• Mount Rainier peeks through clouds, viewed across subalpine wildflowers and glacial moraine.

    Mount Rainier

    National Park Washington

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Inspirational Writing

Hikers crossing a bridge over Myrtle Falls in front of Mount Rainier.

The High Tower
Overview: This is the opening lesson designed to introduce and set up a series of literary analysis selections highlighting the human connection and experience with mountains.
Grade Level:
8 - 12
Objectives: Students will gain an understanding of the cultural significance of mountains in the human experience by reading and analyzing an ancient Chinese poem.
Lesson Plan:
The High Tower - word, 41KB
The High Tower - pdf, 442KB


The Japanese Artistic Tradition and Mount Fuji
Overview: Introductory lesson on the significance of Mount Fuji to the Japanese cultural and artistic tradition: the teacher may wish to use this lesson as an inspirational introduction or as an anticipatory set for cultural studies of Mount Fuji and Mount Rainier. This lesson gives students the opportunity to appreciate three classics from traditional Japanese literature and art showing Mount Fuji.
Grade Level:
8 - 12
Lesson Plan:
Japanese Artistic Tradition - word, 33KB
Japanese Artistic Tradition - pdf, 483KB


Mountain of the Rising Sun
Grade Level:
9 - 12
Objectives: After completing this activity, students will be able to analyze and interpret the language of Bernbaum's piece. Students will also develop an understanding of the historical importance of Mount Fuji in Japanese society and culture.
Lesson Plan:
Mountain of the Rising Sun - word, 37KB
Mountain of the Rising Sun - pdf, 414KB
Materials: Sacred Mountains of the World: Fuji, Edwin Bernbaum (excerpt)


John Muir's Ascent of Mount Rainier, 1888
Overview: This activity presents students with a literary analysis task, based upon their reading of an extract from naturalist John Muir's writing. Students will read Muir's account of his climb up Mount Rainier and answer the accompanying questions.
Grade Level:
8 - 12
Objectives: After completing this activity students will be able to understand and appreciate the challenge faces by early climbers of Mount Rainier. Students will also be able to define key words and identify key places on the map of Mount Rainier and its surrounding region.
Lesson Plan:
John Muir's Ascent - word, 37KB
John Muir's Ascent - pdf, 573KB
Materials: An Ascent of Mount Rainier, John Muir (excerpt)


Grade Level:
8 - 12
Objectives: After completing this activity the student will be able to interpret and evaluate the language and conventions of the poem.
Lesson Plan:
Settling - word, 33KB
Settling - pdf, 381KB


Did You Know?

Visitor exploring the former Paradise Ice Caves.

For many years, the Paradise Ice Caves were a popular attraction at Mount Rainier. Until the 1980s, visitors could explore passages within the Paradise Glacier which had formed due to seasonal melting of the ice. By the early 1990s, climate change had melted away the last traces of the caves. More...