Xpeditions:Free Cross-Curricular Project And Inquiry Based Learning: Based On National Standards


Welcome to another post. On weekdays I try to keep the postings short, but fill them with some rich web resources. In researching Xpeditions is was easy to find the rich resources, it will be a challenge to keep it short. Thanks for the visit and let me know via a reply, email, or twitter any feedback or comments. You always have an open invitation to visit my 21centuryedtech Wiki and please follow me at @mjgormans on Twitter.  I will return the favor and we can learn from each other! – Mike (mgorman@sacs.k12.in.us)

The resources in Xpeditions  provide an opportunity to cross the curriculums of  science, social studies, math, and language arts  using National Geography Standards. At the same time students are engaged in unique and well planned  inquiry, project, and problem based activities.  Upon examination, it is amazing the job that Xpeditions  has done in providing a great mix of lessons, activities, videos, simulations,  for all students in K-12. Of course, you can always expect a superior product when the organization behind the project is National Geographic. Upon entering the sight, choices will abound and any click will bring possibilities of engaged learning.

The first thing I always like to highlight are the Standards. A quote on the site states  states “The National Geography Standards contain what is most important and enduring in geography. They help teachers to decide what to teach, at what grades to teach it, and what to expect of students as a result. They give students rigorous but realistic benchmarks for which to strive.” I also noted that the included standards really do merge all core curricular areas!

My next click included visiting the Xpedition Hall which is an amazing interactive museum allowing students to explore archeology digs, map cartology, games, travel, adventure, and unique experiences. Be sure to read through the teacher guide , as it supplies an overview and a way to incorporate the hall in lessons and activities. The hall is built on a virtual premise and is worth the visit to the Xpedition Site in itself, but there is so much more!

Another important link is the  Lesson Plans. They were written by teachers and have been tested in the classrooms across the nation. These lesson plans together, address all of the U.S. National Geography Standards, the five geography skills, and the main geographic perspectives. Resources from this site include the AtlasBlue Ribbon Links,   Xpedition Hall, and Activities and are incorporated into the lessons. Take a look at the lesson index and note how it follows grade levels and standards. Not only are the lesson titles numerous, they are impressive, linking to outstanding resources.

The next major link is one that connects to Activities,  offering students opportunities to use geography to complete a variety of missions. Included  are  “X-tras”—maps, games, stories, web sites, and interactive features. These  allow students to complete the tasks and to even visit related annexes in Xpedition Hall once their mission is through. Take a look at this amazing list of activities and note the  included standards and grade level targets. It is  evident that thought has been put toward multiple learning styles with an emphasis on Inquiry Based Learning.

Don’t miss the Atlas link. It allows students to make and then print their own maps. Students have the opportunity to customize these maps by making desired selections. It can also be used as a teacher tool in preparing maps for classroom use.  I believe that the Atlas may be one of the areas that both teachers and students will use most. In conclusion the Xpeditions Web Site from National Geographic offers many opportunities. The choices for a teacher can be overwhelming and I recommend choosing one lesson or activty that can incoporate the standards that need to be addressed by a teacher or multi-disciplinary team.  I am sure all students will enjoy this inquiry and problem based approach to learning. National Geographic has even more to offer and I will be sure to highlight those resources in future posts. I am certain you will find that Xpeditions is a valuable resource  as you continue your own journey into 21st Century Education. Have great and rewarding Xpeditions!

Thanks for the visit and let me know via a reply, email, or twitter any feedback or comments. You always have an open invitation to visit my 21centuryedtech Wiki and please follow me at @mjgormans on Twitter.  I will return the favor and we can learn from each other! – Mike (mgorman@sacs.k12.in.us)

 

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