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

    Badlands

    National Park South Dakota

There are park alerts in effect.
show Alerts »
  • Visitor Center Open

    Construction crews are replacing the parking lot in front of the visitor center. Please follow the signs, park in the side lot, and use the side doors. The Ben Reifel Visitor Center remains open every day from 8 am to 4 pm.

Guest Speakers

Badlands in Your Classroom Programs, K-12
Each 45-minute program includes a PowerPoint presentation, a hands-on activity, and a question and answer session with the ranger. All programs are aligned with the South Dakota Science and/or Social Studies Content Standards. Programs are available to schools within 80 miles of Interior, SD.

Badlands in Your Classroom programs have concluded for the 2012-2013 school year. Information about scheduling programs for the 2013-2014 school year will be available by October. You may also contact us for information about program offerings and reservations.


K-2: Prairie Animals & Habitats
Meet a cast of prairie animals. Learn how they live together in the prairie ecosystem of Badlands National Park. Students may see and touch animal pelts, complete a puzzle, or complete a craft. (K-living vs. nonliving; 1-survival/habitats; 2-adaptations/endangered/extinct)

Suggested Pre-visit Wildlife Video

Photosets: Mammals, Birds

3-4: Time Travel with Fossils
Travel back in time to discover ancient ecosystems and animals. Students examine fossils and make inferences about how the animals survived and how they were adapted to living in different ecosystems. (3-adaptations/form/function/survival; 4-adaptations/survival/food webs)
Suggested Pre-visit Lesson, Secrets of the Past
Photosets: Saber Site and Paleo Prep Lab

Fossil Trading Cards (1.84 MB pdf)

5-6: Can You Dig It?
Learn about the rocks and fossils of Badlands National Park. Explore the job of a paleontologist through a hands-on fossil dig activity.
Suggested Pre-visit Lesson, Kylie's Fossil Find
Photosets: Saber Site and Paleo Prep Lab
Fossil Trading Cards (1.84 MB pdf)

7-8: Water World
Review how sedimentary rocks are formed through the processes of deposition and erosion. Students complete an activity to illustrate the concepts discussed.
Suggested Pre-visit Lesson, Secrets of the Past
Photosets: Geologic Formations

High School
Contact the park for more information about high school programs.

 

General Background Information & Additional Resources
K-12
Badlands Virtual Experience
K-12 Curriculum Materials
K-12 Badlands in Brief Video Podcasts

 

Not within 80 miles? Check out our Distance Learning opportunities. A guest speaker will visit your classroom by video conference.

Did You Know?

Early motorist meanders through the Upper Tunnel

Early motorists along the Badlands Loop Road traveled through tunnels carved into the formations. Since the road’s layout defied engineering logic by being based on scenery rather than stability, the road is constantly shifting. Though the tunnels are long gone, the sense of adventure remains.