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Program NG Live

  • This video was filmed on October 5, 2011 as part of the National Geographic Live! Lecture series at National Geographic Society headquarters in Washington, D.C.



    Washington Post environmental reporter Juliet Eilperin takes us on a globe-spanning adventure to investigate the ways individuals and cultures relate to the ocean's top predator. Through her eye-opening images and stories, Eilperin reminds us why sharks remain among nature's most awe-inspiring creatures.


    • Introduction and why Eilperin wanted to study sharks (start-2:31 min.)
    • Island culture's relationship with sharks (2:32-4:01 min.)
    • Hawaiin shark culture: praying to an aumakua (4:02-5:45 min.)
    • Shark beliefs in medieval times: dragon tongue stones (5:46-6:25 min.)
    • Greek and Roman accounts of sharks (6:26-7:08 min.)
    • The Western world's reintroduction to sharks through seafaring (7:09-9:10 min.)
    • The American reintroduction to sharks (9:11-9:55 min.)
    • Politicians and sharks: public blame and the Shark Menace Committee (9:56-12:13 min.)
    • How the movie Jaws shaped shark perceptions (12:14-14:00 min.)
    • Fishing and sharks: recreational and industrial bycatch (14:01-15:38 min.)
    • About the shark fin trade (15:39-17:35 min.)
    • The ecological role of sharks (17:36-19:23 min.)


    Strategies for Using Video in a Variety of Learning Environments

    • Have students preview several of the videos and choose the one they find most inspiring. Have students describe in writing a conversation they might have with the speaker(s).
    • Freeze the video on a relevant image. Have students observe details in the still image and jot down predictions of what the full video might address. Discuss students’ ideas before and after watching the video.
    • Pose an open-ended question before students watch the video, and have them discuss their ideas before and after in small groups.
    • Have students determine what they think the key message of this video is. Was the speaker effective in getting his or her message across?
    • Show a short clip to engage students during class, and then have students watch the full video at home and write a paragraph responding to the content or a question you give them.
    • Have students note statements that represent facts or opinions, including where it’s difficult to tell the difference. What further research might help distinguish facts and opinions? How might the speaker’s viewpoint compare with others’ viewpoints about a topic?



  • Term Part of Speech Definition Encyclopedic Entry
    bycatch Noun

    fish or any other organisms accidentally caught in fishing gear.

    commercial fishing Noun

    industry responsible for catching and selling fish.

    cultural belief Noun

    faith or custom created and supported by a community's traditional behavior.

    culture Noun

    learned behavior of people, including their languages, belief systems, social structures, institutions, and material goods.

    ecology Noun

    branch of biology that studies the relationship between living organisms and their environment.

    Encyclopedic Entry: ecology
    politician Noun

    person who serves as a representative of the citizens of a geographic area to the local, state, or national government.

    shark Noun

    predatory fish.

    spiritual Adjective

    having to do with religion or faith.

    sport fishing Noun

    catching fish for competition or recreation.

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