Grades 6-12


  • NOVA: North American Sky Tour

    Learn about the geological history of North America in this video from NOVA Digital. Google Earth flyovers and visualizations from NOVA's Making North America illustrate how particular locations, landscapes, and life forms have changed through time. For example, the bedrock that is the foundation of New York City was formed from the erosion of mountains that were built from the seafloor 450 million years ago; the sandstone cliffs of Zion National Park were once desert sand dunes; and 130 million years ago, the dry plains of Kansas were the site of a vast ocean. The plate tectonics and surface processes that shape Earth are ongoing, and North America continues to change. This video contains segments from NOVA: Making North AmericaThis resource is part of the NOVA: Making North America Collection.

    Grades: 6-12
  • Making North America | Interactive Map

    Discover how North America took its shape by visiting geological sites across the continent, searching for clues in the landscape, and viewing episodes from the broadcast series Making North America, in this interactive produced by NOVA. In Expedition, hunt for clues that help explain how geological forces shaped North America, find artifacts that reveal how the landscape influenced life, and search for evidence that exposes how humans turned rocks into riches. In Explore, click on map pins to study landscapes and watch video clips that cover relevant science topics. In Watch, stream the series’ three episodes: Origins, Life, and Human. This resource is part of the NOVA: Making North America Collection.

    This interactive activity requires Adobe Flash Player.

    Grades: 6-12
  • Making North America | Uncovering Layers of the Grand Canyon

    Follow along with host Kirk Johnson as he explores the layers of rock that make up the Grand Canyon, in this video from NOVA: Making North America: Origins. Many geologists think that the Grand Canyon is the best place in the world. Its exposed rock layers allow them to see hundreds of millions of years back in time, revealing a story about what the surface was like as each rock layer formed. By analyzing the rock, mineral, and fossil contents of the layers, scientists know that what is today the North American continent was covered by desert sands, shallow seas, and more in its distant past. This resource is part of the NOVA: Making North America Collection.

    Grades: 6-12
  • Graphing Distance and Time: Travel

    In this blended lesson supporting literacy skills, students watch videos and complete interactive activities to learn how to represent a young man’s unicycle trip on a graph. Students develop their literacy skills as they explore a mathematics focus on expressing distance–time relationships with graphs. During this process, they read informational text, learn and practice vocabulary words, and explore content through videos and interactive activities. This resource is part of the Inspiring Middle School Literacy Collection.

    Students need to be signed in to complete this lesson. Go to "About This Activity" in "Support Materials" below or click here.

    Grades: 5-8
  • Visualizing Topography

    Topographic maps display three-dimensional landscapes on two-dimensional surfaces. These concise maps offer a great deal of spatial information in minimal space. However, it is often difficult for people to interpret the features on a topographic map. This interactive activity adapted from Stephen Reynolds's Visualizing Topography website offers color-enhanced and three-dimensional visualizations to help interpret two-dimensional topographic maps.

    Grades: 6-12
  • Goin' to Boston | Kentucky/Appalachian Culture

    Goin’ to Boston is a traditional folk dance enjoyed as a “play party game” in Appalachia. Instructor Anndrena Belcher teaches a group of middle school students the song and dance moves. She explains what a “play party game” is and teaches such commonly used folk dance movements as promenade, sashay, reel, and casting the lines.

    Find additional arts resources for your classroom at the KET Arts Toolkit website.

    Grades: 4-12
  • Saving A Lost Language

    Students learn about the link between Cherokee language and culture. By 2000 BC, Cherokee language and culture spread throughout the North Carolina Mountains. It was almost lost to history, but now Western Carolina researchers are working with the Eastern Band of Cherokee to study, preserve and grow the language once again.

    Grades: 6-13+
  • Trading Bows and Arrows for Laptops: Carbon and Culture

    Since Chief Almir first contacted Google five years ago, their partnership has flourished. The Surui have created a cultural map in Google Earth to preserve their knowledge of their territory including plants, animals, and historic sites. They are also using Android devices equiped with ODK (Open Data Kit) to monitor illegal logging and measure the biodiversity and carbon stocks of their forest. Support Materials include a lesson guide and student handout.

    Grades: 5-12
  • Shift in U.S. Policy Opens Cuba to American Tourists

    Find out why many people anticipate increased tourism in Cuba with this video and educational resources from PBS NewsHour from June 15, 2015.

    Grades: 7-12
  • Where in China is…? | The Story of China

    Play this mapping game with your students to test their knowledge of China. Can they find the Terracotta Army or the Great Wall of China? Players start this game with 5000 miles and lose 500 miles for every wrong answer. The challenge is to get to Shanghai before running out of miles.

    Grades: 4-12
  • Which Emperor Are You? | The Story of China

    Being emperor of China was one of the toughest jobs in the world. The Chinese believed that an emperor's right to rule was bestowed by heaven. If the emperor failed to govern responsibly or mistreated the people, his right to rule—the "Mandate of Heaven"—could be withdrawn. Natural disasters such as floods or famines could also be seen as evidence that the emperor had lost the support of heaven—and should be overthrown. Ask you students to imagine that they have gone back in time, and are a Chinese emperor. How would they run their empire? Play the quiz with your students and see which famous emperor they would have been.

    Grades: 4-12