• View of Square Tower House, seen along the Mesa Top Loop

    Mesa Verde

    National Park Colorado

Curriculum Materials

We are currently working on converting lesson plans for the new Curriculum Materials page. If you can't find what you are looking for here, please see our Enrichmnent Package page for additional materials you can use in the classroom or during a visit to the park. You can also find other web resources and information at this link.

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  • Petroglyph National Monument

    What It Takes to Survive: Then and Now

    What It Takes to Survive: Then and Now

    This lesson was designed to get students thinking about ancient Native culture-how it survived, and how it compares to the current culture today in New Mexico.

  • Petroglyph National Monument

    Hands Over Time

    Hands Over Time

    Students will recognize that handprint petroglyphs and pictographs may be prehistoric signatures. By leaving behind their own handprints on paper, students will increase their understanding of the value of petroglyphs and the need for their preservation.

  • Petroglyph National Monument

    The Power of Tools

    The Power of Tools

    This lesson is designed to teach young students about the many uses of tools over time. Students will not only understand how important tools were, but how they have been adapted and changed over time to fit our societal needs.

  • Mesa Verde National Park

    The Dirt on Ancestral Puebloan Plaster and Paint

    The Dirt on Ancestral Puebloan Plaster and Paint

    Plaster and paint are integral parts of archeological research at Mesa Verde. In this lesson, students use soil to create their own plaster artwork. They also act as archeologists and use the scientific method to explain how the Ancestral Pueblo people used soil to make plaster and paint. For this activity, the scientific method includes 5 basic steps: Making observations, asking informed questions, forming a hypothesis, testing hypotheses, and revising a hypothesis or forming a conclusion.

  • Mesa Verde National Park

    Tales of a Time Traveler (Post-Visit Activity)

    Tales of a Time Traveler (Post-Visit Activity)

    This POST-VISIT ACTIVITY is intended for use after a trip to Mesa Verde National Park and an educational tour of Balcony House. Students write a story describing a trip back through time to Balcony House in the year A.D. 1250. Students will describe the environment, their daily activities, and how they meet their basic needs. A class discussion will enhance the lesson by comparing and contrasting their lives with the lives of the Ancestral Pueblo people

  • Mesa Verde National Park

    Can You Solve It? A Scavenger Hunt

    Can You Solve It? A Scavenger Hunt

    “Can You Solve It?” is a FIELD TRIP activity designed to engage students in an active exploration of the Chapin Mesa Archeological Museum. It complements a self-guided visit to Spruce Tree House nearby. Activity cards describe fictional scenarios that depict the life of Ancestral Pueblo people in A.D. 1200 to A.D 1275. Much like a scavenger hunt, students must locate objects, solve problems, and answer questions by examining exhibits, making observations, and recording what they find.

  • Mesa Verde National Park

    The Geometric Artistry of Mesa Verde Pottery

    The Geometric Artistry of Mesa Verde Pottery

    In this geometry lesson, students will learn about the Ancestral Pueblo people and the pottery they created. Students will use their knowledge of geometric designs, symmetry, and parallel lines to recreate a pot’s design based on actual pottery shards from the Mesa Verde Collection.

  • Aztec Ruins National Monument

    Aztec Ruins Teachers' Guide

    Aztec Ruins Teachers' Guide

    Drafted by teachers who attended "Project Archeology" workshops, lessons include hands-on activities that students undertake either on a field trip to Aztec Ruins or in the classroom with replica artifacts. Produced through funds from a National Park Foundation grant, the guide has been distributed to all San Juan County area schools.

  • Aztec Ruins National Monument

    Pottery of the Ancestral Pueblo

    Pottery of the Ancestral Pueblo

    Each pot sherd has a story and helps to complete the picture of a people in the absence of a written history. The ancestral Pueblo people created pottery for utilitarian, ceremonial functions and rituals, and trade. The styles of the pottery found at Aztec Ruins had specific relevance to their particular pre-historical, cultural context and intended use.

  • Great Sand Dunes National Park & Preserve

    Digging Back in Time

    Students will participate in a virtual dig and use accompanying field notes and action photos to investigate their own online "hearth" site.

Did You Know?

Cliff Palace in the snow

Cliff Palace is the largest cliff dwelling at Mesa Verde National Park. It has 150 rooms, plus an additional 75 open areas. Twenty-one of the rooms are kivas, and 25 to 30 rooms have residential features. The number of Ancestral Puebloans living in Cliff Palace at any one time was 100 to 120.