate the human body, journey into the sea, scale mountains, or just learn more about their favorite animals. Each scientific step is also culturally appropriate; National Geographic Kids allows children from all over the world to learn about different geographic locations physically, culturally, and historically.

Teaching Strategies Gold Objectives

Cognitive

11. Demonstrates positive approaches to learning

               a. Attends and engages

               b. Persists

               c. Solves Problems

               d. Shows curiosity and motivation

               e. Shows flexibility and inventiveness in thinking

12. Remembers and connects experiences

               a. Recognizes and recalls

               b. Makes connections

Science and Technology

24. Uses scientific inquiry skills

25. Demonstrates knowledge of the characteristics of living things

26. Demonstrates knowledge of the physical properties of objects and materials

27. Demonstrates knowledge of Earth’s environment

28. Uses tools and other technology to perform tasks

Grab Bag

Demonstrates knowledge of the physical properties of objects and materials