Classroom Lesson Plans

We have several lesson plans that can be used independently in the classroom to bring the seashore to your students.

Learn about the wild horses on Shackleford Banks:

Humans and Horses: This unit asks students to investigate Cape Lookout National Seashore's rules for viewing the wild horses of Shackleford Banks.

By the unit’s end, students will be able to:
    • Measure and use a 50-foot length of rope in different scenarios to learn to “eyeball” the safe distance when interacting with Shackleford Horses
    • Analyze body language in different situations to conclude what a horse is trying to “tell” you, and
    • Devise a plan to respond appropriately in each situation to ensure horse and human safety
Download the lesson plan and support materials: Humans and Horses lesson plan summary (pdf, 0.98 MB) ; How Far Is Too Far? (pdf of powerpoint presentation, 1.14 MB ); Horse Communication (pdf of powerpoint presentation, 533 kb)

Past, Present, and Future: This unit covers 6th-8th grade social studies relating everything back to the horses of Shackleford Banks, NC. The lesson plan has several activities to get students discussing and creating maps, charts, graphs and historic narratives that explain historic events.

By the unit’s end, students will be able to:

  • Use different sources of information from multiple perspectives to understand a particular event or issue.
  • Distinguish between primary and secondary sources of infomration
  • Understand how charts, graphs and historical narratives can be used to explain historical events.
Download the lesson plan and support materials: Past, Present, and Future lesson plan (pdf, 1.12 MB); Wild Horses of Shackleford (pdf of powerpoint presentation, 670 kb)

Shackleford Banks Horse Genetics and Evolution: This unit covers 6th-8th grade genetics and evolution relating everything back to the horses on Shackleford Banks, NC. The students will be able to construct arguments based on evidence that organisms and landforms change over time and recognize patterns of heredity from Punnett Squares and Pedigree Analysis.

By the units end, student swill be able to:
  • Analyze the relationship between genetic variation and an organism's ability to adapt to its environment.
  • Recognize patterns of heredity from Punnet Squares and Pedigree Analysis
  • Understand that geology, fossils, genetic variation, and comparative anatomy provide evidence of biological and geological evolution
Download the lesson plan and support materials: Horse Genetics and Evolution lesson plan (pdf, 1.52 MB); Wild Horses of Shackleford Banks (pdf of powerpoint presentation, 670 kb); Horse Evolution (pdf of powerpoint presentation, 1.58 MB); Genetics Pedigree Analysis (pdf of powerpoint presentation, 1.19 MB); Genetics Mendel and Punnett Square (pdf of powerpoint presentation, 2.36 MB); Genetics Wrap Up (pdf of powerpoint presentation. 1.13 MB)


Request a Ranger to Virtually Visit Your Classroom

Please fill out this form to request a vritual visit from a Ranger. We will respond back within 10 buisness days. 

NPS Form 10-1750 (Rev. 04/2021)
National Park Service

OMB Control No. 1024-0228
Expiration Date 11/31/2025

Discussion Points for Virtual / Distance Learning Program

Virtual and/or Distance Learning can vary depending on the technical capabilities of the park and the school. in order to find appropriate accommodations for your learning experience, here are some categories to be prepared to discuss with the park:

  1. Internet Access
  2. Phone Access (speaker phone or conference line)
  3. Mobile or digital video conferencing capabilities
  4. Firewall
  5. Hardware and Software Capabilities
  6. Classroom pre-work or assignments


A park representative will follow-up to confirm group details once this request has been received and reviewed.

NPS Form 10-1750 (Rev. 04/2021)
National Park Service

OMB Control No. 1024-0228
Expiration Date 11/31/2025


Privacy Act Statement

Authority: Public Law 114-289 National Park Service Centennial Act and 54 U.S.C. 100701 Protection, interpretation, and research in System.

Purpose: To administer education programs for education audiences including but not limited to school groups, scouting groups, extracurricular groups, and home school groups.

Routine Uses: To effectively manage requests for education received by the NPS, the Education Reservation Request Form is used to collect basic education reservation information to facilitate operational aspects of scheduling groups for park education programs, including in-park education programs, ranger in classroom programs, and/or online distance learning programs.

Disclosure: Voluntary, however, failure to provide the requested information may impede the ability to grant your education reservation request.

Paperwork Reduction Act Statement

We are collecting this information subject to the Paperwork Reduction Act (44 U.S.C. 3501) to provide park managers and educators the information needed to schedule and conduct education program activities. All applicable parts of the form must be completed in order for your request to be considered. You are not required to respond to this or any other Federal agency-sponsored information collection unless it displays a currently valid OMB control number. OMB has approved this collection of information and assigned control number 1024-0288.

Estimated Burden Statement

Public reporting for this collection of information is estimated to average 5 minutes per response, including the time for reviewing instructions, searching existing data sources, gathering and maintaining the data needed, and completing and reviewing the collection of information. Send comments regarding this burden estimate or any other aspect of this collection of information, including suggestions for reducing this burden, to the Information Collection Clearance Officer, National Park Service, 1201 Oakridge Drive, Fort Collins, CO 80525. Do not send your completed form to this address.


Last updated: April 25, 2024

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Mailing Address:

131 Charles St
Harkers Island, NC 28531


252 728-2250

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