Curriculum Materials

The Chesapeake & Ohio Canal is expanding its classroom activities!

Creative and talented teachers from Allegany County, Washington County, and Montgomery County Public Schools helped to develop these lessons. All lessons and educational programs align with national and state standards.

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  • Justice Douglas called the canal a refuge and a sanctuary

    In what ways does visiting the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal National Historical Park change my understanding of how I can connect with nature and our community's history?

    Type:
    Lesson Plan
    Grade level:
    Upper Elementary: Third Grade through Fifth Grade
    Subjects:
    Literacy and Language Arts,Social Studies
  • Chesapeake & Ohio Canal National Historical Park

    C&O Canal Reader's Theater: grade 4

    An historic, black and white photo of Captain Meyers boat in the creek below the canal aqueduct.

    Use this lesson as a stand-alone classroom activity or as post-field trip activity. Students will use our script and slide show to retell the story of Captain Meyers and the day his boat ended up in the Conococheague Creek after the aqueduct wall failed.

    Type:
    Lesson Plan
    Grade level:
    Fourth Grade
    Subjects:
    History, Performing Arts, Reading, Theatre
  • Chesapeake & Ohio Canal National Historical Park

    The C&O Canal, A Place of Refuge, Recreation, and Reflection: grade 4

    A photograph of the towpath and C&O Canal.

    Years after boats carrying goods ceased floating down the canal, one man would take a stand to save this national treasure from development and destruction. This man, Justice William O. Douglas, recognized that the C&O Canal offered a place of refuge, recreation and reflection to all who took the opportunity to just “take a walk.” In this lesson, students take a walk with Justice Douglas and think about what they would do if a place they loved was threatened with development.

    Type:
    Lesson Plan
    Grade level:
    Fourth Grade
    Subjects:
    Civic Engagement, History, Transportation
  • Chesapeake & Ohio Canal National Historical Park

    C&O Canal Case Studies: grades 3, 4, 5

    An historic black and white photo of a boat near the Paw Paw tunnel.

    Use this lesson as a stand-alone classroom activity or as a post-field trip activity. This lesson addresses critical thinking and analysis skills. There are three case studies from which to choose. Students will read the case study, list pros and cons, and discuss what decision they made and why.

    Type:
    Lesson Plan
    Grade level:
    Third Grade-Fifth Grade
    Subjects:
    Commerce and Industry, Earth Science, Economics, Engineering, Family Life, Geology, History, Mathematics, Science and Technology, Social Studies, Transportation
    Keywords:
    Canal, Canal Boat, Canal Boat Child, transportation, engineering, engineer, shopping, analyze, math, mule, history, towpath
  • Chesapeake & Ohio Canal National Historical Park

    A Journey on the C&O Canal: grades 3, 4, 5

    An historic black and white image from the canal boat looking at the towpath and the mules.

    Use this lesson as a stand-alone or as a pre-activity to a canal visit. This lesson addresses a host of indictors and objectives in both reading and social studies. Students will learn why the C&O Canal is an amazing accomplishment in Maryland’s history, understand more about the genre of historical fiction, and describe what a typical nine-year old canal boy and family were like in the late 1800’s.

    Type:
    Lesson Plan
    Grade level:
    Third Grade-Fifth Grade
    Subjects:
    Commerce and Industry, Economics, Engineering, Family Life, History, Language Arts, Literature, Reading, Regional Studies, Science and Technology, Social Studies, Transportation
  • Chesapeake & Ohio Canal National Historical Park

    C&O Canal Mapping Activity: grade 4

    An historic black and white photo of two boys on a canal boat in a lock.

    Use this lesson as a stand-alone classroom activity or as a pre- or post-field trip activity. Students will construct and interpret a map using map elements and locate places and describe the human and physical characteristics of those places.

    Type:
    Lesson Plan
    Grade level:
    Fourth Grade
    Subjects:
    Commerce and Industry, Geography, History, Mathematics, Social Studies, Transportation
  • 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