Back to School in Americas National Parks
Teachers across New York area have a new tool to help them engage their students in classroom and place-based learning.
The National Park Service (NPS) has launched a new online service for teachers that brings America’s national parks, including Sagamore Hill National Historic Site, into neighborhood classrooms. The new “Teachers” section of the National Park Service website at www.nps.gov/teachers provides a one-stop shop for curriculum-based lesson plans, traveling trunks, maps, activities, distance learning, and other resources. All of the materials draw from the spectacular natural landscapes and authentic places preserved in America’s national parks.
“Sagamore Hill National Historic Site has long welcomed New York area students to the park for field trips,” said Eric Witzke, acting-superintendent of Sagamore Hill National Historic Site. “And now, through the new “Teachers” National Park Service website, all 401 national parks are throwing open the doors and inviting teachers and students to learn about literature using a lesson plan from Carl Sandburg Home National Historic Site, borrow a traveling trunk from Lava Beds National Monument, chat online with a ranger at the Grand Canyon National Park, or visit Mt. McKinley in Denali National Park.”
In the new “Teachers” section, Sagamore Hill National Historic Site invites your upper elementary classes to take a FREE in-school field trip, embarking on a journey through the life and times of President Theodore Roosevelt. Each 1.5 hour program will include two 45 minute presentations consisting of a PowerPoint and an instructional "TR Trunk Talk," with primary source pictures and artifacts. No fee will be charged; however, time slots are limited and are reserved on a "First-Come, First-Served" basis.
The site is searchable by location, keyword, and more than 125 subjects, from archeology, to biology, to Constitutional law. Teachers will, for the first time, be able to rate NPS-provided content. In addition to park-created content, the site also featureseducationalmaterials created by NPS national programs like the National Register of Historic Places and its award-winningTeaching with Historic Places series of 147 lesson plans.
The website is just one part of the National Park Service’s ongoing commitment toeducation. Every year, national parks offer more than 57,000educationalprograms in parks for nearly three million students, in addition to the 563,000 interpretive programs attended by 12.6 million visitors. At launch, the website offered more than 700 lesson plans, 140 field trips, 50 traveling trunks, 44 distance learning opportunities, 16 teachers’ institutes, 47 online galleries, and 100 teacher workshops, and will add new content as it is developed. The site offers teachers the opportunity to rate the materials provided.
The National Park Service is also working with partners andeducationalinstitutions to expand programs and encourage the use of parks as places of learning. The agency has partnered with the Department ofEducationto integrate national park resources into core curriculums and, each summer, dozens of teachers participate in professional development opportunities in parks, creatingeducationmaterials based on park resources through the Teacher Ranger Teacher program.
To learn more about the National Park Service’seducationprograms, visit www.nps.gov/teachers.