• Approximately 1,500 black bears live in the national park.

    Great Smoky Mountains

    National Park NC,TN

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  • Spring Road Status

    During spring, park roads may close due to ice, especially at high elevation where wet roads can freeze as temperatures drop at night. For road status information call (865) 436-1200 ext. 631 or follow updates at http://twitter.com/SmokiesRoadsNPS. More »

Tennessee Middle School

These opportunities for 6th, 7th and 8th grades challenge students with hands-on learning experiences in the park's cultural and natural resources, including critical issues affecting these resources. Each program was developed in cooperation with Tennessee middle school teachers and are correlated with state and national curriculum standards with an emphasis on science and social studies.
For a complete listing of Tennessee middle school programs and the corresponding middle school standards, please download our program flyer.

Program title Location Season
Park Management Classroom Cades Cove Fall/Spring
Soil Exploration Classroom Twin Creeks Fall/Spring
Dig This- Archeology Classroom Cades Cove and Cosby Campground Fall/Spring
The Smokies Rocks Classroom Look Rock Fall/Spring
The New Deal Classroom Sugarlands Visitor
Stream Scientists Classroom Sugarlands Visitor
Biodiversity Classroom Twin Creeks Fall/Spring

To register for one of these programs, please fill out the registration form and email it, fax it to (865) 436-1307 or mail it to:
Education Office
Great Smoky Mountains National Park
107 Park HQ Rd.
Gatlinburg, TN 37738
To reach us by phone, call 865-436-1713

Cades Cove bike program

Park Management Classroom
Students role play park constituents as they debate current issues facing this treasured resource. This program takes students on a memorable seven mile bicycle trip around a portion of the Cades Cove loop road. This program does require a $5.00 bike rental fee.
Location: Cades Cove

Lesson Plan (371 kb .pdf)

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Students studying soil properties

Soil Exploration Classroom
Students inventory the macroinvertebrates of the deciduous forest using scientific methods. In small teams, the class will analyze soil properties and recognize the interdependence of abiotic and biotic factors.
Location: Twin Creeks Science and Education Center, near Gatlinburg

Lesson plan (400 kb .pdf)

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NPS provides cultural resource protection and education


Dig This! Archaeology and Resource Management Classroom
Students learn how park archaeologists continually learn about historic and pre-historic cultures. Students participate in methods and techniques for discovering, cataloging and preserving artifacts.
Locations: Cades Cove, Cosby Campground

Lesson plan (793 kb .pdf)

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Stories in stone

The Smokies Rocks! Classroom
Students will hike to a scenic view to explore the Smokies geology and its impacts on local geography. Maps, compasses and GPS units are used.
Location: Look Rock in Blount County

Lesson Plan (375 kb .pdf)

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FDR dedication


The New Deal Classroom
Students will hike 4 miles round trip to explore the remaining clues of a Civilian Conservation Corps Camp. The role of the Smokies during the country's time of crisis will be discussed. Call the park to discuss options for students with limited physical abilities.
Location: Trailhead is near Sugarlands Visitor Center

Lesson plan (408 kb .pdf)

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water quality testing

Stream Scientist Classroom
Students will create a hypothesis on the health of a river system. Procedures for testing the hypothesis include water quality tests in small working groups, identification of point and non-point pollution sources as well as a benthic macroinvertebrate search using scientific methods.
Location: Sugarlands Visitor Center

Lesson plan (594 kb .pdf)

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invertebrate survey

Biodiversity Classroom
Students will generate and test a hypothesis to guide their examination of biodiversity in different park ecosystems. Examination methods include setting up a ground plot, using microscopes, and classifying organisms.
Location: Twin Creeks Science and Education Center, near Gatlinburg

Lesson plan (355 kb .pdf)

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Did You Know?

Great Smoky Mountains National Park is America's most visited national park.

Between 8-10 million people visit Great Smoky Mountains National Park each year, making it the most visited national park in the country.