Curriculum Materials

Sister Mountain Curriculum Materials
The Sister Mountain Curriculum Project teaches middle and high school students in the United States and Japan about two iconic mountains, Mount Fuji and Mount Rainier. These famous peaks serve as a lens to focus student awareness of mountains' physical processes, ecology, and human culture. Students gain insight into the value of mountains and the importance of stewardship. By highlighting similarities and differences between these two volcanoes and their people, the project also enhances international understanding. In August 2010, six Japanese teachers visited Mount Rainier to meet with American teachers and review the lesson plans they had developed. In 2012, Japanese teachers hosted a workshop in Japan for the US teachers.

Nisqually River Curriculum Materials
Where the River Begins, the first in a series of interdisciplinary curriculum guides focusing on the Nisqually River Watershed (the Nisqually River begins near the top of Mount Rainier at the Nisqually Glacier), is designed for upper elementary to middle school students. The guide includes pre- and post-visit activities and field trip activities that provide overview of glaciers, glacial rivers, life zones, national parks, and some park history.

Curriculum Guide
Student Log Book

The Nisqually River Council provides more information about the Nisqually River Corridor.

Volcano Curriculum Materials
Living with a Volcano in Your Backyard, an interdisciplinary middle school curriculum, focuses on the processes, products, and hazards associated with living in the shadow of Mount Rainier, the volcano. The curriculum is divided into three thematic chapters: What the Past Tells Us, Today's Discoveries Unlock the Past, and Don't be Scared- Be Prepared! Living with a Volcano in Your Backyard is part of the partnership between the park and the US Geological Survey Cascades Volcano Observatory. You can browse some of this curriculum's lesson plans below (more on the way).

The Washington State History Museum offers a new Ring of Fire: Volcanoes of Washington State History Box that helps students explore the historic interaction between the people of Washington and their ever-changing volcanic landscape. Find out more from the Washington State History Museum's Education Department.

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Showing results 1-10 of 12

  • Five different park maps showing various NPS units with four closed and one open.

    This is a classroom based, free teacher led program. National Park Legacy Voyagers is designed for ninth through twelfth grade students so they can go on an exploration of National Park Sites and learn about National Parks. Lesson plans include reading, writing, community service, presenting activities. Activities focus on cultural and natural resources and reasons for national parks. Activities feature budgeting and planning activity.

    Type:
    Lesson Plan
    Grade level:
    Ninth Grade-Twelfth Grade
    Subjects:
    Biology: Animals, Biology: Plants, Earth Science, Geology, History, Oceans
    Keywords:
    National Parks, legacy, cultural resources, natural resources, heritage, climate change, careers, Wildland-Urban Interface
  • In an exploration of magma behavior, students role-play minerals that are cooling at different rates, and then examine rock samples. This lesson plan is part of the "Living with a Volcano in Your Backyard" curriculum, created through a partnership between Mount Rainier National Park and the US Geological Survey Cascades Volcano Observatory.

    Type:
    Lesson Plan
    Grade level:
    Fourth Grade-Eighth Grade
    Subjects:
    Chemistry, Earth Science, Geology, Volcanoes
    Keywords:
    andesite, chemical elements, continental crust, extrusive, granite, granodiorite, igneous, intrusive, lava, magma, magma chamber, mantle, mineral, obsidian, oceanic plate, plutonic, solidus, tephra, mount rainier, Mount Rainier National Park, Cascades Volcano Observatory
  • A mound of melting ice cream draped with hot wax

    Students use ice cream glaciers and hot wax lava flows to simulate the interactions of glaciers and lava flows. This lesson plan is part of the "Living with a Volcano in Your Backyard" curriculum, created through a partnership between Mount Rainier National Park and the US Geological Survey Cascades Volcano Observatory.

    Type:
    Lesson Plan
    Grade level:
    Sixth Grade-Tenth Grade
    Subjects:
    Climate Change, Earth Science, Environment, Geology, Glaciers, Hydrology, Landscapes, Volcanoes
    Keywords:
    erosion, glacier, ice ages, lahar, lava, lava flows, pycroclastic flow, striations, vent, volcano, volcanic eruptions, mount rainier, Mount Rainier National Park, Cascade Volcano Observatory
  • Students explore a riverbank with a geologist and learn about the Law of Superposition by arranging and interpreting Earth Blocks. This lesson plan is part of the "Living with a Volcano in Your Backyard" curriculum, created through a partnership between Mount Rainier National Park and the US Geological Survey Cascades Volcano Observatory.

    Type:
    Lesson Plan
    Grade level:
    Sixth Grade-Twelfth Grade
    Subjects:
    Earth Science, Geology, History, Landscapes, Volcanoes
    Keywords:
    deposit, Electron Mudflow, glacier, lahar, lava flow, National Lahar, Law of Superposition, pyroclastic flow, radiometric dating, Round Pass Mudflow, stratigraphy, tephra, volcano, Mount Rainier National Park, Cascade Volcano Observatory, mount rainier
  • A ruler is used to measure the layers in a completed geology shoebox.

    Model depositional processes from volcanically active areas using sediments in a shoebox. Interpret geologic events from layers in a classmate's shoebox model and draw a stratigraphic column graphic. This lesson plan is part of the "Living with a Volcano in Your Backyard" curriculum, created through a partnership between Mount Rainier National Park and the US Geological Survey Cascades Volcano Observatory.

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    Type:
    Lesson Plan
    Grade level:
    Fifth Grade-Tenth Grade
    Subjects:
    Earth Science, Geology, Volcanoes
    Keywords:
    Law of Superposition, stratigraphic column, volcanic ash, volcano, measure, demonstrate, compare, interpret, observe, apply, analyze, conclude, tephra, lahar, pyroclastic flow, stream gravel, lava flow, landslide, rock fall, mount rainier, Mount Rainier National Park, Living with a Volcano in Your Backyard, Cascades Volcano Observatory
  • A drawing depicts a figure in Native American clothing observing a lahar spreading across a valley floor with Mount Rainier in the background.

    Native American oral traditions chronicle geologic events in the recent history of Mount Rainier. These stories are read, interpreted, and illustrated by students with the use of storyboards. This lesson plan is part of the "Living with a Volcano in Your Backyard" curriculum, created through a partnership between Mount Rainier National Park and the US Geological Survey Cascades Volcano Observatory.

    Type:
    Lesson Plan
    Grade level:
    Fifth Grade-Ninth Grade
    Subjects:
    Geology, History, Volcanoes
    Keywords:
    lahar, metaphor, oral history, Native American, mount rainier, Mount Rainier National Park, Cascade Volcano Observatory, volcano
  • Rocks, mud, and water mixed together to form a mini lahar slide down a plastic track into a pan.

    Explore how small amounts of water can mobilize loose rock to form lahars by making a small lahar within the safety of a beaker or jar and analyzing it using scientific methods. This lesson plan is part of the "Living with a Volcano in Your Backyard" curriculum, created through a partnership between Mount Rainier National Park and the US Geological Survey Cascades Volcano Observatory.

    Type:
    Lesson Plan
    Grade level:
    Sixth Grade-Tenth Grade
    Subjects:
    Earth Science, Environment, Geography, Geology, Hydrology, Landscapes, Volcanoes
    Keywords:
    beaker, debris flow, flank collapse, glacier outburst flood, graduated cylinder, hydrothermal alteration, lahar, landslide, lava flow, pyroclastic flow, Mount Rainier National Park, mount rainier, Cascade Volcano Observatory
  • A teacher holds a plastic bottle with white bubbles streaming from the top, demonstrating the Soda Bottle Volcano.

    Examine how gases provide for explosive volcanic eruptions by making comparisons to gases in a soda bottle and by conducting a carefully controlled "eruption" of baking soda/vinegar or soda water. This lesson plan is part of the "Living with a Volcano in Your Backyard" curriculum, created through a partnership between Mount Rainier National Park and the US Geological Survey Cascades Volcano Observatory.

    Type:
    Lesson Plan
    Grade level:
    Fifth Grade-Eighth Grade
    Subjects:
    Earth Science, Geology, Volcanoes
    Keywords:
    conduit, magma, magma chamber, exsolution, fumaroles, pumice, scoria, throat, volcanic ash, demonstrating, inferring, observing, predicting, pressure, gases, volcano, crater, mount rainier, Mount Rainier National Park, Living with a Volcano in Your Backyard, Cascades Volcano Observatory
  • Excerpt of a map illustrating the lava flow ridges that make up Mount Rainier.

    Students investigate the influence of magma viscosity on the shape of a volcanic cone. Then, they explore nature and motions of lava flows and learn about the importance of lava flows as the building blocks of Mount Rainier. This lesson plan is part of the "Living with a Volcano in Your Backyard" curriculum, created through a partnership between Mount Rainier National Park and the US Geological Survey Cascades Volcano Observatory.

    Type:
    Lesson Plan
    Grade level:
    Fifth Grade-Tenth Grade
    Subjects:
    Earth Science, Geology, Volcanoes
    Keywords:
    predicting, data collecting, recording, measuring, graphing, volcano, crater, lava, andesite, landforms, stratovolcano, composite volcano, shield volcano, cinder cone, eruption, mount rainier, Mount Rainier National Park, Living with a Volcano in Your Backyard, Cascades Volcano Observatory
  • Students research information about Cascade volcanoes in Washington, Oregon, and California, then transfer the information onto the appropriate mobile piece before constructing the mobile "A String of Volcanoes". This lesson plan is part of the "Living with a Volcano in Your Backyard" curriculum, created through a partnership between Mount Rainier National Park and the US Geological Survey Cascades Volcano Observatory.

    Type:
    Lesson Plan
    Grade level:
    Third Grade-Ninth Grade
    Subjects:
    Earth Science, Geography, Geology, Landscapes, Volcanoes
    Keywords:
    caldera, cinder cone, eruption, debris avalanche, debris flow, lahar, landslide, lava dome, lava flows, pyroclastic flow, shield volcano, steam explosion, strato volcano, tephra, volcanic ash, Cascade Range, Cascade Volcano Observatory, mount rainier, Mount Rainier National Park
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