safariLIVE is an award-winning daily live-stream of a real safari broadcast from the Sabi Sands, part of the Greater Kruger National Park in northeastern South Africa, and the Maasai Mara National Reserve in southwestern Kenya. Experienced guides escort classrooms on an unscripted virtual field trip where it is completely unknown what wild animals students will encounter on any particular expedition. Students have the opportunity to witness ecosystems, weather patterns, and wildlife in an authentic environment all without leaving the classroom.
Use these middle school classroom resources to teach about ecosystems, weather, and conservation.
This educator guide provides you with resources to support your students’ engagement and learning as they interact with safariLIVE. It includes optional discussion questions and activities that can be used before, throughout, and after the safari to address topics individually or as a comprehensive unit. This guide also includes learning objectives, vocabulary, common misconceptions, facilitator tips, additional resources for further investigation, and connections to national curriculum standards and principles.
This program was able to activate the curiosity of my most disengaged learners. Students are begging to participate in another safari. I loved seeing the active learning from all my students.
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Explore these photographs with your students for a preview of what you might see while on safari
Use these middle school–level materials to teach students about ecosystems, geography, protected areas, and big cats.
Students use a decision-making process to explore the complex nature of real-world environmental conflicts and how they get resolved. Students will examine the geographical, cultural, and political context of the social issue within this case study, identify the stakeholders and their roles and impact, and map out the intended and unintended consequences of the decision that was made.
Students view satellite images of places past and present and analyze the changes over time.
Students look at lines of latitude and longitude on a world map, predict temperature patterns, and then compare their predictions to actual temperature data on an interactive map. They discuss how temperatures vary with latitude and the relationship between latitude and general climate patterns.
Using the National Geographic FieldScope tool, students explore the human and biological features of the Barataria Preserve and its surrounding landscape. Then they investigate map layers of this landscape and analyze human-environment relationships within it.
This activity guides students through a process that uses the College, Career, and Civic Life (C3) Framework inquiry arc. Students identify and research compelling and supporting questions, leading them to develop explanations and arguments and, ultimately, to take action on issues related to the preservation of species.
Students analyze the multidisciplinary nature of the National Geographic Bahamas Blue Hole Expedition by determining the questions the scientists and researchers involved in the expedition were attempting to answer. They then construct a multidisciplinary approach for their own micro-expedition.
Students use a map to analyze and contrast variations in abiotic factors at three locations within Virunga National Park and explain how these factors influence the distribution of vegetation zones. Then students deduce the location that provides habitat for critically endangered mountain gorillas and think about why gorillas are not present in similar vegetation zones across the park.
Students use National Geographic Photo Ark images of threatened or extinct animals to research the dangers that affect the animals’ existence. They use the information to draw the habitats of these animals and investigate links between habitat, ecosystem, and animal livelihood or extinction.
Students watch the National Geographic video Kobu the Lion and explore the negative consequences of keeping big cats in captivity and the challenges sanctuaries face in trying to care for them.
Students read a National Geographic Education article, “Big Cats’ Big Problem,” and identify the threats to big cat populations and how the National Geographic Big Cats Initiative is working to address those threats.
Students use media resources to identify big cats and map the species ranges of the world's big cats. Then they determine each big cat's corresponding habitat and create a graphic organizer that summarizes the information.
Students use a Crittercam video and simulation game to learn about technologies scientists use to study the health and behavior of big cat populations. Then they explore how scientific research and technology can help conserve big cat populations.
Students use multimedia resources and a community web to characterize and describe the environment, organisms, and feeding relationships of the African savanna ecosystem.
Students compare and contrast geographic themes related to Bengal and Siberian tiger populations. They explore the strategies and challenges involved in conserving these big cats.
Students learn what invasive species are, reasons they are introduced to new locations, and how invasive species harm ecosystems.
Students brainstorm examples of familiar animals and their needs. They learn that a habitat satisfies the basic needs that must be met for an animal to survive.
Students discuss protected land areas, what it means to protect land, and the reasons for doing it. Then students brainstorm what information about protected lands and animals would be useful to include on a map.
Students discuss why some species migrate. Then they analyze specific examples of migratory species, learn about types of animal migration, and match various animals to their types of migration.
Students read about the internal and external cues that trigger animals to migrate. They use maps to analyze migration routes, watch videos, and answer questions.
Students discuss the navigation methods of migratory animals. Then they watch videos, draw mental maps, and make connections between their maps and how migratory animals use mental maps and other cues.
Read these case studies and articles with your students to spark discussion on some of the threats African wildlife face.
Learn how the Maasai people in northeastern Tanzania are protecting their livestock and the big cats with the support of National Geographic grantee Dr. Laly Lichtenfeld.
Learn how the local tribes in the Ruaha landscape are protecting their livestock and coexisting with big cats with the support of National Geographic grantee Dr. Amy Dickman.
Learn how the Greater Southern Bypass might affect big cats in the area around Nairobi National Park with the support of National Geographic Explorer Dr. Paula Kahumbu.
Meerkats use cooperative behavior in breeding, building, and even defense.
The Great Green Wall initiative uses an integrated approach to restore a diversity of ecosystems in the North African landscape.
By using new technology, Dr. Stuart Pimm has realized that lion and cheetah habitats are disappearing in Africa. With the help of his students and some National Geographic grantees, Dr. Pimm is using innovative ideas to ensure that Africa's big cats don't vanish.
Learn more about key topics with these informational texts.
An adaptation is a mutation, or genetic change, that helps an organism, such as a plant or animal, survive in its environment
Biodiversity refers to the variety of living organisms within a given area.
The biosphere is made up of the parts of Earth where life exists. The biosphere extends from the deepest root systems of trees to the dark environment of ocean trenches, to lush rain forests and high mountaintops.
Camouflage, also called cryptic coloration, is a defense mechanism or tactic that organisms use to disguise their appearance, usually to blend in with their surroundings. Organisms use camouflage to mask their location, identity, and movement.
A carnivore is an organism that eats mostly meat, or the flesh of animals. Sometimes carnivores are called predators.
Climate is the long-term pattern of weather in a particular area.
Climate change is a long-term shift in global or regional climate patterns. Often climate change refers specifically to the rise in global temperatures from the mid 20th century to the present.
The Earth’s natural resources include air, water, soil, minerals, plants, and animals. Conservation is the practice of caring for these resources so all living things can benefit from them now and in the future.
Deserts are areas that receive very little precipitation.
Drought is an extended period of unusually dry weather when there is not enough rain.
An ecosystem is a geographic area where plants, animals, and other organisms, as well as weather and landscapes, work together to form a bubble of life.
An endangered species is a type of organism that is threatened by extinction. Species become endangered for two main reasons: loss of habitat and loss of genetic variation.
The food chain describes who eats whom in the wild.
A food web consists of all the food chains in a single ecosystem.
Global warming describes the current rise in the average temperature of Earth’s air and ocean. Global warming is often described as the most recent example of climate change.
An herbivore is an organism that feeds mostly on plants. Herbivores range in size from tiny insects such as aphids to large, lumbering elephants.
An invasive species is an organism that is not indigenous, or native, to a particular area. Invasive species can cause great economic and environmental harm to the new area.
A keystone species helps define an entire ecosystem. Without its keystone species, the ecosystem would be dramatically different or cease to exist altogether.
A lake is a body of water that is surrounded by land. There are millions of lakes in the world.
An omnivore is an organism that regularly consumes a variety of material, including plants, animals, algae, and fungi. They range in size from tiny insects like ants to large creatures—like people.
Precipitation is any type of water that forms in the Earth's atmosphere and then drops onto the surface of the Earth. Water vapor, droplets of water suspended in the air, builds up in the Earth's atmosphere before precipitating.
Rain is liquid precipitation: water falling from the sky. Raindrops fall to Earth when clouds become saturated, or filled, with water droplets.
A rift valley is a lowland region that forms where Earth’s tectonic plates move apart, or rift.
A river is a large, natural stream of flowing water. Rivers are found on every continent and on nearly every kind of land.
A scavenger is an organism that consumes mostly decaying biomass, such as meat or rotting plant matter.
A species range is an area where a particular species can be found during its lifetime. Species ranges include areas where individuals or communities may migrate or hibernate.
A stream is any body of flowing fluid. The most familiar type of stream is made of water, although streams can also be made of air, lava, electricity, or any other fluid.
Explore the physical and human geography of Africa with these resources.
Use this printable one-page map to teach your students about the geography of Kenya.
Use this printable one-page map to help your students explore South Africa.
Customize a printable one-page map of Africa with basic map elements, borders and names, and other features.
Africa has an array of diverse ecosystems, from sandy deserts to lush rain forests.
Africa is sometimes nicknamed the "Mother Continent" as it's the oldest inhabited continent on Earth.
Africa’s northern half is more dry and hot, while its southern end is more humid and cool.
Investigate our world. Zoom in on this map examining human impact on the environment in Africa.
Check out these videos of African wildlife and the issues they face.
Listen to safariLIVE guide James Hendry explain the anatomy of a giraffe's leg.
Listen as a safariLIVE guide Stefan Winterboer explains the local mythology and stories of the buffalo thorn tree.
Learn more about the impacts of drought on the wildlife of the Massai Mara.
Swamp lions found in the Busanga swamp in Kafue National Park in Zambia experience defeat. Their bodies are powerful in dry terrains but are not built for high-speed races in the water.
Competition between hyenas and lions for resources leads to infanticide—the practice of killing each other's young. Learn why this behavior makes the two species "mortal enemies."
Explore the origins of the domesticated cat.
National Geographic Emerging Explorer Paula Kahumbu works tirelessly to preserve threatened wildlife and habitats by bringing conservation stories out of the shadows and into the minds of people who want to help.
A young leopard is hunted by lions.
Clever creatures master predators and prey.
The sentry’s communication assures family safety.
Poaching is causing alarming changes in the behavior of African elephants.
Community involvement plays a key role in elephant conservation.
Trace the deadly history of the illegal ivory trade.
Explore the physical characteristics and social behaviors of the African elephant.
Explore the issues of supply and demand that fuel the illegal trade in ivory, and go undercover to learn about the rising prices of black-market ivory.
Nile perch were introduced to Lake Victoria in the 1950s to boost the fishing industry. Thought the introduction of Nile perch resulted in an economic boom, it almost caused cichlids, a native fish, to go extinct.
National Geographic photographer Chris Johns gets the shots he's been waiting for.
Nature's sanitation crew protects African plains.
A meerkat is specially adapted for the harsh desert environment.
A meerkat is a mammal of the mongoose family. Its habitat is the Kalahari Desert.
Wildebeest migrate on a loop path through Tanzania and Kenya following the seasonal rains even when that involves passing through dangerous territory.
Check out these other National Geographic programs!