• Meet a real-life hero for the world's oceans whose work has made a difference in protecting threatened marine environments. Dr. Enric Sala, a National Geographic Explorer-in-Residence, left his academic career to lead National Geographic’s Pristine Seas expeditions. These multidisciplinary research projects are designed to find, survey, and protect the last healthy, undisturbed places in the ocean—from tropical paradises like the central Pacific’s Line Islands and the Pitcairn Archipelago to the forbidding, but surprisingly abundant, Arctic waters of Franz Josef Land. Join Sala for a stunning visual kaleidoscope of dazzlingly colored fish, lightning-quick reef sharks, and hauntingly beautiful coral, and get an update on his most recent successes in protecting these critically important, truly pristine seas.


    Use the resources in this collection to prepare your students for their upcoming National Geographic Live student matinee experience. Use the ideas before the show to introduce students to Enric Sala and the topics (marine biology, conservation, geography) that he will discuss during the show. Use the ideas after the show to extend the learning.


    Before the Show

    • Have students review Enric Sala’s biography using the links in the Explore More tab on this page. 
    • Download and print the provided map or use the MapMaker Interactive to explore the area in which Sala’s work takes place.  
    • Discuss the world's oceans with students in Grades 3-8. Do the provided One Ocean activity to explore the boundaries of Earth’s four oceans. Students will recognize that all four oceans are interconnected and will discuss what this means for ocean conservation.  
    • Read the encyclopedic entry on conservation and do the Create a Marine Protected Area activity with students in Grades 3-5 or the Marine Protected Areas activity with students in Grades 9-12 to familiarize students with ocean conservation and marine protected areas. 
    • Provide each student with a KWL Chart. Introduce the program they will attend, who the speaker is, and 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 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 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. 
      • Download and print the provided Five Ws Chart. Have each student bring their copy to the matinee program and take notes.

    After the Show

    • Use the Explorer Comparisons worksheet and have a class discussion to help students make connections between themselves and Enric Sala. Distribute the worksheet to students before the presentation and review the directions with students. Review any terms 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, or 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 Enric Sala shared. Ask: What role did place play in Enric Sala’s story? Why was location important to the story? How did the characteristics of the place influence the story? 
    • Discuss and define any unfamiliar terminology that the speaker used. Ask: What vocabulary words did Enric Sala 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 Enric Sala talk about today? In what ways did Enric Sala 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.
    • Watch the Why the Ocean Matters video and have a whole-class brainstorm on how students can make changes to help the ocean or support the speaker’s work. Ask: What, if any, call to action did the speaker ask you to make? How can you implement any changes in your day-to-day life? What can we work on together as a group?
  • Term Part of Speech Definition Encyclopedic Entry
    Arctic Noun

    region at Earth's extreme north, encompassed by the Arctic Circle.

    Encyclopedic Entry: Arctic
    conservation Noun

    management of a natural resource to prevent exploitation, destruction, or neglect.

    Encyclopedic Entry: conservation
    coral reef Noun

    rocky ocean features made up of millions of coral skeletons.

    dive Verb

    to descend beneath the surface of water.

    marine biology Noun

    study of life in the ocean.

    marine protected area (MPA) Noun

    area of the ocean where a government has placed limits on human activity.

    ocean Noun

    large body of salt water that covers most of the Earth.

    Encyclopedic Entry: ocean
    Pacific Ocean Noun

    one of Earth's four oceans, bordered by North America, South America, Australia, Asia, and Antarctica.

    pressure Noun

    force pressed on an object by another object or condition, such as gravity.

    pristine Adjective

    pure or unpolluted.

    sea Noun

    large part of the ocean enclosed or partly enclosed by land.

    Encyclopedic Entry: sea
    survey Noun

    a study or analysis of characteristics of an area or a population.