We offer a variety of free, ranger-led, curriculum-based programs that are correlated to North Carolina and Tennessee state learning standards. Our education programs are crafted for particular grade levels and their specific state standards. Please visit the pages below for information on program locations, details on program themes and activities, and downloadable lesson plans.
|Tennessee Elementary||Tennessee Middle||Tennessee High|
|North Carolina Elementary||North Carolina Middle||North Carolina High|
Great Smoky Mountains National Park is an excellent backdrop for students as they explore the natural world. This unit is broken into three parts. The overall unit involves a trip to the park and is accompanied by three preparation activities and three wrap-up activities. This is Part 2 of the field preparation activity of the unit.
Great Smoky Mountains National Park is an excellent backdrop for students as they explore the natural world with their senses. This unit is broken into three parts. The overall unit involves a trip to the park and is accompanied by one preparation activities and two wrap-up activities. This is part 1 of the field preparation activities of the unit.
When most students imagine national parks and nature in general they probably think of large animals such as bear and deer. Although bear, deer, and other visible animals are important parts of the ecosystem, there are other important pieces that we often overlook. Tardigrades and other microorganisms are some of the most numerous and most biodiverse organisms on Earth. During this study students will isolate resident tardigrades and other microscopic life found in lichens.
The Great Smoky Mountains are known as the “Salamander Capital of the World!” Salamanders are an especially abundant and diverse group in the Great Smokies. There are 30 species of salamanders within the boundaries of the Park. Since salamanders breathe through their skin they are more susceptible to water and air pollution. During this study students will work in groups to collect and record data in taking an inventory in monitoring of many of the salamanders in the park.
The Great Smoky Mountains are known as the “Salamander Capital of the World!” Salamanders are an especially abundant and diverse group in the Great Smokies. There are 30 species of salamanders within the boundaries of the Park. Since salamanders breathe through their skin they are more susceptible to water and air pollution. During this study students will work in groups to collect and record data in taking an inventory in monitoring many of the salamanders found in the park.
The Smokies provide excellent examples of the diverse cultural history of Southern Appalachia. Through research, mapping, and mock archaeological digs students will study the historic land usage, cultural timelines, and events that shaped this area. Cultures and events studied include Woodland and Mississippian Period peoples, Cherokee and European-American settlement, CCC camps, Civil War skirmishes, logging operations, and present day park usage.
Clingmans Dome serves as the high elevation classroom where students examine the ecology of sky-island habitats. The mountain top is also a great venue for students to build their understanding of weather and landforms both through direct observation and through the use of maps, data, and activities.
Quiet walkways, stream floodplains and picnic pavilions provide the backdrop for students to discover soil properties, plant adaptations, and the environmental issues facing the park. Lifecycles, habitat, biodiversity and interrelationships are a constant focus of the hands-on activities while stewardship is the underlying theme during discussions.
Students study communities and technologic advancement as they tour Mingus Mill and learn the role corn played in lives of local residents 100+ years ago. Students take a short hike in the woods to learn about edible and medicinal plants and how the locals used the forest as a supermarket and a drugstore. Students also play with historic toys and make a simple toy to take home.
Students explore the Mountain Farm Museum and neighboring river and forest using their senses. Students are introduced to the history and wildlife of the National Park through conversations with talking barns, sensory walks, listening activities, classification exercises and color hunts. The lesson PDF contains pre and post site activities for the field trip as well as a map to the Mountain Farm Museum.