• An explosion of light as the sun strikes the waters of the Missouri National Recreational River


    National Recreational River SD,NE

In Class Education Programs

Missouri National Recreational River ranger in the classroom
Missouri National Recreational River ranger gives an educational program to a group of schoolchildren
NPS photo

Missouri National Recreational River Rangers In Your Classroom
Bring the national park to your students! Rangers from Missouri National Recreational River present curriculum-coordinated programs for K-12 students on a variety of topics. Choose from the follow programs:

  • Pelts & Profits - Our most popular program
    For 4th to 6th grade history classes. In this third-person living history program, a ranger dressed as a fur trader of the 1850s displays a variety of trade goods, explains their use and the impacts of trade on the Plains Tribes. Students will get the opportunity to negotiate with the trader in Plains Sign Language.

  • Where's the Park? - Understand the splendor of MNRR
    A National Park Ranger gives you a preview of the splendor of the National Parks in South Dakota and Nebraska then reveals how and why Missouri National Recreational River was created under the National Wild and Scenic Rivers Act. The program concludes with a virtual tour of this unique park. This PowerPoint slide presentation introduces students to the National Parks in South Dakota and Nebraska. The ranger then converses with the students about the purpose, meaning and creation of National Parks, touching on history and bringing up the values of citizenship and stewardship before the concluding pictorial tour of Missouri National Recreational River.
    Length: Approximately 45 minutes
    Suggested for Grades 4 -12.

  • Did We Forget Anything? - Lewis and Clark Expedition
    Experience a taste of life on the trail through replicas of items the Lewis and Clark expedition members carried with them. A "show & tell" for all ages. This program exhibits the technology of 1803 and its connection to the success of the expedition. Students learn about the difficulties and excitement of exploration as replicas are compared to their modern equivalents.

    Students can handle some of the objects, including uniform components, navigation instruments, personal goods, trade goods, and copies of Captain Lewis' "shopping lists".
    Length: 30 minutes plus Q&A. School provides 6 - 8ft table.
    Suggested for Grades 3 - 10.

  • Taming the Untamable - Man vs. the Missouri
    Just how wild was the Missouri River and how has the river responded to man's restraints? Explore the past and present of this powerful and ever-changing river. This program includes historic and current photographs and exciting new digital maps.

    This PowerPoint slide program invites students to explore the pros and cons of man's efforts to harness the Missouri River. Natural river characteristics and changing human attitudes over the last two centuries are incorporated, as well as the environmental impact of river "improvements" and the mitigation thereof. The illustrations include historic photos and dramatic new graphics. Length: Approximately 45 minutes. School provides projection screen.
    Suggested for grades 7 to 12

  • Free Land - Video and exhibit on homesteading
    How did homesteading work? Was the land really free? Did everyone succeed? Share the rigors of life on the prairie to discover the answers to these questions and more in this 20 minute video. A ranger-staffed exhibit follows, giving you the opportunity to see and touch everyday articles and building materials used by homesteaders over 125 years ago.

    This multimedia program features a twenty minute video on the Homestead Act and homesteading, followed by a narrated exhibit of household goods and tools used by homesteaders on the Great Plains. The program challenges students to consider the government's offer of free land - with a catch. The topics of immigration and westward expansion are also brought up.
    Length: Approximately 45 minutes. School provides projection screen and 6 to 8 ft table.
    Suggested for grades 4 to 8

  • Smoke, Steam & Snags - Steamboats on the Missouri
    What made a Missouri River steamboat special? Discover the unique design of these vessels and share the risk-filled lives of the men who piloted them through the treacherous waters of the Big Muddy.

    This PowerPoint slide program explores the effect of technology on the rise and fall of river traffic, and the subsequent effect on river communities. Students will learn the risks of the steamboat business and the adventures of the men who owned and operated these uniquely built vessels.
    Length: approximately 40 minutes. School provides projection screen.
    Suggested for grades 5 to 12

  • Let Me Go Home! - Chief Standing Bear and civil rights
    He was just a Nebraska farmer who wanted to go home, but Chief Standing Bear of the Ponca Tribe became the first American Indian to successfully file suit against the United States Government. Experience courtroom drama and discover the long-range effects of this landmark decision.
    This PowerPoint slide program tells the story of Chief Standing Bear and the Ponca Tribe and how they became the first American Indians to fight the United States government in a courtroom. Students will learn about prejudice and changing attitudes in the late 1800s, the relocation of American Indian tribes, and the workings of the federal courts.
    Length: Approximately 45-50 minutes. School provides projection screen.
    Suggested for grades 6 to 12

  • Life on the Missouri - Living history steamboat officer
    The head clerk of the steamboat Far West has just returned from the exciting voyage of 1876 . He reads from his journals and tells stories of his years on the Missouri and his voyages with the legendary captain and pilot Grant Marsh.
    This first-person living history program reveals the potential profits and the dangers encountered in navigating the Missouri, connects to the disaster at the Little Big Horn, and offers food for thought on the state of the river today.
    Length: 45 minutes.
    Suggested for Grades 5 to 12

    Complete catalog of our classroom interpretive programs.

Contact the park at 605-665-0209 or e-mail.

Did You Know?

Sheet Music of Folk Song

Each verse of the haunting American folk song, "Oh Shenandoah," ends with the line "... 'cross the wide Missouri." Click on "more" to visit the Missouri National Recreational River. More...