Lesson Plan

National Park Legacy – Voyagers (Grades 9-12)

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.


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.


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.

Name three or more career possibilities.  


National Park Legacy introduces the concepts of National Parks, geography, preservation, climate change, park management, visitor use vs. preservation, urban wildland interface and other issues to high school students.


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



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. If needed 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. Distribute worksheets for taking notes, as an outline, or for extra credit. Students can work independently/ in groups to gather and pool information. Additional information is available at libraries, from a NPS visitor center and on the internet at www.nps.gov


3.  Report- (Oral or Written/ Individual or Group), Debates, or Extra Credit.

Student reports might focus on location, history and importance of individual parks, trips, when to visit, or what to see at this national park. Reports may include visual aids, models, graphs, drawings, and charts. The worksheet may be filled out and use as part of a one or two page written extra credit report depending on grade level. Debates focusing on national parks might include these topics: Parks as Playgrounds: For people or havens for plants and animals?; Endangered species: Protect or Abandon?, Wildland Fire: Friend or Foe in National Parks?


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.



Consider length and detail of answers of worksheet; length of report and group member participation, variety and detail of visual aids, or additional information.

Park Connections

This lesson plan describes components found in national parks.


Have the students create their own national park. Write a report, present a report, create their own park, research, design and develop a poster, presentation or report on of the critical issues facing the unit they selected.



Inheritance, legacy, climate change, visitor use, urban interface, student internships.