Back to School – in America’s National Parks
ReleaseDate: August 13, 2013
Contacts: Tom Wall, e-mail us, 701-745-3300
National Park Service Helps Teachers Make Learning Fun & Relevant
Stanton, ND - Teachers across North Dakota have a new tool to help them engage their students in classroom and place-based learning.
This week the National Park Service (NPS) launched a new online service for teachers that brings America's national parks, including Knife River Indian Villages National Historic Site, into neighborhood classrooms. The new "Teachers" section of the National Park Servicewebsite at www.nps.gov/teachers provides a one-stop shop for curriculum-based lesson plans, traveling trunks, maps, activities, distance learning, and other resources. All of the materials draw from the spectacular natural landscapes and authentic places preserved in America'snational parks.
"Knife River Indian Villages National Historic Site has long welcomed North Dakotaarea students to the park for field trips," said Wendy Ross, superintendent of KnifeRiver Indian Villages."And now, through the new "Teachers" National Park Service website, all 401 national parks are throwing open the doors and inviting teachers and students to learn about literature using a lesson plan fromCarl Sandburg Home National Historic Site, borrow a traveling trunk from Lava Beds National Monument, chat online with a ranger at the Grand Canyon National Park, or visit Mt. McKinley in Denali National Park."
KnifeRiver Indian Villages offers downloadable lesson plans and activities developed to engage students in understanding text and hands on explorations. Distance learning opportunities are offered through video teleconference with interactive ranger programs as well as ranger visits to local area schools.
The site is searchable by location, keyword, and more than 125 subjects, from archeology, to biology, to Constitutional law. Teachers will, for the first time, be able to rate NPS-provided content. In addition to park-created content, the sitealso features educational materials created by NPS national programs like the National Register of Historic Places and its award-winning Teaching withHistoric Placesseries of 147 lessonplans.
The website is just one part of the National Park Service's ongoing commitment to education. Every year, national parks offer more than 57,000 educational programs in parks for nearly three million students, in addition to the 563,000 interpretive programs attended by 12.6 million visitors. At launch, the website offered more than 700 lesson plans, 140 field trips, 50 traveling trunks, 44 distance learning opportunities, 16 teachers' institutes,47 online galleries, and 100 teacher workshops, and will add new content as it is developed. The site offers teachers the opportunity to rate the materials provided.
The National ParkService is also working with partners and educational institutions to expand programs and encourage the use of parks as places of learning. The agency has partnered with the Department of Education to integrate national park resourcesinto core curriculums and, each summer, dozens of teachers participate in professional development opportunities in parks, creating education materialsbased on park resources through the Teacher Ranger Teacher program.
To learn more about the National Park Service's education programs, visit www.nps.gov/teachers.
About the National Park Service.More than 20,000 National Park Service employees care for America's 401national parks and work with communities across the nation to help preservelocal history and create close-to-home recreational opportunities. Learn more at www.nps.govVisit us on Facebook www.facebook.com/nationalparkservice, Twitter www.twitter.com/natlparkservice,and YouTube www.youtub.com/nationalparkservice.
Did You Know?
There were 3000 people living at the Knife River villages in 1804? That’s more people than were living in St. Louis, Missouri at the same time!