XAL Activities

Explorer At Large (XAL) Activities  guide students to practice exploration and complement XAL Videos, offering each grade band an age-appropriate set of project-based activities and experiments.


Included with XAL Activities are:


  • Notes for teachers

  • Aligned Common Core & Next Generation Science Standards

  • Suggested supplemental materials, kits, and supplies

  • Suggested enhancements for students (e.g. further readings, other videos, additional experiments, and supportive websites), if appropriate

  • Pre/post formative assessment questions to inform teaching and guide learning


Activities are typically linked by theme or action to the Videos, giving students a chance to mirror what they have seen Josh and the experts do on screen. For example, after watching Josh learn about orchids from the Smithsonian Gardens' staff (episode # 19), students can create their own pollinators using basic arts and crafts materials.

These kits––designed from readily-available, inexpensive, and non-toxic materials––give students age-appropriate tasks and investigations to complete. As Explorer At Large's library of content grows, additional kits will be developed to continue to reinforce the connection between what students see in the videos with what they can do themselves in the classroom.

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