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

    Mesa Verde

    National Park Colorado

Enrichment Package

The Mesa Verde National Park Enrichment Package includes materials you can use before, during, and after a visit to the park. Some of the pre-visit and post-visit activities can also be used by classes without taking a field trip.

Please also visit our new "Curriculum Materials" page. You'll find new and improved lesson plans, and the ability to search for lesson plans from other national park units. Materials from our Enrichment Package will be updated with current standards and ultimately be converted to the new "Curriculum Materials" page.

(To get the Free Adobe Reader, which is required to read the pdf files, click here.)

 
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Activities Before Your Visit

Activity 1 --
The Future Is In Your Hands

This activity involves reading background information that provides a general introduction to the history of the National Park System and Mesa Verde National Park. Students are also encouraged to consider how they can help protect the park during their visit.

Answer
Sheet

Activity 2 --
Getting To Know The Park
This activity is an exercise designed to familiarize students with the park through hands on use of the Mesa Verde maps found on the park's website. This activity encourages the use of map reading skills, as well as investigative skills.

Answer
Sheet

Activity 3 --
It's A Matter Of Time
This activity is a more challenging task that involves reading Ancestral Puebloan Chronology at Mesa Verde (pdf, 420 kb). As a pre-visit activity, it prepares students by providing them with a relevant knowledge base they then can build upon during their visit to Mesa Verde. Students will follow the development of Ancestral Puebloan society from about A.D. 550 to A.D. 1300. The activity includes the use of a timeline and comparison chart, both of which can be used onsite while visiting the various sites on the Mesa Top Loop Road. (We recommend that you complete the activity in the classroom, and then use the charts for on-site discussions.)

Activity 4 --
Comparing Lifestyles,
Pre-Visit

This activity involves measurement, simple scale drawings and use of basic math skills. Students take measurements of their own bedrooms to use as data for their drawings. They will also make a list of personal possessions. These measurements and lists can be used to compare the lifestyles of the students with the lifestyle of the Ancestral Puebloan people, when used in conjunction with activities #6 and #8.

 
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Activities During Your Visit

Activity 5 --
On Your Way To The Park

This activity focuses on basic math and observational skills in relation to your trip to the park, and reinforces the use of mathematics for gaining information that is relevant to everyday life.

Answer
Sheet

Activity 6 --
How Do You Measure Up?

This activity was developed to be used in conjunction with pre-visit and post-visit activities #4 and #8. During this activity, you will visit the cliff dwelling, Spruce Tree House and the Chapin Mesa Archeological Museum. Students will use their observation skills and the Spruce Tree House Trail Guide to complete the activity.

Answer
Sheet

Activity 7 --
I Spy
Students often enjoy hunting for specific objects in pictures and displays. In this activity, students are asked to read a simple rhyme that encourages them to explore the museum to find many different objects


 
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Activities After Your Visit

Activity 8 --
Comparing Lifestyles,
Post-Visit

This activity is designed to help students compare and contrast their lifestyles with that of the Ancestral Puebloans. This activity also asks students to draw conclusions from their comparisons. You will need the information you gathered in activities #4 and #6.

Additional Activities Fun activities that you can do virtually anywhere!


 

Did You Know?

Baron Gustaf Nordenskiold

In 1891, Swedish scientist Gustaf Nordenskiold studied, explored, and photographed many of Mesa Verde’s cliff dwellings. Considered by many to be the first true archeologist at Mesa Verde, his book, "The Cliff Dwellers of the Mesa Verde," was the first extensive record of its cliff dwellings.