• Badlands formations against the blue sky; photo by Rikk Flohr

    Badlands

    National Park South Dakota

Curriculum Materials

  • Model reconstruction of ancient pig-like animal

    Featured Materials

    What Color Was I?

    Student will learn about fossils from Badlands National Park and learn why fossils are found there Explore »

  • Junior Ranger Kylie Ferguson

    Featured Materials

    Kylie's Fossil Find

    Seven-year old Kylie Ferguson found a rare saber tooth cat fossil in the Badlands Explore »

  • Bison on the prairie

    Featured Materials

    Bison by the Numbers

    Learn about the scope of bison population decline during the U.S. westward expansion Explore »

  • Bison on the prairie

    Featured Materials

    Bison Banquet

    Learn about food webs by studying the prairie animals of Badlands National Park Explore »

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  • Badlands National Park

    Bison Banquet

    Bison Banquet

    All life needs energy to grow and survive. Plants receive a vital part of their energy from the Sun, while animals receive their energy from eating plants or other animals. The path energy takes through an series of organisms is known as a food chain, while all the paths energy can travel through an ecosystem is known as a food web. Discover how the mixed-grass prairie plants and animals of Badlands National Park are connected to each other through food chains and an overall food web.

  • Badlands National Park

    Swift Fox Data Analysis Lab

    Swift Fox Data Analysis Lab

    In this lesson, students will take on the role of a wildlife biologist and analyze actual 2003 swift fox translocation data from Badlands National Park. Students will work together to compile a master data sheet showing their findings.

  • Badlands National Park

    Secrets of the Past

    Secrets of the Past

    Watch a six minute ranger video on the geology of Badlands National Park and complete one of the suggested in classroom activities (grades K-8).

  • Agate Fossil Beds National Monument

    Death Traps

    Death Traps

    This scripted slideshow describes the process by which animals have died and become fossilized in waterholes, influenced by a severe drought. It compares two sites, separated by 13 million years, Agate Fossil Beds and the Badlands. Through description, analysis, and comparison of two different locations, students will learn principles relating to the behavior, habitat and survival of living animals, as well as scientific study of past life forms known as fossils, and severe climatic events.

  • Badlands National Park

    Water World

    Water World

    Discover the role water has in the processes of erosion and deposition, and how sedimentary rocks form.

  • Badlands National Park

    Can You Dig It?

    Can You Dig It?

    Discover how paleontologists find fossils and learn more about past life.

  • Badlands National Park

    Swift Fox Inquiry & Presentations

    Swift Fox Inquiry & Presentations

    In this lesson, students create a presentation about swift fox and Badlands National Park. Students will choose from a list of predetermined topics. Students use prompt questions related to their topic to research and present the required information to fellow students.

  • Badlands National Park

    Kylie's Fossil Find

    Kylie's Fossil Find

    In May 2010, a seven-year old girl named Kylie found a fossil near the visitor center at Badlands National Park. She did the right thing. She reported her find to rangers. It turned out to be a rare and well-preserved saber tooth cat fossil. This nonfiction story will help students understand the science of paleontology and the importance of protecting our natural resources. Furthermore, they may be able to better identify with the real life story of another young student.

  • Badlands National Park

    What Color Was I?

    What Color Was I?

    In this lesson, students will learn where Badlands National Park is located, what fossil resources are protected at the park, and why so many fossils have been preserved there.

  • Badlands National Park

    Bison by the Numbers

    Bison by the Numbers

    The American bison was an important species to Native Americans on the Great Plains of North America. However, as settlers moved west during the nineteen century, the population numbers dramatically dropped from overhunting. In this exercise, students will learn graphing skills while learning about this species that almost went extinct.

Did You Know?

The white water of Sage Creek

Available water in the badlands is always loaded with sediment. Cloudy and milky white in appearance, the water contains particles that carry a slight charge of electricity. The particles repel each other, instead of settling to the bottom. Early visitors found the water unsuitable for drinking.