Lesson Plan

National Park Legacy – Seekers (Grades 6 - 8)

Five different park maps showing various NPS units with four closed and one open.
Park brochures provide us a window into the resources and assets parks protect.

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Grade Level:
Sixth Grade-Eighth Grade
Subject:
Biology: Animals, Biology: Plants, Earth Science, Geology, History, Oceans
Duration:
National Park Legacy Seekers can be completed in one hour or expanded to as long as the teacher would like.
Group Size:
Up to 60 (10-15 breakout groups)
Setting:
classroom
National/State Standards:
California Benchmarks for social studies, geography, geology, school to career, United States History and language arts.
Keywords:
National Parks, legacy, cultural resources, heritage, climate change, careers

Overview

This is a classroom based, free teacher led program. National Park Legacy Seekers is designed for sixth through eighth 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 why places are preserved as national park units and finding information by using maps.

Objective(s)

Name three or more types of National Park units.

Measure distance on a map.

List three or more important cultural or natural items that caused the park to be protected.

Identify the state or states the National Park unit is located in.

Identify the region of the country the National Park unit is in.

Identify the seasons that people would visit

Name a historic person or event that happened at their site

Name three or more natural or cultural forces that shaped their national park

Write a paragraph comparing and contrasting pre-historic and/or historic lives to modern day.



Background

National Park Legacy introduces the concepts of National Parks, geography, preservation, climate change, plate tectonics and history to six through eighth grade students. Students can work together in groups or work alone and then share what they learned with others through written and/ or oral reports.




Materials

Lesson plans including teacher instructions, background information worksheets and park brochures.



Procedure

1. Set the stage- read the National Parks Background. Distribute copies of the worksheet and demonstrate how to find information in a national park brochure. Use the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area brochure as an example. Place copies of the National Park System Map and Guide or AAA USA map where all can refer to it. Provide stickers to mark national park locations.

2. Gather information - Distribute brochures for the national parks that you have selected and additional worksheets if needed. Students can work independently or in groups to gather and pool information for reports on their particular national park. Some topics for reports are suggested below and you may create others. Additional information is available at libraries or on the internet at www.nps.gov

 3.  Report- (Written or Oral/ Individual or Group)-  Reports may include visual aids, models, graphs or charts. Some suggested topics: Travel- increase park visitation with travel reports, brochures. Significances- importance of historic or cultural events at the park. Threats Inside and Outside of the park- what are they; how to handle them.

4. Wrap up - Pass out copies of the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area brochure and invite the students to visit this national park here in Los Angeles with their families.

Assessment

Consider length and quality of oral or written report and member participation; number, variety and detail of visual aids, amount of outside work done to gather additional information.



Park Connections

This lesson plan describes components found in national parks.




Extensions

Have the students create their own national park. Write a report, present a report, create their own park map, make a post card, develop a poster, create a diorama, create an illustrated talk, send an email, etc.




Vocabulary

inheritance, legacy, climate change, plate tectonics