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Lesson Plans & Videos

Arctic

Title:

Discovering The Arctic: New Places, New Ideas, New Experiences

Grade Level:

6-8; 9-12

Curriculum Focus:

Social Studies, Science

Video Segments:

The Lives of Polar Bears

The Lives of Polar Bears (02:17)
Polar bears have special physical and behavioral adaptations, which help them survive in such an extreme environment.

The Arctic Region

The Arctic Region (01:26)
The Arctic Region of Canada is home to the Inuit people, a harsh climate, and wildlife.

Program Description:

These video chapters explore life and adaptation in the Arctic. The arctic region is too cold for farming; for example, temperatures may rise above freezing just a few weeks a year. Consequently, the soil remains frozen in a permafrost condition. As for inhabitants, aboriginals live here—the Inuit and Amer-Indians are the primary inhabitants of the Arctic region. While they have modern homes and conveniences, many of the Inuit and Amer-Indians choose to hunt seal, fish, and other animals.

Learning Objectives:

After viewing these videos, students will be able to:

  • Compare and analyze societal patterns for preserving and transmitting culture while adapting to environmental or social change
  • Understand an organism’s behavior evolves through adaptation to its environment
  • Understand that populations of organisms can be categorized by the function they serve in an ecosystem

Academic Standards:

National Council for the Social Studies (NCSS) has developed national standards to provide guidance for teaching social studies. To view the standards online, go to http://www.socialstudies.org.

  • Understand the significance of studying culture and cultural diversity
  • Understand global connections and interdependence

National Science Teachers Association (NSTA) has adopted The National Academies Press national standards to provide guidance for teaching science. To view the standards online, go to http://books.nap.edu/openbook.php?isbn=0309053269.

  • Understand population and ecosystems
  • Understand diversity and adaptations of organisms

Download Lesson Plan (PDF)

Australia / New Zealand

Title:

Discovering Australia: New Places, New Ideas, New Experiences

Grade Level:

6-8; 9-12

Curriculum Focus:

Social Studies, Science

Video Segments:

Populations Old and New

Populations Old and New (3:01)
Aboriginal people inhabited Australia for more than 40,000 years before the arrival of British colonists in 1788. Immigration has changed Australia’s demographics considerably, with more than six million new arrivals in the past 60 years. Still, Australia numbers only about 7 percent of the population of the United States.

Unique Wildlife

Unique Wildlife (3:02)
Isolated from the rest of the world, Australia is home to many animals found nowhere else on Earth. Among them are the platypus, kangaroo, koala, and a menagerie of deadly creatures.

Geography and Weather

Geography and Weather (2:58)
Australia is the world’s driest inhabited continent. Though spared from volcanoes and earthquakes, its weather is often a vicious cycle of droughts and floods.

Traditional Culture and Arts

Traditional Culture and Arts (2:49)
Australia is home to one of the world’s oldest surviving cultures. Aborigines pay homage to their ancestors through art, stories, dance, and song.

Program Description:

The purpose of this micro-lesson with accompanying videos is to introduce students to Australia’s geographic characteristics, its cultural history, its peoples, and its art. A fascinating fact about Australia is its peoples—from its many Aboriginal tribes to the thousands of immigrants from Asia, the Middle East, and Europe. In the last 60 years 6 million immigrants have made Australia their home.

Learning Objectives:

After viewing these videos, students will be able to:

  • Compare and analyze societal patterns for preserving and transmitting culture while adapting to environmental or social change
  • Explain how language, art, music, belief systems, and other cultural elements can facilitate global understanding or cause misunderstanding
  • Understand how an organism’s behavior evolves through adaptation to its environment
  • Understand that populations of organisms can be categorized by the function they serve in an ecosystem

Academic Standards:

National Council for the Social Studies (NCSS) has developed national standards to provide guidance for teaching social studies. To view the standards online, go to http://www.socialstudies.org.

  • Understand the significance of studying culture and cultural diversity
  • Understand global connections and interdependence

National Science Teachers Association (NSTA) has adopted The National Academies Press national standards to provide guidance for teaching science. To view the standards online, go to http://books.nap.edu/openbook.php?isbn=0309053269.

  • Understand population and ecosystems
  • Understand diversity and adaptations of organisms

Download Lesson Plan (PDF)

China

Title:

Discovering China: New Places, New Ideas, New Experiences

Grade Level:

6-8; 9-12

Curriculum Focus:

Social Studies, Science/Technology

Video Segments:

The Great Wall

The Great Wall (02:35)
Dating back more than 2,000 years, the Great Wall is a most extraordinary achievement. Although it no longer serves as a barrier against invaders, it has become an important symbol of Chinese identity.

The Forbidden City

The Forbidden City (02:40)
This ornate palace took 100,000 artists and a million workers 14 years to build. Once constructed, only the emperor and his court were allowed inside. Now open to the public, it holds many secrets of life in imperial China.

The History of Kung Fu

The History of Kung Fu (03:00)
In A.D. 527, Buddhist teacher Da Mo developed a series of movements and breathing exercises based his observations of animals. These tools for meditation became the basis of kung fu, one of the world’s most popular martial arts.

Important Inventions

Important Inventions (02:40)
Many inventions we take for granted today, including steel, gunpowder, and paper, originated in China many years before making their way to the West. From A.D. 600 to 1500, China was the most technologically advanced society on Earth.

Program Description:

These video chapters explore the amazing contributions by the Chinese and their ancient culture. From the Great Wall, built by Emperor Qin Shi Huangdi of the Qin (Ch’in) Dynasty and called by the ancient Chinese “Wan-Li Qang-Qeng,” meaning long wall, to the architectural wonder of the Forbidden City, to their many other inventions, we find that the West has learned and benefited from this culture into the present. In so many ways, the West and the East are inextricably connected.

Learning Objectives:

After viewing these videos, students will be able to:

  • Compare and analyze societal patterns for preserving and transmitting culture while adapting to environmental or social change
  • Explain how language, art, music, belief systems, and other cultural elements can facilitate global understanding or cause misunderstanding
  • Understand that science and technology are essential social enterprises involving human decisions about the use of knowledge.

Academic Standards:

National Council for the Social Studies (NCSS) has developed national standards to provide guidance for teaching social studies. To view the standards online, go to http://www.socialstudies.org.

  • Understand the significance of studying culture and cultural diversity
  • Understand global connections and interdependence

National Science Teachers Association (NSTA) has adopted The National Academies Press national standards to provide guidance for teaching science. To view the standards online, go to http://books.nap.edu/openbook.php?isbn=0309053269.

  • Understand science and technology in local, national, and global challenges

Download Lesson Plan (PDF)

Costa Rica

Title:

Discovering Costa Rica: New Places, New Ideas, New Experiences

Grade Level:

6-8; 9-12

Curriculum Focus:

Social Studies, Science

Video Segments:

The Mangrove Swamp

The Mangrove Swamp (06:04)
In the mangrove swamp we encounter the pygmy anteater.

Tracking the Fer-de-Lance

Tracking the Fer-de-Lance (2:53)
In the Selva Biological Center, in Costa Rica, we are able to explore the rainforest. There we spot a Bothrops asper, or fer-de-lance, one of the most feared snakes in the area.

Capuchin Monkey Survival

Capuchin Monkey Survival (4:07)
Jeff discusses the capuchin monkeys’ unique ability to release the muscle of a clam shell by knocking the shell against a tree. Capuchin monkeys have also discovered how to use the chemical properties of piper leaves as an insect repellant.

Program Description:

These video chapters take you into the ecosystems of Costa Rica where you encounter indigenous animals as well as a natural ecosystem. Adaptation and the importance of ecosystems are the foci of these video chapters.

Learning Objectives:

After viewing these videos, students will be able to:

  • Compare and analyze societal patterns for preserving and transmitting culture while adapting to environmental or social change
  • Explain how language, art, music, belief systems, and other cultural elements can facilitate global understanding or cause misunderstanding
  • Understand how an organism’s behavior evolves through adaptation to its environment
  • Understand that populations of organisms can be categorized by the function they serve in an ecosystem

Academic Standards:

National Council for the Social Studies (NCSS) has developed national standards to provide guidance for teaching social studies. To view the standards online, go to http://www.socialstudies.org.

  • Understand the significance of studying culture and cultural diversity
  • Understand global connections and interdependence

National Science Teachers Association (NSTA) has adopted The National Academies Press national standards to provide guidance for teaching science. To view the standards online, go to http://books.nap.edu/openbook.php?isbn=0309053269.

  • Understand population and ecosystems
  • Understand diversity and adaptations of organisms

Download Lesson Plan (PDF)

Ecuador / Galapagos

Title:

Discovering Ecuador/Galapagos: New Places, New Ideas, New Experiences

Grade Level:

6-8; 9-12

Curriculum Focus:

Social Studies, Science

Video Segments:

Evolution of a New Species

Evolution of a New Species (03:38)
On an island east of Santa Cruz, a hybrid lizard has just recently appeared. It is a cross between a marine iguana (it is black and has a mouth like the marine iguana) and the land iguana (it has a white undercarriage). It may become a new species or it may be sterile like a mule.

The Last Stop

The Last Stop (01:44)
The last stop in the Galapagos Islands is back to Isabela, home of the second-largest caldera in the world.

The Galapagos Islands and Argentina's Future

The Galapagos Islands and Argentina's Future (02:04)
The Galapagos Islands, some 650 miles off the coast of Ecuador, are home to a vast variety of unique animal species. Charles Darwin was inspired to write about his theory of evolution after a visit to the islands.

Geography and Regions

Geography and Regions (02:35)
Ecuador’s divided into the following four regions: the Costa, the Sierra, the Oriente, and the Galapagos Islands. The Andes Mountains, which make up the Sierra region, run between the Costa and the Oriente.

History and Culture

History and Culture (02:53)
Ecuador was once conquered by Spain, but later gained its independence. The country has gone through many volatile changes, but today the government is stable, with a president and a congress.

Physical Features and the Equator

Physical Features and the Equator (02:11)
Ecuador lies on and is named for the Equator. Ecuador’s climate ranges from desert to jungle and directly affects people’s lives and the country’s economy.

Arriving at the Galapagos

Arriving at the Galapagos (07:54)
The Galapagos Islands lie some six hundred miles off the coast of South America. Their isolation from the mainland and volcanic activity have produced a unique setting. The five islands are a living laboratory of evolution. Lots of marine iguanas live on the islands. While not many different species of animals are found, those that do call the islands home are amazing. Charles Darwin visited the islands to study the animals. Darwin’s studies strengthened his theories found in Origin of Species. Fernandina Island is the youngest island. Jeff Corwin gives a possible explanation for how the first iguanas came to the island. The iguanas evolved into marine and land iguanas. The iguanas are different on each island. On Fernandina, they are black in color. Their dark coloring serves as camouflage and as a means of absorbing heat from the sun.

Natural Selection and Adaptation

Darwin Develops a Non-Random Theory of Evolution: Natural Selection and Adaptation (03:20)
Darwin developed the idea that each individual is different, that it is the cruelty of nature that there is a struggle for survival and a struggle to reproduce, and that we live on a animated Earth originating from organisms.

Program Description:

These video chapters introduce Ecuador with a focus on the Galapagos Islands—“a wonderland suspended in time.” Describing the Island as “a living laboratory of evolution,” Jeff Corwin describes not only the evolution and survival of the Galapagos marine lizard but also the development and environment of a host of other island inhabitants. Once referred to by pre-Incan inhabitants as “middle of the world” because of its proximity to the equator, Ecuador possesses many distinctive physical and cultural features—all of which the video chapters explore.

Learning Objectives:

After viewing these videos, students will be able to:

  • Compare and analyze societal patterns for preserving and transmitting culture while adapting to environmental or social change
  • Explain how language, art, music, belief systems, and other cultural elements can facilitate global understanding or cause misunderstanding
  • Examine, interpret, and analyze physical and cultural patterns and their interactions, such as land use, settlement patterns, cultural transmission of customs and ideas, and ecosystem changes
  • Understand the historical perspectives
  • Understand biological evolution

Academic Standards:

National Council for the Social Studies (NCSS) has developed national standards to provide guidance for teaching social studies. To view the standards online, go to http://www.socialstudies.org.

  • Understand the significance of studying culture and cultural diversity
  • Understand global connections and interdependence
  • Locate and describe varying landforms and geographic features, such as mountains, plateaus, islands, rainforests, deserts, and oceans, and explain their relationship within the ecosystem
  • Describe, differentiate, and explain the relationships among various regional and global patterns of geographic phenomena such as landforms, soils, climate, vegetation, natural resources, and population

National Science Teachers Association (NSTA) has adopted The National Academies Press national standards to provide guidance for teaching science. To view the standards online, go to http://books.nap.edu/openbook.php?isbn=0309053269.

  • Develop an understanding of the nature of scientific knowledge
  • Understand science as a human endeavor
  • Understand the interdependence of organisms

Download Lesson Plan (PDF)

England / France

Title:

Discovering England and France: New-Old Place, New Ideas, New Experiences

Grade Level:

6-8; 9-12

Curriculum Focus:

Social Studies, English/Language Arts, Science

Video Segments:

The Execution of Sir Thomas More

The Execution of Sir Thomas More
This segment chronicles the death of Sir Thomas More who was executed on July 7, 1535 because he put God above his king. His death was a deep shock to the writers of Europe who considered him to be a hero and leading scholar of the European Renaissance.

French Cuisine

French Cuisine
From wine and cheese to bread and produce, France is known for its unique regional cuisine as well as its fine-dining restaurants.

Enchanting Paris

Enchanting Paris
The City of Lights continues to be the epicenter of French culture, from the Eiffel Tower and the Louvre to Notre Dame and the Arch de Triumph.

Drury Lane and Theater Lighting

Drury Lane and Theater Lighting
David Garrick revolutionized theater in London's famous Drury Lane after introducing new and brighter lights.

Program Description:

The purpose of this lesson is to explore life and culture in England and France. One of the aspects of culture is the food of a country that defines its culture. England and France provide a myriad of different foods that are based on culture and geography.

Learning Objectives:

Students will be able to:

  • Explain how the concept of time and society influence constructions and institutions
  • Evaluate how a "seat of governance" can help achieve a government's stated ideals and policies at home and abroad
  • Examine, interpret, and analyze physical and cultural patterns and their interactions, such as land use, settlement patterns, cultural transmission of customs and ideas, and ecosystem changes
  • Observe and understand natural resources

Download Lesson Plan (PDF)

France / Spain

Title:

Discovering France and Spain

Grade Level:

6-8; 9-12

Curriculum Focus:

Science, Social Studies, English/Language Arts

Video Segment:

French Geography

French Geography
French geography ranges from the heights of the Alps to the Camargue wetlands.

Program Description:

The purpose of this lesson is to allow students to explore, discover, and research the countries of France and Spain. The video chapter and activities will help students explore France and Spain by focusing on the geographic and climatic conditions in each country. Students will also discover the identity and significance of key individuals, places, and landmarks, and research festival traditions.

Learning Objectives:

Students will be able to:

  • Identify the physical, political, and climatic conditions in France and Spain
  • Explain the impact of climate upon the economic resources of both countries
  • Evaluate the contribution and significance of key individuals, places, and landmarks in each country
  • Understand how cultural traditions reflect the influence of politics, history, and religion

Download Lesson Plan (PDF)

Grand Canyon

Title:

Discovering the Grand Canyon: New-Old Place, New Ideas, New Experiences

Grade Level:

6-8; 9-12

Curriculum Focus:

Science, Social Studies, English/Language Arts

Video Segments:

The Saguaro Cactus

The Saguaro Cactus
The saguaro cactus can live as long as 150 to 200 years and reach a height of fifty feet. They grow very slowly, taking twenty-five years to reach a height of two feet. They usually do not develop branches until they are about sixty-five to seventy years old.

The Colorado Plateau

The Colorado Plateau
The Colorado Plateau is a dry, flat area of northern Arizona and northwestern New Mexico. The Grand Canyon is there. The region is dotted with the ruins of ancient American dwellings.

The Sonoran Desert

The Sonoran Desert
The Sonoran desert is one of the largest deserts in North America, and is home to more life forms than any other desert. Located primarily in Arizona, the desert is also home to two of the state's largest cities and the Tohono O'Odham Indian tribe.

Ecosystems: Balance Within Food Chains and Energy Pyramids

Ecosystems: Balance Within Food Chains and Energy Pyramids
The biosphere is divided into ecosystems. The plants and animals in an ecosystem depend on one another for survival and form a community. Within the community, there are food chains, food webs, and energy pyramids as well as cycles of oxygen and carbon. The balance of food and, with it, energy is critical to the survival of the community.

Program Description:

These video chapters help students explore the ecological systems and geology of the Grand Canyon, as well as its diverse cultural history. One of the natural wonders of the world, the Grand Canyon offers researchers and visitors access to millions of years of geological history, as well as the opportunity to explore ancient civilizations and the American "Wild West." Cinema and history have overlapped to create a romanticized image of the Wild West and its cowboys; in Tombstone, Arizona, visitors can separate myth from reality and consider the impact of media on how we observe and preserve our cultural history. Long before Wyatt Earp cleaned up Tombstone, the ancient Anasazi civilization centered on the Four Corners (southern Utah, northern Arizona, northwestern New Mexico, and southern Colorado) and is estimated to have emerged around 1200 B.C. Best known for its adobe and stone cliff side dwelling, the Anasazi carved a life from the challenging desert ecosystem; modern Pueblo people claim the Anasazi as their ancient ancestors. Just as the cliffs reveal the rich cultural history of America's native peoples, the Grand Canyon reveals its dramatic geological history. Volcanoes, ice, floods and rivers formed this landscape that continues to reveal secrets of our natural history to scientists who study its ancient and unique formations in an effort to understand how our world continues to evolve. The fragile desert ecosystem has allowed environmental scientists to explore ways in which species interact to survive in harsh climates; their work contributed to the successful reintroduction of endangered species, such as the California condor.

Learning Objectives:

After comparing these videos students will be able to:

  • Understand how native cultures structured societies in the region
  • Understand how desert ecosystems developed and thrive
  • Explain how continued research can help develop practices by which humans can conserve species and habitats
  • Explain the contrast between the documented history and romanticized images of the Old West
  • Explain how the concept of time and society influence constructions and institutions
  • Observe and understand natural resources
  • Observe and explore varied populations and ecosystems
  • Understand populations, resources, and environments

Download Lesson Plan (PDF)

Italy / Greece

Title:

Discovering the Mediterranean: Italy/Greece: New Places, New Ideas, New Experiences

Grade Level:

6-8; 9-12

Curriculum Focus:

Social Studies, Mathematics, English/Language Arts

Video Segments:

Culture and Religion

Culture and Religion (02:13)
Religion dominates the cultural life and landscape of Italy. At local festivals, Italians display their religious beliefs and regional identities.

Pompeii: Life Before the Roman Empire

Pompeii: Life Before the Roman Empire (02:33)
The life of ordinary people in Pompeii, Herculaneum, and Rome.

Math and the Ancient Greeks

Math and the Ancient Greeks (06:41)
Much of Ancient Greece’s scientific development was due to the influence of Egypt and Babylonia in geometry. Thales became the first philosopher to introduce geometry to the Greeks and proposed many axioms essential to the understanding of basic geometric principles.

Greek Mythology and the Role of the Gods in Human Destiny

Greek Mythology and the Role of the Gods in Human Destiny (01:46)
People created myths in an attempt to explain the world around them. Greek gods, who represented both forces of nature and the nature of man, reflected the world and shaped its destiny.

Program Description:

These video chapters explore the culture, the people, the contributions, and the legacy of the Italians and the Greeks. Students will learn how Italian culture and religion are a part of the very fabric of Italian identity, and how the Greek legacy is one whose contributions appear in government, the humanities, and the sciences to this day. These video chapters will also allow students to explore the historical connections between Italy and Greece with regard to classical mythology.

Learning Objectives:

After viewing these videos, students will be able to:

  • Compare and analyze societal patterns for preserving and transmitting culture while adapting to environmental or social change
  • Explain how language, art, music, belief systems, and other cultural elements can facilitate global understanding or cause misunderstanding
  • Understand how mathematical ideas interconnect and build on one another to produce a coherent whole
  • Analyze, make inferences and draw conclusions about theme and genre in different cultural, historical, and contemporary contexts and provide evidence from the text to support their understanding

Academic Standards:

National Council for the Social Studies (NCSS) has developed national standards to provide guidance for teaching social studies. To view the standards online, go to http://www.socialstudies.org.

  • Understand the significance of studying culture and cultural diversity
  • Understand global connections and interdependence

National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM) has developed national standards to provide guidance for teaching mathematics. To view the standards online, go to http://nctm.org.

  • Recognize and apply mathematics in contexts outside of mathematics

National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE) has developed national standards to provide guidance for teaching English/Language Arts. To view the standards online, go to http://ncte.org.

  • Read a wide range of literature from many periods in many genres to build an understanding of the many dimensions (e.g., philosophical, ethical, aesthetic) of human experience
  • Read a wide range of print and nonprint texts [fiction and nonfiction] to build an understanding of texts, of themselves, and of cultures of the United States and the world; to acquire new information; to respond to the needs and demands of society and the workplace; and for personal fulfillment

Italy

Download Italy Lesson Plan (PDF)

Greece

Download Italy Lesson Plan (PDF)

South Africa

Title:

Discovering South Africa: New Places, New Ideas, New Experiences

Grade Level:

6-8; 9-12

Curriculum Focus:

Social Studies, Science

Video Segments:

Tracking Elephants

Tracking Elephants (06:33)
The African elephant is threatened by a deadly predator, poachers. These beautiful animals are to be admired from a distance.

Fighting for Democracy in India, South Africa, & Latin America

Fighting for Democracy in India, South Africa, & Latin America (02:14)
National revolutions erupted around the world. Gandhi stressed nonviolent civil disobedience with sit-ins, and they exposed the injustice of British Colonial rule. In 1947, India gained its independence. In Africa, Nelson Mandela and hundreds of Blacks were arrested and imprisoned because they were supposedly Communists. The Latin American countries’ peoples supported their governments, and Pablo Neruda wrote The United Fruit Company, a satire on the United States.

The Information Age: Documenting Regime Changes

The Information Age: Documenting Regime Changes (01:47)
With the new tools of communication, the world witnessed the fall of countries, rock bands, the collapse of the Berlin wall, and the over throw of the South African apartheid. After twenty-eight years, Nelson Mandela was released and became his country’s president.

Sharks: Great Mysteries of the Natural World

Sharks: Great Mysteries of the Natural World (01:54)
Sharks are known as deadly, ruthless killers. Thirty species of sharks have been known to attack humans, but many others live secret lives in remote parts of the oceans. They remain among the great mysteries of the natural world.

Ocean Ecosystems

Ocean Ecosystems (Integrated Science Simulation)

Program Description:

South Africa consists of twenty countries, including Madagascar, Angola, Johannesburg, Lesotho, Zimbabwe, South Africa, and Zambia. Victoria Falls is a spectacular geographic feature of South Africa, located on the Zambezi River. Many indigenous peoples populate South Africa, speaking Bantu, although other languages are also spoken, such as English and Portuguese. The area’s natural resources are enormous, and many South Africans make their living through agriculture. However, because many people of South Africa are poor, poaching has become a serious concern because it affects not only the wildlife ecosystem but also the agriculture.

Some of these video chapters introduce students to the fragile ecosystems in South Africa, including a variety of animals and the area’s ocean and reefs. The remaining video chapters allow students to understand the political and social upheavals that have occurred in this area, along with the technology that aided the world to observe these changes as they were unfolding.

Learning Objectives:

After viewing these videos, students will be able to:

  • Discuss the idea of human rights and the status of the individual
  • Explore the concept of equality and human dignity
  • Compare and analyze societal patterns for preserving and transmitting culture while adapting to environmental or social change
  • Explain how language, art, music, belief systems, and other cultural elements can facilitate global understanding or cause misunderstanding
  • Examine, interpret, and analyze physical and cultural patterns and their interactions, such as land use, settlement patterns, cultural transmission of customs and ideas, and ecosystem changes
  • Understand populations and ecosystems
  • Understand diversity and adaptations of organisms
  • Describe how technology and science can help maintain ecosystems

Academic Standards:

National Council for the Social Studies (NCSS) has developed national standards to provide guidance for teaching social studies. To view the standards online, go to http://www.socialstudies.org.

  • Understand the significance of studying culture and cultural diversity
  • Understand global connections and interdependence
  • Locate and describe varying landforms and geographic features, such as mountains, plateaus, islands, rainforests, deserts, and oceans, and explain their relationship within the ecosystem
  • Describe, differentiate, and explain the relationships among various regional and global patterns of geographic phenomena such as landforms, soils, climate, vegetation, natural resources, and population
  • Illustrate how individual behaviors and decisions connect with global systems
  • Examine persistent issues involving the rights, roles, and status of the individual in relation to the general welfare
  • Evaluate the extent to which governments achieve their stated ideals and policies at home and abroad
  • Explain the origins and continuing influence of key ideas of the democratic republican form of government, such as individual human dignity, liberty, justice, equality, and the rule of law

National Science Teachers Association (NSTA) has adopted The National Academies Press national standards to provide guidance for teaching science. To view the standards online, go to http://books.nap.edu/openbook.php?isbn=0309053269.

  • Understand the interdependence of organisms
  • Understand the behavior of organisms
  • Understand the role of science in personal and social perspectives with regard to population growth, natural resources, environmental quality, and global challenges
  • Understand the role of science and technology

Download Lesson Plan (PDF)

Washington, D.C.

Title:

Discovering Washington, D.C. and Baltimore: New-Old Place, New Ideas, New Experiences

Grade Level:

6-8; 9-12

Curriculum Focus:

Social Studies, English/Language Arts, Science

Video Segments:

Washington, District of Columbia: Home of Our Nation's Capital

Washington, District of Columbia: Home of Our Nation's Capital
Washington, D.C. is the capital of the United States. The city contains many important government buildings as well as memorials and monuments which honor the past.

The Atlantic Coastal Plain; The Appalachian and Adirondack Mountains

The Atlantic Coastal Plain; The Appalachian and Adirondack Mountains
The flat, low-lying Atlantic Coastal Plain extends through parts of Maryland, Delaware, New Jersey, and all of Long Island Sound. The ancient peaks of the Appalachian Mountains stretch across all states of the region but Delaware, while the Adirondacks rise above northern New York state.

Program Description:

The purpose of this micro-lesson with accompanying videos is to introduce students to our nation's capital, its geographic characteristics, and its cultural and political history. Students may or may not understand just what the role of Washington, D.C. has been since its inception in 1790. Prior to their embarking on this trip, students will want to research the history of this nation's capital, the landmark buildings, the roles of government, and the international role Washington has in the world today, as well as in the past.

Learning Objectives:

Students will be able to:

  • Explain how the concept of time and society influence constructions and institutions
  • Evaluate how a "seat of governance" can help achieve a government's stated ideals and policies at home and abroad
  • Examine, interpret, and analyze physical and cultural patterns and their interactions, such as land use, settlement patterns, cultural transmission of customs and ideas, and ecosystem changes
  • Observe and understand natural resources
  • Observe and explore varied populations and ecosystems
  • Understand populations, resources, and environments

Download Lesson Plan (PDF)

Yellowstone

Title:

Discovering Yellowstone National Park

Grade Level:

6-8; 9-12

Curriculum Focus:

Social Studies, English/Language Arts, Science

Video Segments:

An Introduction to the Mountain States

An Introduction to the Mountain States
The Mountain States region of our country is a place of remarkable contrasts. This region consists of Montana, Idaho, Nevada, Wyoming, Utah, and Colorado.

Yellowstone National Park

Yellowstone National Park
In 1872, Congress established Yellowstone as America's first national park.

Program Description:

The purpose of this lesson is to allow students to begin exploration, discovery, and research into the United States' first national park: its historical significance, its experts, its iconic landmarks, its natural wonders, its amazing animals, and its early role in eco-preservation.

Learning Objectives:

Students will be able to:

  • Understand how the theme of people, places, and environments involves the study of the relationships between human populations in different locations and regional and global geographic phenomena, such as landforms, soils, climate, vegetation, and natural resources
  • Research, organize, analyze, synthesize, and evaluate information from atlases, data bases, grid systems, statistical presentations, charts, graphs, and maps to interpret relationships among geographic factors and events at the local, regional, national, and global levels, and assess policy options
  • Analyze the causes and impact of resource management, as reflected in land use, settlement patterns, and ecosystem changes
  • Understand an organism's behavior evolves through adaptation to its environment
  • Understand that populations of organisms can be categorized by the function they serve in an ecosystem
  • Conduct research on issues and interests by generating ideas and questions, and by posing problems. They gather, evaluate, and synthesize data from a variety of sources (e.g., print and non-print texts, artifacts, people) to communicate their discoveries in ways that suit their purpose and audience
  • Students participate as knowledgeable, reflective, creative, and critical members of a variety of literacy communities.

Download Lesson Plan (PDF)