National Geographic: Habitats for Educators

Name:National Geographic: Habitats for Educators (opens in new tab)

Brief Description of the Site:
According to this National Geographic Education Foundation site, there are six habitats worldwide: Deserts & Tundra, Forests, Fresh Water, Oceans & Coasts, Prairies, and, for many of us, Cities & Suburbs. To help educators teach about these habitats, the site offers photos, maps, related links, and, most important, lesson plans, arranged by grade level, for each. For example, under Fresh Water for Grades 3 – 5 the lesson is “Create a Wetland Scene†while under Prairies for Grades 6 – 8 there’s Prairie-Chicken Pageant. The very comprehensive plans are standards-based, and the main page also offers links to National Geography Standards, National Standards for Social studies Teachers, and National Science Education Standards. Many teachers and students will want to visit the Cities & Suburbs page, which focuses on urban/suburban sprawl and features lessons on designing better suburbs. It also offers links to several fascinating sites that discuss wildlife and biodiversity in major urban areas, including New York City.

How to use the site:
Besides this page specifically for educators, the site offers even more habitat-related materials, including “Explore Your Habitat,†“Games and Activities,†and a “Photo Gallery.†The entire site will not only facilitate your teaching about habitats, ecology, biodiversity, and much more but also inspire you. This beautifully crafted site is also a great place to refresh your knowledge before launching into that new unit.