Curriculum Materials

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

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Showing results 61-68 of 68

  • Two students measure a salamander

    The Great Smoky Mountains are known as the “Salamander Capital of the World!” Salamanders are an especially abundant and diverse group in the park. Researchers use salamanders as a bio-indicator to help assess the health of our forests threatened by air pollution and impacts from a changing climate. This unit is broken into three parts. This unit involves a trip to the park and is accompanied by a preparation activity and a wrap-up activity.  This is the wrap-up activity of the unit. 

    Type:
    Lesson Plan
    Grade level:
    Eighth Grade-College Undergraduate Level
    Subjects:
    Biodiversity, Biology: Animals, Chemistry, Climate Change, Conservation, Earth Science, Ecology, Environment, Mathematics, Wildlife Biology
    Keywords:
    Amphibian, salamander, biodiversity, inventory and monitoring, phenology monitoring, acid deposition, climate change effects, data analysis
  • Black-bellied salamander sitting on a leaf

    The Great Smoky Mountains are known as the “Salamander Capital of the World!” Salamanders are an especially abundant and diverse group in the park. Researchers use salamanders as a bio-indicator to help assess the health of our forests threatened by air pollution and impacts from a changing climate. This unit is broken into three parts. This unit involves a trip to the park and is accompanied by a preparation activity and a wrap-up activity.  This is the field preparation activity of the unit. 

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    Type:
    Lesson Plan
    Grade level:
    Sixth Grade-Eighth Grade
    Subjects:
    Biology: Animals, Conservation, Earth Science, Ecology, Environment
  • 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.

    Type:
    Lesson Plan
    Grade level:
    Sixth Grade-Eighth Grade
    Keywords:
    archeology, Great Smoky Mountains National Park, cherokee indian, appalachian settlers, archeological context
  • scanning microscope image of tardigrade

    This lesson allows students to further their knowledge about extremophiles.  This unit is broken into three parts. This unit involves a trip to the park and is accompanied by a preparation activity and  a wrap-up activity.  This is part 3 of the field wrap-up activity of the unit.

    Type:
    Lesson Plan
    Grade level:
    Ninth Grade-College Undergraduate Level
    Subjects:
    Biodiversity, Biology: Animals, Earth Science, Ecology, Environment
    Keywords:
    tardigrade, biodiversity, all taxa biodiversity inventory, extremophile, Great Smoky Mountains National Park
  • Two kids hold up a large picture of a shenandoah salamander next to a park ranger who holds up an arrowhead, the symbol of the National Park Service.

    Shenandoah National Park is a refuge for many animals and plants that are pressured by human activities and other land uses. Shenandoah is home for the Shenandoah salamander, an endangered species that lives nowhere else on the planet. Human-accelerated climate change could cause a serious decline in population of the Shenandoah salamander. Students will learn about environmental threats and determine ways people can help protect species and care for their national parks and the environment.

    Type:
    Lesson Plan
    Grade level:
    Fourth Grade
    Subjects:
    Climate Change, Conservation, Environment, Wildlife Biology
  • 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
  • A park ranger holds up a photo while a child holds up another picture beside her.

    Shenandoah National Park is an important natural and cultural resource in Virginia’s Blue Ridge geographic region. Students in the 9 Virginia counties that border this long and narrow national park will discover those resources and the National Park Service mission with ranger-led in-class activities such as modeling park careers, analyzing artifacts, investigating geologic samples, and writing creative responses while gaining classroom knowledge about Virginia’s history, geology and geography.

    Type:
    Lesson Plan
    Grade level:
    Fifth Grade
    Subjects:
    Conservation, Geography, Geology, History
  • A group of children gather around in a circle as they look at a salamander

    The Shenandoah salamander is an endangered species found only on a few rocky slopes within Shenandoah National Park. Its survival is being threatened by changing climate and habitat competition from the more common red-backed salamander. Students will conduct field research on the red-backed salamander to compare the two salamander species’ habitat requirements and determine how climate change and habitat competition are impacting the survival of the Shenandoah and red-backed salamanders.

    Type:
    Lesson Plan
    Grade level:
    Seventh Grade-College Undergraduate Level
    Subjects:
    Biology: Animals, Climate Change, Conservation, Ecology, Environment, Wildlife Biology, Wildlife Management
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