Distance Learning

We offer free, virtual Smokies-themed programs for classroom across the country in the winter from December - February. See the following for a list of the programs offered. For more information, send us an e-mail!

Seminar Style Programs

We will be providing seminar style programs January-February 2024. In these programs, schools across the nation will join a Smokies Ranger for a fun, free learning experience. Registration will begin December 4, 2023. Stay tuned for our program listing, which includes some programs from the selection below!

Sounds of the Smokies (Pre-K - K)

Laughs and giggles will be abundant as students use their senses to explore the wonders of the forest through games and song.

The TREE-mendous Smokies (Pre-K - Grade 2)

Meet a Smokies Ranger for a fun session about what makes a tree special. Students will use movement to learn about trees and the animals that live in them!

What's that Wiggly Thing? (Grades 1-3)

A video exploration will give students a magnified view of the tiny creatures of the Smokies and your own backyard. Students will get the chance to express their inner wiggles, helping to identify different species as they go.

Forces that Move the Earth (Grades 2-5)

Learn about the incredible forces that shape the landscapes of our exceptional National Parks. Explore concepts like erosion, weathering, and volcanic eruptions through movement and art.

Bear Jeopardy (Grades 4-8)

How much do you really know about the most iconic animal of the Smokies? Students play in teams as they answer questions about…Bears.

Choose Your Appalachian Adventure (Grades 3-6)

Could you adapt to life in the mountains in the 1800s? People have lived and used the land of the Smokies for over 10,000 years. Your class will choose their own adventure to become farmers, doctors, and builders of an Appalachian community.

Investigating Invertebrates (Grades 5-12)

Students learn about some of the great research that happens in the park as they help the Smokies rangers identify terrestrial macroinvertebrates to the taxonomic order level in our virtual ‘lab’.

Lovin' the Lichens (Grades 5-12)

Explore the lichens around your home and schoolyard. Learn the different growth forms of lichen and what makes this pioneer species so important and so unique.This can be a two-part series with "Horton Hears a Water Bear".

Decoding Nature's Calendar (Grades 5-12)

What is phenology and why is it important? Students will use real data collected in Great Smoky Mountains NP to graph, analyze, and interpret trends over time. As well as discuss how changes over time will impact significant organism, with ways you can help the park and the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians collect data through community (citizen) science opportunities.

Horton Hears a Water Bear (Grades 5-12)

Do you know what can survive outer space, boiling water, acid, and below freezing conditions? ... A water bear or tardigrade! Students will take an in depth look at the microscopic life found within lichens. Using anatomy and movement as their guide, they will identify tardigrades and so much more. This program can be a two-part series with "Lovin' the Lichens".

Stream Life: What's in YOUR Water? (Grades 6-12)

Join us as we explore the headwaters of the Smokies streams which feed into the water supply of surrounding communities. Your class will make a hypothesis, identify stream creatures, and discover how watersheds connect us all.

Name...That...RESOURCE! (K - Grade 12)

It’s time for another round of “Name... that... Resource!” Play a game with a Smokies ranger to discover some of the amazing resources that make the Smokies special.

Ask a Ranger (K - Grade 12)

Students meet a ranger from the Smokies, who will help answer their questions. This program can address special topics on request.

Additional Information

  • For virtual programs, classes will connect directly to the park through video conferencing equipment (e.g. Google Meets, Zoom, Microsoft Teams)
  • Additional curriculum and materials are found at https://smokieees.org/
  • Our education team can work with you to develop the perfect program for your classroom needs! For more information, e-mail or call (865) 250-9829.

Last updated: January 25, 2024

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Gatlinburg, TN 37738



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