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SOS Top 10: Developing Literacy

We’re continuing this month’s storytelling theme with a special SOS Top 10 on developing literacy! These instructional strategies can be used in class or modified for remote learning, and support students in building background knowledge, strengthening comprehension, and developing disciplinary vocabulary.

Stimulate Interest & Build Background Knowledge

Can You Guess My 2-1-4?

Combine text and imagery to encourage students to dive deeper into concepts and content to find answers. With this strategy, students make evidence-based inferences that lead them to logical conclusions about content with the use of facts, a clue, and images.

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Collage

Introduce students to a new topic through a collage of images. Help them activate prior knowledge in order to make connections between images before making predictions about the content and upcoming unit of study.

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The Envelope Please

Help students use prior knowledge and clues to make predictions about a topic of study. Discussion and reflection solidify understanding and allow students to make stronger connections between different sources of information.

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Find educator-facing videos and downloadable PDFs for each strategy in our SOS Top 10: Developing Literacy Studio Board!

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Strengthen Comprehension & Meaningful Interaction with Text

Read All About It

Encourage students to interact deeply with the audio and transcript of a video segment before viewing the visuals. Read All About It provides a scaffold to encourage students to reread text multiple times to ensure they comprehend it.

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Telephone

Inspired by the well-known kids game, the Telephone strategy lets students work collaboratively to practice and internalize comprehension gleaned from reading or viewing content. Students work with a partner to practice speaking and listening skills while synthesizing key ideas and details presented in a DE resource.

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There’s an APP for That

Discerning the differences between and the reasons behind various authors’ purposes is important in comprehension and critical thinking. With this strategy, students read a text and identify the author’s purpose, then prove it using text-based evidence to support their thinking.

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Build & Develop Vocabulary

Concept Circles

Use this instructional strategy to build a foundational understanding of new terms and how they connect to each other and the central concept you’re teaching. Select a video, audio clip, or reading passage and have students use the Concept Circle graphic organizer to then visualize and analyze the relationship between vocabulary words within the content.

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Fold, Draw, Learn

Build vocabulary while supporting visual and kinesthetic learners with Fold, Draw, Learn. Students will develop the ability to use context clues by paying careful attention to a video and interpreting a drawing made by another student.

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Vocabulary Stepping Stones

Have students consider vocabulary within the context of a video to encourage better understanding. Introduce vocabulary words before students watch a video, then have them listen for the terms and sequence them according to when they are mentioned. Lastly, prompt students to discuss the topics from the video, incorporating the vocabulary words and how they were used in context.

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Vocabulary Scavenger Hunt

Transform a passive learning experience into an active learning opportunity with the Vocabulary Scavenger Hunt. Identify vocabulary words and then have students demonstrate their understanding by clapping and defining the terms when they hear them in a DE video.

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Enjoy these fun ways to develop literacy skills and encourage deeper engagement for all students. Find strategies fit all your learning goals in our SOS Instructional Strategies Channel, and check back soon for more tips from Discovery Education!

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This Month at DE: January

What’s your favorite story? Start the new year with tons of new resources diving into the world of storytelling. Students will get started with the basics from Grammaropolis, check out modern twists on classic fairy tales from The Fable Cottage, and explore how to tell stories in science and math with simulations from PhET!

Featured PartnerPhET Interactive Simulations

We’re excited to introduce PhET Interactive Simulations as our featured partner for January! Founded in 2002 by Nobel laureate Care Wieman, the PhET project project at the University of Colorado Boulder creates engaging interactive math and science simulations for grades 3-12. PhET sims are based on extensive education research and spark curiosity through intuitive, game-like environments where students learn through exploration and discovery.

Dive into these new, intriguing interactives in the dedicated PhET Channel. Let students experiment with electronics, check out complex collisions, or play with planet positions and gravitational forces. Get started with the fun John Travoltage simulation or click the button below to see the full channel.

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The Fable Cottage

Grades K-2, 3-5

We’ve added more classics to our Fable Cottage Channel! Students can now enjoy Hansel and Gretel, Jack and the Beanstalk, Cinderella, and the Three Billy Goats Gruff—via standard reading passages or audiobooks!

The Fable Cottage breathes new life into traditional tales as they are lovingly retold in modern language. Nearly all stories are available in audiobook, reading passage, or video format, ensuring there’s something for every learner.

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FUTURE U. by Boeing

Grades 6-12

FUTURE U. provides educators the tools they need to inspire their students to use creativity, collaboration, persistence, and problem-solving skills to change and improve their world. Gear toward students in grades 6-12, FUTURE U. uses hands-on, experiential learning to ignite excitement and inspire today’s learners to become tomorrow’s innovators.

Check out the new Testing the Limits Virtual Field Trip and Educator Companion Guide to get started with these compelling resources from Boeing. Take students behind-the-scenes at Boeing test centers across the U.S., where engineers are pushing the boundaries of aerospace to create the innovative products and systems of the future.

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Grammaropolis

Grades 3-5

Discover the wonders of grammar with our new content partner Grammaropolis! Browse dozens of resources for grades 3-5, including Punctuation.?! and The Colon: The Great Organizer.

Through a combination of music videos and vignettes, Grammaropolis helps students learn about grammar concepts with engaging visuals and storytelling. In this imaginative metropolis, punctuation and parts of speech are personified based on the roles they play in a sentence. This helps build foundations for success as students learn to draw critical connections to grammar through dozens of memorable videos and songs using characters that align with core concepts.

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Find more timely content, tools, and resources with our
This Month at DE Studio Board!

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Innovation Generation Trade Champions Challenge

Grades 9-12

Fuel student passion and creativity with the Innovation Generation Trade Champions Challenge! Encourage high school students to focus on their future by asking them to create a 30-60 second video submission directed at their peers about why they aspire to be a trade professional and/or why they are passionate about the trade career they’re currently following. One lucky student will win a $15,000 grand prize and a Stanley Black & Decker Prize Pack!

The deadline for submissions is April 15, 2022.

Innovation Generation knows there’s a maker in everyone. Created in partnership between Stanley Black & Decker and Discovery Education, Innovation Generation aims to engage and excite educators and students in grades 6-10 while empowering the makers within.

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Making a New Life: The Strength of a Refugee Virtual Field Trip

Grades 3-5

Watch this on-demand Virtual Field Trip that goes into the history and legacy of Kindertransport while exploring what it means to be a refugee. By learning how they adjust to their new homes, cultures, and communities, students will step into the shoes of a refugee and celebrate the strength people can have in times of great change.

The USC Shoah Foundation – Institute for Visual History and Education is dedicated to making audio-visual interviews with survivors and witnesses of the Holocaust and other genocides a compelling voice for education and action. Inspire advocacy and empathy with this powerful content, which includes Virtual Field Trips, testimonies, student activities, and more.

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Martin Luther King, Jr. Channel

Grades K-12

Check out our revamped Martin Luther King Jr. Day Channel full of content about this important historical figure who led and inspired many to demand equal rights. Find a plethora of resources to help teach students about the impact of Dr. King, how he advocated for peaceful resistance to unfair laws, and how his legacy continues to inspire people around the world to work for freedom and equality.

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We hope you enjoy these exciting new resources and join us here for next month’s theme: Content We Love!

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This Month at DE: December

Can your ideas have an impact? This month we focus on groundbreaking visionaries whose transformative ideas inspire learners to follow their own path. December’s collection includes artwork, videos, podcasts, images and reading passages showcasing authors, engineers, activists, scientists, entrepreneurs, and more.

Amplifier

Grades 6-12

Amplifier uses art to demonstrate the power of visual storytelling that exemplifies the most important movements of our times. Each piece models positive and unifying messages related to equality, dignity, diversity, truth, and beauty.

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Water’s Impact on Our Lives and What We Can Do About It with Garvita Gulhati

Grades 9-12

This changemaker founded an initiative that aims to transform people’s mindset towards water. The Why Waste? project is India’s largest youth-led organization that works toward effective water conservation.

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Sea Studios Foundation: Cristina Diaz, Taxonomist: Sponge Biology

Grades 6-12

Explore the ocean depths with notable scientists like Christina Diaz, Taxonomist, as she performs an experiment to learn more about the flow of water through a living sponge. Watch to see what her experiment reveals!

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TogetHER: The Vibrant Power Around Us: Simi Adebajo

Grades 6-12

Immerse your students into inspiring stories of women entrepreneurs like Simi who shares her turbulent, yet rewarding, journey to open the first Nigerian restaurant in San Francisco, and during the pandemic.

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Keep students going strong this December with timely content, tools and events.  View more of our featured content in This Month at DE Studio Board.

Go There Now Request a Demo

White House Historical Association

Grades 6-12

Explore substantial historical events, artifacts, and individuals of the White House that impacted the foundations of our nation, like Voting and Civil Rights Protest, 1965. Rich content from the White House Historical Association portrays poignant moments in our history.

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Newshour Productions

Grades 6-12

Misconceptions about race affect people every day. Hear from young people as they reflect on race, culture, and the misconceptions they often face in their everyday lives.

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Encyclopedia Womannica

Grades 6-12

Learn about phenomenal women throughout history in bite-sized podcasts by Wonder Media. Get a glimpse into Madam C.J. Walker’s journey as a legendary entrepreneur, social activist, and first African American woman to become a millionaire.

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Enjoy these exciting new resources and be sure to join us here next month as we kick off 2022!

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December 2021 Partner Spotlight

Each month we take time to showcase a few of the amazing partners that we work with to develop high-quality content that inspires students. Take a moment to help us celebrate these partnerships, check out some of their new resources, and learn more about the incredible things they do!

And don’t forget to check out more content in our This Month at DE: December article.

Amplifier

Our new and growing collection of inspirational art showcases visionaries who are at the heart of some of the most important movements of our time. These changemakers draw connections to ELA and can be utilized as instructional activities to demonstrate the social fabric of America.

Share the Amplifier Channel with your students.

Freeport McMoRan

Impact students’ lives by sharing career profiles of data scientists, mill mechanics, metallurgists and take a Virtual Field Trip. Together, with Freeport McMoRan, we bring content that will empower your students to tackle and solve issues in STEM by seeing critical thinking and problem-solving skills in action.

Explore Dig into Mining.

TogetHER

Lasting impressions of inspiration are found in this new series that showcases women entrepreneurs whose heroic stories unfolded  amidst challenging times. These fascinating stories can be found on the Celebrating Black History Channel and portray collective strength and resilience. 

Meet Simi Abebajo.

Keep students going strong with timely content, tools and events. View more of our featured content in our This Month at DE Studio Board.

Go There Now Request a Demo

Sea Studio Foundation

Together with Sea Studio Foundation, we aim to provision the STEM culture in the classroom by equipping the next generation with that show how to create and protect a healthy and stable future for all humanity. Accelerate learning by accompanying these researchers along their journey of discovery.

Discover new pieces by Sea Studio Foundation.

USC Shoah Foundation

Hearing first-hand interviews of survivors and witnesses of the Holocaust and other genocides helps viewers understand the world as broadly as possible by addressing humanistic problems. These powerful narratives and innovative assets will build empathy, broaden perspectives, and overcome hatred.

Explore Teaching with Testimony.

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The Driving Forces of Innovation

It’s the moment every teacher cherishes: the proverbial light bulb switching on over a student’s head that represents understanding and the spark of something new. These light bulb moments are often the start of deeper curiosity, further inquiry, and the ability to synthesize knowledge and form novel ideas. And Discovery Education can help educators guide students towards more of them.

Fascinating developments and advances across disciplines are around every corner in DE. Whether teachers and students follow a particular path within the platform, engage resources that support their established curriculum, or explore through searches and channels, they will surely find things that amaze and inspire them. We’ve identified just three ways to use these resources to drive innovation (stories, structure, and mashups), but we’re sure you’ll find more.

Learn more about how DE can serve as your daily learning platform. Check out our live and on-demand events or explore 30 Ways to DE!

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Stories

Sometimes, getting lost in a story opens up students’ imaginations and that can be just the ticket for innovation. The STEM Solution Seekers is a collection of stories about a team of kids that actively seeks problems to solve and relishes the opportunities to come up with solutions. Introduce your students to the series to show them how the team identifies issues that need solutions and let them know you support creative problem solving.

For students who are interested in true stories of the science that is shaping our world, set them loose in Discovery Education’s Seeker Channel. It’s a digital collection of stories about the natural forces and groundbreaking innovations that are impacting our lives. The stories are rooted in things such as biomimicry, which has led to some of the most incredible – and most familiar – designs, such as wind turbines inspired by whales and Velcro inspired by burdock. Within Seeker, students will find information that could seed their own innovations, such as the video Focal Point: How Eyes Evolved to See the World Differently, which describes how the eyes of the walrus require flat corneas to see both underwater and above water.

Structure

It seems counterintuitive, but, in addition to things like curiosity and freedom to ideate, sometimes the guardrails provided by a little structure actually help people innovate. Discovery Education’s Generation Innovation: Concept and Create Virtual Field Trip includes several segments about the process of innovation, including steps like the design process and trial and error. As the Educator Guide for this VFT reminds us, “The basis for technological innovation is the design process. Engineers and scientists follow a formal model of iterative steps that lead to innovation.”

Mashups

Another pathway to innovation is through combining two seemingly unrelated things to make something new and amazing. Innovating in this way often requires a breadth of knowledge that can support novel mashups, but sometimes people have the knowledge already because it’s part of their lived experience.

The innovators in the following videos from Discovery Education’s Inventors and Innovators Channel each solved a problem by combining two things in a novel way and created something practical but potentially life-changing for their communities. Their stories may inspire your students to consider how to use the power of combination for innovation.

  • Sarah E. Goode, a featured inventor on DE’s channel, designed a cabinet bed and became the first African American woman to get a patent.
  • Seventeen-year-old Faith Florez created a Smartwatch app to protect farm workers from extreme heat, a journey documented in the video Sea of Change: Calor.

One of the most exciting things about innovation is the fact that we don’t always know where it comes from or, certainly, what it will lead to. But there are things educators can do to support some of the forces that drive it. Talk about it, let students explore the world of innovators, encourage creative problem solving, and watch your students take the world by storm.

About the Author
Jeanette Edelstein is an educator dedicated to making learning more engaging for students of all ages. She has been a classroom teacher, curriculum designer, and program developer. She was a founding teacher and the gifted and talented coordinator at Mapleton Expeditionary School of the Arts. Her curriculum projects include Hive Alive!, a collection of teaching resources about honey bees, Animal Planet Rescue, a disaster relief and educational vehicle that rescued over 1,000 animals, and CapsinSchool, an elementary curriculum based on the math and science of hockey.

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SOS Top Ten: The 4Cs Foster Creativity

Activities that provide novel approaches to problem solving through things like music, visual representation, and discussion can spark creativity and ignite innovation by accessing various senses and skills.

We’ve selected these Top Ten SOS Instructional Strategies for 4Cs – Encouraging Creativity and Innovation because they give students multiple entries to their own creative processes. Use these strategies to encourage students to unlock their creative potential.

Think Creatively

Make It Concrete

A twist on the concept of concrete poetry, Make It Concrete requires students to identify and draw a shape that is related to the content, then fill it with factual details taken from a piece of media.

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Sketchnotes

Students often take written notes in phrases and fragments. Consider Sketchnotes’ visual versions of this shorthand. By representing their learning in sketches, students need to add a layer to their thought process, often increasing comprehension and retention.

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Fakebook

This strategy requires a deep understanding of a person, place, or object. Fakebook harnesses the appeal of social media to inspire students to create an online profile full of connections that reflect the events, people, and times of their topic.

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Puppet Pictures

Using the creative and conceptual format of a puppet show, Puppet Pictures requires students to have a solid understanding of the topic at hand. With images related to your unit, student write and narrate a puppet show.

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Sticky Back

Creativity often requires looking beyond the obvious. In Sticky Back, students gain points if they can recall and record a factual detail from a piece of media that no one else recorded, rewarding those who pay close attention to the material.

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Work Creatively with Others

Paper Slide

Would your students like a video production assignment? Connecting to content, representing key points and details, and producing a one-shot Paper Slide video will push students to synthesize any featured topic in a medium they know and love.

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Music Video

It takes clear understanding to represent content in a fresh way, such as a Music Video. With this strategy, students will use visualization and collaboration skills to create illustrations that represent song lyrics, line-by-line and frame-by-frame.

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Take a Walk

You’ve read the research: walking lets the mind wander right along with the feet, which can foster innovative thinking. Bring the research to life in your classroom by asking students to Take a Walk to share their learning.

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Implement Innovations

Take a Shot

Innovation almost always requires risk. Take a Shot encourages students to try for even more complex questions to earn greater points for their correct answers.

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IDEA Share

Contrary to popular belief, creativity can benefit from structure and feedback. IDEA Share provides a specific framework for students to provide peer-to-peer feedback in four categories: Interesting, Different, Exciting, and Advanced.

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These ten strategies will help your students connect to their creativity as they problem solve and innovate. Find more instructional strategies in our SOS Instructional Strategies Channel, and encourage students to use all their newfound skills in solution making across disciplines!

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This Month at DE: November

We’re bringing new content in November to inspire students to wonder about our amazing world and the innovative things they can do to make it a better place. From the Georgia Aquarium to the Canadian tundra to outer space, take your students on wondrous journeys this month!

The Aquarium

Grades 3-8

Learn about the journey of two rescued baby sea otters as they travel by jet plane to their forever home and see how a Reef Manta uses a new lift stretcher at the Georgia Aquarium. Dive into this newest segment from The Aquarium.

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Seeker

Grades 6-12

Accelerate learning with dozens of engaging and relatable video segments that delve into innovations in STEM. These immersive pieces demonstrate that there is more to science than being in a lab, how diseases work inside our bodies, how space crafts explain fascinating phenomena, and more.

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Metstorm

Grades K-12

Weather provides life lessons for science, math, Earth processes, and human influence. Scientific explanations spark the imagination and investigation about Lightning Trenches, How Hail Forms, and more! You can find the new collection of Metstorm resources in the Weather Channel.

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World Wildlife Fund: Wild Classroom

Grades 3-12

Commitment to educating and encouraging young people about the fragility of wildlife is seen our stimulating series Wild Classroom from World Wildlife Fund. Check out the latest video about Monarch Butterflies and their incredibly highly evolved species.

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Keep students going strong this November with timely content, tools and events.  View more of our featured content in This Month at DE Studio Board.

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CheddarK-12

Grades 6-12

Almond, Soy, Dairy?  Who is winning the milk war?  CheddarK-12 makes it easy to assign relevant, real-world content that demonstrates the significance of current events related to science, business and technological innovations.  Check out Why Dairy is Losing the Milk Wars.

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Wonderscape

Grades K-5

Explore the science of archaeology with lively animations and narrations in Archaeology for Kids: Digging up the Past. Built-in learning assessments throughout the video breaks the content into digestible parts and aids in learning key concepts.

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Guy Harvey Ocean Foundation

Grades 3-8

Put your scuba gear on and dive into the tropical sea to learn about tiger sharks! Scientific research helps shed light on this near-threatened undersea predators.

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Enjoy these new resources and be sure to join us here next month as we kick off our December theme: TBD!

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November 2021 Partner Spotlight

Each month we showcase a few of the amazing partners that we work with to develop high-quality content to inspire students. Take a moment to help us celebrate these partnerships, check out some of their new resources, and learn more about the incredible things they do!

And don’t forget to check out more content in our This Month at DE: November article.

Seeker

Seeker focuses on investigating topics that empower the curious to understand the science shaping our world by highlighting stories about natural phenomena and groundbreaking innovations in STEM. This partnership delivers relatable, engaging, and entertaining videos that invite students to explore research related to science and technology.

Explore more in the new Seeker Channel.

Animal Planet

Since 1996, Animal Planet by Discovery, Inc. has kept the childhood joy and wonder of animals alive by bringing people up close in every way. We partner with Animal Planet to share this wonder through our Animals Channel, where students can investigate the vast world of the animal kingdom. Our newest editions to the Animal Planet collection include a trip to the Georgia Aquarium and the Bronx Zoo.

Explore more Animal Planet resources in the Animals Channel.

Edge at Hudson Yards

We’re partnering with Edge at Hudson Yards to take learning to new heights! Through hands-on, experiential learning, students see how big ideas and cutting-edge technology can improve lives and revolutionize communities.

Register your class for The Future is Now Virtual Field Trip that takes students 1,131 feet to Edge, the highest outdoor skydeck in the Western hemisphere, and behind-the-scenes at the amazing innovations of architecture and engineering.

Check out The Future is Now Virtual Field Trip.

CheddarK-12

A collaboration between Cheddar News and Discovery Education, CheddarK-12 explores and examines answers to the questions students may be curious about related to science, business, and technological innovations. Through CheddarK-12, DE educators can more easily integrate current events into their classroom instruction.

Check out the CheddarK-12 Channel.

Abbott

The human heart beats 100,000 times a day. To show how this body engine works, two students will explore the fascinating structure and function of the heart with Abbott scientists and doctors, and will join U.S. Olympian Lolo Jones to learn how to keep your heart healthy! Register for this Your Heart Virtual Field Trip (grades 5-8) on November 9 at 1:00 PM ET.

Abbott’s Future Well Kids program helps teach kids ages 10-13 about chronic diseases like diabetes and heart disesase, and inspires them to take charge of their own health by making smart choices today, so they can live a fuller, healthier life tomorrow.

Learn more about Future Well Kids.

NextGen in Partnership with Verizon

Next Gen, in collaboration with Verizon, helps bridge the gap between connectivity and technology by providing schools and community organizations with free resources to educate, inspire, and equip students with skills to close the digital divide and prepare them for the future.

Learn more about Next Gen.

Keep students going strong this October with timely content, tools, and events. View more of our featured content in the This Month at DE Studio Board.

Go There Now Request a Demo

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How We Can Celebrate Curiosity

Curiosity is at the heart of everything we do at Discovery Education.

We believe that the most powerful learning experiences are those that spark curiosity and drive deeper engagement with the world around us. In fact, curiosity is simply and beautifully a strong desire to learn, so we’d like to highlight the many ways that Discovery Education supports this very natural drive.

Curiosity is a strong force. It doesn’t always follow along chapter or unit lines and it’s not always predictable. A platform with enough resources to satisfy unwavering curiosity requires a seemingly limitless amount of content and frequent additions. The treasury of more than 200,000 videos, Virtual Field Trips, text-based passages, interactives, audio, podcasts, and images in our platform right now aims to include a resource for every source of wonder. And, it’s always expanding.

Can you remember a time when a teacher described a topic or posed a question that created an itch to conduct your own investigations? This is what we’re all striving for: students who are interested and excited by the world of knowledge, who can use the tools and resources at their fingertips to satisfy their own curiosity, and who are deeply engaged with learning.

So, what’s the best way to celebrate curiosity? We think it’s to encourage it. Direct students to specific areas of DE if they have something they’re already curious about or support general curiosity by letting your students roam freely in the safety of our content universe. The content is high-quality, timely, and vetted.

The opportunities abound, but here are just a few samples of the kinds of things students might find based on their particular interests.

Learn more about how DE can serve as your daily learning platform. Check out our live and on-demand events or explore 30 Ways to DE!

Join an Event 30 Ways to DE

I’m curious about the world from authentic perspectives . . .

The Global Oneness Project’s collection of documentary films portrays individuals and communities contending with major issues facing all of humanity. The films provide compelling windows into the changing world. From the last speakers of disappearing languages to a Syrian refugee living in Vancouver, the stories are personal and fascinating.

I’m curious about Native American poetry and power . . .

Use Channels to find videos and other resources related to specific topics. The Celebrating Native American Heritage Channel features an interview from the Library of Congress with the first Native American Poet Laureate, Joy Harjo. She speaks of the power and legacy of poetry. And, the More Videos Like This feature leads curious students to related stories. From the interview with Joy Harjo, students can link to a story about Amanda Gorman, the first ever National Youth Poet Laureate and youngest poet to speak at an inauguration.

I’m curious about robotics, manufacturing, machines, AI, and video games . . .

STEM is a huge umbrella for so many topics that pique student curiosity. Learn all about STEM careers—the people, the work, the innovation—with content created by DE’s STEM Careers Coalition. For topics from the very timely COVID-19 solutions being developed to the wildly innovative trips to Mars to the making of the Madden NFL video game, STEM Careers provides videos, student challenges, classroom activities, Virtual Field Trips, and more.

Think of Discovery Education as a rabbit hole . . . with a map. You and your students will find countless topics, activities, and tools to explore almost any curiosity. For the uncharted experience, there are tools like search, link, and top picks. For the more guided experience, use tools like lesson activities, channels, and educator guides.

Whatever your students wonder and whatever they find, be sure to celebrate the curiosity that inspired them! This month, and every month, celebrate that strong desire for learning by creating a culture of curiosity and growth.

About the Author
Jeanette Edelstein is an educator dedicated to making learning more engaging for students of all ages. She has been a classroom teacher, curriculum designer, and program developer. She was a founding teacher and the gifted and talented coordinator at Mapleton Expeditionary School of the Arts. Her curriculum projects include Hive Alive!, a collection of teaching resources about honey bees, Animal Planet Rescue, a disaster relief and educational vehicle that rescued over 1,000 animals, and CapsinSchool, an elementary curriculum based on the math and science of hockey.

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SOS Instructional Strategies Top 10:  Digital Citizenship

Students spend a significant amount of time in the digital realm and they need practice to become good digital citizens. Opportunities to learn and model online behavior prepare students to interact successfully in virtual spaces.

We’ve curated these Top Ten SOS Instructional Strategies for Digital Citizenship because they give students a chance to develop skills for digital interactions. They will help students build knowledge, collaborate, and practice good digital citizenship.

Tweet Tweet

The beauty of brevity: In Tweet Tweet, students must fit their communications into the traditional 140-character, or updated 280-character, tweet. This strategy is particularly effective to develop skills in summarizing and clear, concise communication.

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Fakebook

This strategy requires a deep understanding of a person, place, or object. Fakebook harnesses the appeal of social media to inspire students to create an online profile full of connections that reflect the events, people, and times of their topic.

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Instagramming

An Insta is worth a thousand words. Have students create Instagram-style posts in response to a DE video, then let them “post” and respond to each other’s Instagramming.

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Tabletop Texting

Getting to the core of a discussion is sometimes helped by constraints. Tabletop Texting simulates a text conversation (on paper) – succinct, dynamic, collaborative – to give structure to student discussions about a piece of media.

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Get Venn-y With It

Two images. Two circles. Get Venn-y With It. The simplicity is the key for this activity that pits two images against each other and asks students to compare within a Venn diagram.

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Puppet Pictures

Using the creative and conceptual format of a puppet show, Puppet Pictures requires students to have a solid understanding of the topic at hand. With images related to your unit, student write and narrate a puppet show.

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Connect the Dots

Digital footprints are their own type of web. Help students understand the concept of connections with the strategy Connect the Dots, in which students connect content from a piece of media to their own life experience by making text-to-self connections on paper.

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XO Let’s Go

Based on everyone’s favorite game of X and O, this tic-tac-toe adaptation is still all about taking turns. Players earn Xs and Os by listening as their partner discusses what they learned – no repeats!

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Conga Line

Digital conversations move quickly and often have multiple voices. Give students a chance to practice talking and listening to a variety of people with Conga Line, a strategy that uses two moving lines to provide students the opportunity to talk with many different people in quick succession.

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Inquiry Chart

Cite your source, please. Online, information flies and opinions are a dime a dozen. Inquiry Chart provides a structure that guides students to recognize and cite their sources, an invaluable skill for productive digital conversation.

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These ten strategies will help your students grow into productive and constructive citizens of the digital world. Find more instructional strategies in our SOS Instructional Strategies Channel, and encourage students to use all their newfound skills as responsible digital citizens!

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