Curriculum Materials

These lessons are designed for grades one through six in a desert landscape, but many could be adapted to other grades and other ecosystems. Click here for tips on successfully managing an outdoor classroom.

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  • Five different park maps showing various NPS units with four closed and one open.

    This is a classroom based, free teacher led program. National Park Legacy Voyagers is designed for ninth through twelfth grade students so they can go on an exploration of National Park Sites and learn about National Parks. Lesson plans include reading, writing, community service, presenting activities. Activities focus on cultural and natural resources and reasons for national parks. Activities feature budgeting and planning activity.

    Type:
    Lesson Plan
    Grade level:
    Ninth Grade-Twelfth Grade
    Subjects:
    Biology: Animals, Biology: Plants, Earth Science, Geology, History, Oceans
    Keywords:
    National Parks, legacy, cultural resources, natural resources, heritage, climate change, careers, Wildland-Urban Interface
  • Preparing for Winter

    This in-class presentation uses story and visualization to explore how different types of animals survive the winter.

    Type:
    Lesson Plan
    Grade level:
    Second Grade
    Subjects:
    Biology: Animals, Biology: Plants
    Keywords:
    winter survival, hibernation, migration
  • Animal Adaptations

    Students are introduced to animal adaptations as both activities and anatomy that help animals survive. On the field trip, students explore for beaver sign and dress-up one student to illustrate the amazing adaptations of this animal. Students pretend to be raptors, learning why the birds need sharp eyesight, and play a game that illustrates the adaptations of deer and mountain lions. Finally, they migrate as a gaggle of geese, and examine how much energy it takes to make the long journey.

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    Average: 5.0 (1 rating)

    Type:
    Lesson Plan
    Grade level:
    Fourth Grade
    Subjects:
    Biology: Animals
    Keywords:
    adaptations, Beaver, Canada Geese, mule deer, eagles, wetlands, forests, desert, mountain lion, migration, birds of prey
  • Imaginary River Trip

    Students take an imaginary river trip -- right in their classrooms. Along the way they explore how humans, animals, and insects use the river to survive.

    Type:
    Lesson Plan
    Grade level:
    First Grade
    Subjects:
    Recreation Ecology
    Keywords:
    river, rafting, water use
  • Desert sandstones and snow-capped mountains

    Students assemble jigsaw puzzles in the classroom informing them about the different types of rock and the rock cycle. At a field trip site, students examine a limestone layer to find fossils and make clay models to reenact movement along a local fault. They explore and model the formation of arches, and learn the names and deposition histories of the rock layers surrounding them. Back in the classroom, a mapping activity demonstrates what causes many earthquakes: plate tectonics.

    Type:
    Lesson Plan
    Grade level:
    Fifth Grade
    Subjects:
    Earth Science, Geology
    Keywords:
    erosion, weathering, earthquakes, uplift, arch formation, fossil, fault, deposition, geologic layers
  • Cactus blooms

    Students observe and compare different methods of seed dispersal. They learn about bat behavior and anatomy, and explore how a lizard's skin helps it survive. Lastly, they discover the link between the shape of a bird's beak and the food it can eat.

    Type:
    Lesson Plan
    Grade level:
    Second Grade
    Subjects:
    Biology: Animals, Biology: Plants
    Keywords:
    echolocation, seed dispersal, beak, adaptations, lizards
  • Cultural Contributions

    A pre-trip activity introduces archeology and the artifacts that provide clues to the lives of ancient people. On the field trip, students make their own pottery, cordage, and rock art replicas, and examine an ancient rock art panel. Back in the classroom, students create a timeline of their own lives to learn how vandals can destroy the archeological record.

    Type:
    Lesson Plan
    Grade level:
    Fourth Grade
    Subjects:
    Archaeology
    Keywords:
    rock art, artifacts, Utah history, prehistory, archeology, cordage, petroglyph, pictograph, pottery
  • Students will participate in a virtual dig and use accompanying field notes and action photos to investigate their own online "hearth" site.

    Type:
    Lesson Plan
    Grade level:
    Sixth Grade-Eighth Grade
    Subjects:
    American Indian History and Culture, Anthropology, Archaeology, History
  • student examines a snail

    Students examine the interaction of elements of the food chain - producers, consumers and decomposers - through dioramas and art projects in the classroom. In the field, a story and an active game reinforce predator-prey relationships. Students examine decomposers and their vital role in the nutrient cycle, then they investigate energy loss in the high desert food chain.

    Type:
    Lesson Plan
    Grade level:
    Third Grade
    Subjects:
    Ecology
    Keywords:
    interactions, food chain, nutrient cycle, predator, prey, ecosystems
  • Physical & Chemical Changes in Matter

    In class, students learn the difference between physical changes and chemical changes in matter, and then go for a hike to observe both in nature. They learn about particulate matter in the air, discuss what creates particulates, and discover how scientists measure them. They act out the chemical changes that are destroying ozone in the upper atmosphere and see how scientists measure ozone recovery. Back in class, students mix household items and predict the type of resulting reactions.

    Type:
    Lesson Plan
    Grade level:
    Fifth Grade
    Subjects:
    Chemistry, Physical Science
    Keywords:
    air quality, ozone, particulates, reactions, physical changes in matter, chemical changes in matter
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