About This Lesson
This lesson is based on the National Register of Historic Places registration file for "Bryce Canyon" and other documents at Bryce Canyon National Park. It was written by Mala Shakespear, Education/Outreach Specialist at Bryce Canyon Natural History
Association. The lesson was edited by Fay Metcalf, education consultant, and the Teaching with Historic Places staff. TwHP is sponsored, in part, by the Cultural Resources Training Initiative and Parks as Classrooms programs of the National Park Service. This lesson is one in a series that brings the important stories of historic places into the classrooms across the country.
Where it fits into the curriculum
Topics: This lesson could be used in U.S. history, social studies, and geography courses in units on westward expansion (especially the Mormon settlement of Utah) and the conservation movement of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. It also could be used in a geology course.
Time period: 1870s-1920s
Relevant United States History Standards for Grades 5-12
Relevant Curriculum Standards for Social Studies
Find your state's social studies and history standards for grades Pre-K-12
Objectives for students
1) To describe the geological formations that both deterred settlement and encouraged tourism in the Bryce Canyon region.
2) To examine how the Bryce Canyon region was used by Mormon settlers, scientists, government agencies, and tourists.
3) To identify the major parties who promoted the scenic qualities of Bryce Canyon and influenced its development as a tourist attraction.
4) To research the history and use of a scenic attraction in their own community.
Materials for students
The materials listed below either can be used directly on the computer or can be printed out, photocopied, and distributed to students. The maps and images appear twice: in a low-resolution version with associated questions and alone in a larger, high-quality version.
1) two maps of Utah and Arizona, and The Grand Circle Tour;
2) four readings about Bryce Canyon National Park, its visitors, and an ad from Union Pacific;
3) six photos of Bryce Canyon and its visitors.
Visiting the site
Bryce Canyon National Park, administered by the National Park Service, is located 28 miles southeast of Panguitch, Utah. From east or west, follow Utah's scenic Highway 12 until the junction with Highway 63. Drive south until you see the visitor center and the entrance to the park. The visitor center is open year round except January 1, Thanksgiving Day, and December 25. For more information, contact the Superintendent, Bryce Canyon National Park, Bryce Canyon, Utah 84717, or visit the park's Web site.