Pre- and Post-Visit: Earth Science

Students that have spent time preparing for their visit to Glacier National Park get more out of a field trip to the park. Activities post-visit also help to reinforce information learned during the trip.

The following are some of our suggested pre-visit activities, as well as supplementary materials that may aid in preparing for your trip. A good place to start is with this introduction to the National Park Service.

Upper Elementary Classroom Activities

Additional Upper Elementary Activities from the Fall and Spring Teacher's Guide (pdf) - this is a large file and may take time to download

  • Puzzle It Out (pp. 69-70)
  • Carbon Cycle Capers (pp. 71-72)
  • Poster Campaign (pp. 73)

Computers and Technology (4-12th grades)

  • Have students take our e-hike along the Avalanche Lake Trail before doing the real thing.
  • Show an online slide presentation about glaciers from the National Park Service VIEWS website.
  • Look at photos from the Repeat Photography Research being done in Glacier
  • View cutting edge Research Models of climate-induced glacier change in Glacier.
  • Have students use free online satellite software to explore earth - including Glacier National Park with ideas from the Earth from Above lesson plan by Tom Stahley, Billings Skyview High School.
  • Visit Helena High School Science Teacher, Rod Benson's earth science website.
  • Check out these powerpoint presentations produced by middle school students from the PEAK program in Helena, MT. The students did a field trip to Glacier and hiked the Avalanche Lake Trail.


Indian Education for All (4th-12th grades)

Upper elementary level activities on "Mountains and Mountain Building" and "Glaciers and Glaciation" are available from the Work House - A Glacier National Park Science Education Program written in cooperation with tribal members on the Blackfeet and Confederated Salish/Kootenai Reservations.

Liz Gravelle, an honored elder of the Ktunaxa First Nation, speaks about a volcanic eruption in her native language. It's believed that the eruption she is talking about is of Mount Mazama (now Crater Lake National Park in Oregon) which erupted in about 7700 BP.

Ash from this eruption has been found in the soils along the Avalanche Lake Trail in Glacier National Park. Imagine what an earth changing event that erruption was for the people living here for the ash to have travelled all this way!

You can view the video of Liz telling the story in her own language from the National Parks Conservation Association Magazine Multi-Media link.


Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

PO Box 128
West Glacier, MT 59936


(406) 888-7800
Phones are generally staffed Monday through Friday from 8:00am to 4:30pm.

Contact Us