What to Teach in January and February

In place of our usual “This Week in Geographic History,” we’ve gathered content related to upcoming events so you can plan ahead over the holidays.


Martin Luther King, Jr.’s Birthday 

NGS Picture Id:546167

Martin Luther King, Jr. meets with other civil rights leaders during the 1963 March on Washington. Photograph by James P. Blair, National Geographic.

Visual: 1963 March on Washington

Background: Martin Luther King, Jr. and Civil Rights

Activity: Watch this video about Martin Luther King, Jr.’s life


Inauguration Day 

NGS Picture Id:1318805

Thousands gather at the U.S. Capitol for the Inauguration of President Woodrow Wilson in 1913. National Geographic.

Visual: Aerial photo of the 2009 Inauguration

Background: Inauguration Day photos, history, and fast facts

Activity: Read this article about Trump’s view on climate change and ask students: What do you think the incoming administration means for the environment?



Black History Month

NGS Picture Id:2200520

A 99-year-old African-American woman sits in her Detroit home surrounded by portraits documenting five generations of her family. Photograph by Wayne Lawrence, National Geographic.

Map: African American Population  

Background: Collection of Black History Month resources

Activity: Explore the National Museum of African American History’s “Grounds for Solidarity” photo essay and discussion questions.


Valentine’s Day

NGS Picture Id:619841

A teenage boy plays the guitar at a Valentines Day school dance in Alaska. Photograph by Emory Kristof, National Geographic.

Visual: Drawing of a heart (the real kind!)

Background: History of Valentine’s Day

Activity: Learn about the different ways Valentine’s Day is celebrated around the world. Ask students which country’s Valentine’s tradition they like best.

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