National Geographic photographer Cory Richards uses his camera to share fascinating stories from some of the planet’s most far-flung and extreme locations. Cory’s journey from the jungles of Burma, to Africa’s Okavango Delta, and up to the summit of Mt. Everest shows students just how much of our vast, diverse planet is left to explore, record, and share.

Use the resources in this collection to prepare your students for their upcoming National Geographic Live! student matinee experience. Use the “Before the show” ideas to introduce students to Cory Richards and the topics (exploration, mountaineering, geography, conservation, photography) that he 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 Cory Richards’ biography.

  • Download and print the provided maps of Nepal, India, and Antarctica or use the MapMaker Interactive, to explore the areas where Cory Richards works.

  • Have students read the altitude encyclopedic entry. Lead a class discussion about what it means to be at different altitudes. After reading, ask: What types of ecosystems exist at different altitudes? How do human beings prepare for different altitudes? Are there parallels between humans and animals or plants being able to exist in different altitude zones? As a class, draw a region with different altitude zones (such as a mountain) and illustrate the difference in each.

  • Show students the provided photo of climbing gear and explain that this is what Cory Richards wears to work. Then view the video of Cory Richards and his journey provided in the Explore More tab.

  • Engage students with the physical landscape with the provided activity, Exploring Everest’s Topography. Discuss the difficulty of using flat maps to show mountains. Ask: How has technology changed topographical mapping? Use MapMaker Interactive and zoom in to the Himalayas with the terrain or satellite base map to show students the topography of Mount Everest.

  • Further students’ interest in Mount Everest and Cory Richard’s most recent climb and engage them in the provided activity, Everest Past and Present.

  • Provide each student with a KWL Chart. Introduce the program they will attend and, who the speaker is, and offer a brief description of what the speaker’s topic(s) will be. 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 categorize 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 the speaker and speaker 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 Cory Richards. Distribute the worksheet to students before the presentation and review the directions with them. Review any terms with which that 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, and areas that the speaker presented. Ask: What continents, countries, or areas does the speaker work in? Have younger students imagine that these places were characters in the stories that Cory Richards shared. What role did place play in Cory Richards’ 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 was used. Ask: What vocabulary words did Cory Richards 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 information they learned from the speaker 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 Cory Richards talk about today? In what ways does Cory Richards 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 Cory’s work. Ask: What, if any, call to action did Cory Richards make? How can you implement any changes in your day-to-day life? What can we work on together as a group?


someone who climbs mountains.


the very top.


to reach the highest point of a mountain.