Annie Griffiths was one of the first female photographers to work for National Geographic. Over the span of her career, she has traveled to nearly 150 countries taking pictures. Annie has collaborated on several books including Last Stand: America’s Virgin Lands. She also founded Ripple Effect Images a nonprofit organization documenting programs throughout the developing world that work to empower women and girls. 

Use the resources in this collection to prepare your students for her upcoming National Geographic Live! student matinee experience. Use the “Before the show” ideas to introduce students to Annie Griffiths and the topics (culture, climate change, women’s empowerment, storytelling, photography) that she will discuss during the show. Use the “After the show” ideas to extend the learning after the event has ended.

Before the Show:

  • Have students review Annie Griffiths’ biography using the links in the Explore More tab on this page.

  • Use the MapMaker Interactive, to explore the area where Annie Griffiths works.

  • Have students read the encyclopedic entries on climate change and borders. After reading, ask: Can you name some local borders? What is an example of a border dispute? What are some of the impacts of borders? What are some of the impacts of climate change? How do these impacts affect people? How might borders affect people with regard to climate change?
  • As a class, explore the role of photography in storytelling with either of the following activities: The Power of Image in Storytelling (Grades 6-8; 1 hour, 30 minutes) or The Role of Images in Storytelling (Grades 9-12, 3 hours).

  • Need more activities exploring Storytelling and Photography, Borders, or Climate Change? Check out these three collections!
  • Provide each student with a KWL Chart. Introduce the program they will attend and who the speaker is, and offer a brief description of Annie’s topic(s). Have students fill out, the What I Know and What I Want to Know columns of the KWL Chart. Have them fill out the What I Learned column after the show.

  • Use the graphic organizer collection to select a graphic organizer to help your students organize their questions and new knowledge before, during, and after the program. For example: 

    • Download and print the T Chart. Have students label the left column with Questions I Have and the right column with Answers, and then conduct research about Annie and her topic ahead of the program. Have students record answers to their questions during or after the program. Have students conduct research to complete any unanswered questions for homework. Have each student share a question and answer with the class. 

    • Download and print the provided Five Ws Chart. Have each student bring their copy to the matinee program and take notes. Have students share and discuss their notes after the show.

 After the Show:

  • Use the Explorer Comparisons worksheet and have a class discussion to help students make connections between themselves and Annie Griffith. Distribute the worksheet to students before the presentation and review the directions with them. Review any terms with which they are unfamiliar with. After the presentation, have students share the notes that they took during the show. Have a class discussion about attitudes and skills and how students demonstrate them in their everyday lives. Have students record their personal examples on the worksheet.

  • Review the continents, countries, or areas that Annie presented. Ask: What continents, countries, or areas does Annie Griffith work in? Have younger students imagine that these places were characters in the stories that Annie Griffith shared. Ask: What role did place play in Annie Griffith’s story? Why was location important to the story? How did the characteristics of the place influence the story? Note: You may need to introduce the concept of place for your students before they can answer and discuss these questions. 

  • Discuss and define any unfamiliar terminology that Annie used. Ask: What vocabulary words did Annie Griffith use that were new to you? Invite volunteers to write the words on the board, and have the class define them as a group using the information they learned from Annie Griffith or through research. If desired, have students record unfamiliar terminology during the show on one-half of a T Chart. Then, have them write the definitions on the other side following this class discussion.

  • Have a class discussion about the attitudes National Geographic explorers embody. Ask: What attitudes did Annie Griffith talk about today? In what ways does Annie Griffith demonstrate curiosity, responsibility, empowerment, and persistence in his work? Why do you think these attitudes are important for explorers? Students can use their Five Ws Chart for reference and a graphic organizer to organize their ideas.

  • Have a whole-class brainstorm on how students can make changes or support the Annie Griffith’s work. Ask: What, if any, call to action did she make? How can you implement any changes in your day-to-day life? What can we work on together as a group?


view or interpretation.


story of a person's life.


natural or artificial line separating two pieces of land.


physical, cultural, or psychological feature of an organism, place, or object.


gradual changes in all the interconnected weather elements on our planet.


partner or someone who works with another toward a specific goal.




to transmit, transport, or carry.


one of the seven main land masses on Earth.


geographic territory with a distinct name, flag, population, boundaries, and government.


learned behavior of people, including their languages, belief systems, social structures, institutions, and material goods.


debate or argument.


to give authority or power.


book, set of books, or set of articles offering introductory or comprehensive information on a branch of knowledge or a particular subject.


to enlarge or continue.


to carry out plans.


force that effects the actions, behavior, or policies of others.

nonprofit organization

business that uses surplus funds to pursue its goals, not to make money.


lasting, stubborn, or tenacious.


to preserve observations with notes, drawings, photographs, audio or video recordings.

social change

alteration in attitude and outlook on issues, such as civil rights, that affect large communities.


set of terms used in a specialized subject.