I’m sure you’ve heard of National Geographic Magazine, but did you know they have student editions too? A few years ago I requested to switch to National Geographic Explorer from our previous classroom subscription. I decided to create a packet to go with each magazine that would activate background knowledge and provide extension activities. After the first year, I only had to plan every third one since my grade level teachers are now taking turns planning the packets.
Here’s what I love:
- The magazines integrate reading, writing, science, and social studies.
- The students are excited about our National Geographic week
every month and get to take the magazines home when we’re finished with
- The online teachers’ edition has lesson plans, worksheets,
and interactive whiteboard lessons for free. You can also use the digital edition for projectors.
- It comes in two reading levels. They both look alike and have the same topics and pictures, but one is written at the second-third grade level and one is written at the fourth-sixth level. You can mix and match to create differentiation within your classroom this way. Because I teach third grade, I use the Pioneer Edition for all of my students. It challenges my higher readers, but my lower readers are able to participate with extra support.
- Each magazine comes with a two-sided poster in the Teacher’s Edition. I display the posters during the week and then put them in our classroom auctions.
- The website has ecards, games, videos, vocabulary challenges, and related articles that update to match the magazine each month.
If you’re looking for a new way to engage your students with nonfiction, I’d suggest National Geographic Explorer. Click on over to check it out for yourself.