National Geographic wildlife conservation photographer Shannon Wild was born in Australia but now makes her home in South Africa. She is on a mission to document a rare black panther (melanistic leopards) living in a forest in southern India. Shannon has worked for NatGeoWild, WildAid, and the United Nations, founded a jewelry store whose proceeds give back, and written three books.

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 Shannon Wild and the topics (wildlife, adventure, exploration, 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 Shannon Wild’s biography using the links in the Explore More tab on this page.

  • Download and print the provided maps of Africa and India, or use the MapMaker Interactive, to explore the area where Shannon Wild works. 

  • Have students read the habitat encyclopedic entry. After reading, ask: What is a habitat? What are the main components of a habitat? What are some local habitats? How might a plants habitat differ from that of an animal?
  • As a class, watch the film clip Master Trackers (2:31) to more about how wildlife filmmakers like Shannon capture images of elusive animals like the black leopard.

  • Explore how animals are tracked over long distances with the GeoStory Tracking Animal Migrations.

  • Use the Big Cats and Their Habitats (1 hour, 30 minutes) activity to help students learn to identify big cats and explore their species ranges.
  • Need more activities exploring Indian wildlife? Check out this idea set!

  • Provide each student with a KWL Chart. Introduce the program they will attend and, who the speaker is, and offer a brief description of the speaker’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 the speaker and their 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 Shannon Wild. 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 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 Shannon Wild shared. Ask: What role did place play in Shannon Wild’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 the speaker used. Ask: What vocabulary words did Shannon Wild 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 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 Shannon Wild talk about today? In what ways does Shannon Wild 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 speakers’ work. Ask: What, if any, call to action did the speakers make? How can you implement any changes in your day-to-day life? What can we work on together as a group?

Australia
Noun

continent and nation between the South Pacific and Indian oceans.

biography
Noun

story of a person's life.

conduct
Verb

to transmit, transport, or carry.

Noun

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

Noun

one of the seven main land masses on Earth.

country
Noun

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

curiosity
Noun

desire to know more about a subject.

document
Verb

to keep track of.

elusive
Adjective

difficult to capture.

empower
Verb

to give authority or power.

Noun

environment where an organism lives throughout the year or for shorter periods of time.

implement
Verb

to carry out plans.

influence
Noun

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

leopard
Noun

large, spotted cat native to Africa and Asia.

mission
Noun

important goal or purpose.

persistent
Adjective

lasting, stubborn, or tenacious.

proceed
Verb

to go forward.

research
Noun

scientific observations and investigation into a subject, usually following the scientific method: observation, hypothesis, prediction, experimentation, analysis, and conclusion.

resource
Noun

available supply of materials, goods, or services. Resources can be natural or human.

responsibility
Noun

being accountable and reliable for an action or situation.

Noun

native, geographic area in which an organism can be found. Range also refers to the geographic distribution of a particular species.

terminology
Noun

set of terms used in a specialized subject.

wildlife
Noun

organisms living in a natural environment.