According to Florian Schulz, it takes a special person to be a nature photographer. Such an individual must be comfortable working in inclement weather, able to eat copious amounts of dried food, schlep heavy equipment over rough terrain, and hold still for hours while lying in wait for the perfect shot.

The job does have its perks, and for Florian, one is spending time exploring Earth’s last wilderness areas. Florian’s recent work focused on the Arctic. Often described as barren and desolate, this region is actually teeming with life. Join Florian as he takes students on a journey through the vibrant Arctic ecosystem using breathtaking imagery of polar bears, musk ox, and caribou.

Use the resources in this collection to prepare your students for their upcoming National Geographic Live student matinee experience. Use the “Before the show” ideas to introduce students to Florian Schulz and the topics (adventure, conservation, geography, photography) that he 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 Florian Schulz’s biography using the links in the Explore More tab.

  • Download and explore the provided maps of the North Pole and the Arctic Ocean, or use MapMaker Interactive to explore the areas where Florian works.

  • Have students read the conservation encyclopedic entry. Lead a class discussion about different kinds of conservation techniques. After reading, ask: How are different types of conservation connected to one another? Can conservation have positive and negative consequences for different stakeholders?

  • Watch the videos Protecting the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, featuring former U.S. President Barack Obama, and Saving the Last Wilderness, found on Florian’s website to familiarize students with the work he’s done to help protect the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge and document the Arctic region.

  • Help students practice critical geography skills such as acquiring geographic information and answering geographic questions with The Arctic Region activity. This activity strives to help students locate and describe the region and explain why it is an important indicator of global climate change.

  • Consider using the activity Arctic Adaptations to teach students about how animals are adapted to flourish in the harsh Arctic environment. After the activity, visit Florian Schulz’s website to show students photographs of Arctic creatures. Ask: How might some of the adaptations of Arctic animals make Florian Schulz’s job of photographing them more difficult? How might he overcome those challenges?

  • 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 Florian Schulz. Distribute the worksheet to students before the presentation and review the directions with them. Review any terms with which 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 Florian Schulz shared. Ask: What role did place play in Florian Schulz’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 Florian Schulz 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 Florian Schulz talk about today? In what ways does Florian Schulz 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?


a modification of an organism or its parts that makes it more fit for existence. An adaptation is passed from generation to generation.

alpine tundra

flat, treeless vegetation region separated from a forest by the tree line.


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

Arctic Circle

paralell of latitude that runs 66.5 degrees north of the Equator.

arctic fox

mammal native to the tundra and other Arctic climates.

arctic tern

small bird that migrates from the Arctic to the Antarctic.

arctic tundra

flat, treeless vegetation region near the Arctic Circle.




all weather conditions for a given location over a period of time.


gradual changes in all the interconnected weather elements on our planet.


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


barren, spare, or lonely.


community and interactions of living and nonliving things in an area.


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

high Arctic

northern, most isolated part of the North Pole region.


a single thing.


environment or ecosystem, usually without human development.


fixed point that, along with the South Pole, forms the axis on which the Earth spins.


public land set aside to protect native wildlife.


region just south of the Arctic Circle.


topographic features of an area.


cold, treeless region in Arctic and Antarctic climates.

tundra climate

region that experiences short summers and long winters.




environment that has remained essentially undisturbed by human activity.

wildlife refuge

area set aside for the protection of wild animals, where hunting and fishing are limited.