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Curriculum Materials

Canyonlands partners with Arches National Park in the Canyon Country Outdoor Education program. Lesson plans are designed for grades K-6 in a desert environment but could be adapted to other grades or ecosystems. Before heading out, read these tips on managing an outdoor classroom.

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Results

Showing results 1-10 of 18

  • Arches National Park

    Traveling Safely in the Desert

    Traveling Safely in the Desert

    This in-class presentation explores the tools a student needs to hike safely in the desert ecosystem. Students learn their directions, things to bring with them, and what to do if they get lost.

  • Arches National Park

    Desert Adaptations

    Desert Adaptations

    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.

  • Arches National Park

    Imaginary River Trip

    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.

  • Arches National Park

    Rocks

    Rocks

    Students explore a few rocks and minerals of the area. They investigate how sandstone was formed and experiment with erosion to demonstrate how local landforms are the result of sand and rock being removed. Students explore biological soil crust, and search for clues to discover how we use rocks compared to the people who lived here in ancient times.

  • Arches National Park

    Preparing for Winter

    Preparing for Winter

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

  • Arches National Park

    Life Cycles

    Life Cycles

    Students explore plant changes by performing a play depicting the life cycle of a wildflower through the seasons. They explore life cycles of frogs and toads, along the way discovering the difference between them. Students learn about insect metamorphosis, focusing on moths and butterflies, and discover the surprising world of insect galls.

  • Arches National Park

    Force, Motion, & Primitive Technologies

    Force, Motion, & Primitive Technologies

    Students explore different types of simple machines by examining ancient technologies. Students examine different types of levers using digging sticks and throwing atlatls. They discover how wheels and axles were used to make fire, and how rock wedges can become useful tools.

  • Arches National Park

    Living & Non-living Interactions

    Living & Non-living Interactions

    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.

  • Arches National Park

    Animal Adaptations

    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.

  • Arches National Park

    Cultural Contributions

    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.

Did You Know?

Tadpole Shrimp

Naturally occurring sandstone basins called “potholes” collect rain water and wind-blown sediment, forming tiny ecosystems where a fascinating collection of plants and animals live. Tadpole shrimp, fairy shrimp and many insects can be found in potholes. More...