Tennessee High School

The park's high school programs use park resources to enhance classroom learning by giving students an opportunity to make real-world connections with the environment. Rangers will work with you to plan a program that meets your curriculum needs. Please e-mail the education staff or call (865) 436-1258 for more information or to discuss program options.

 
Spring Salamander in Stream

Salamander Monitoring:

The Great Smoky Mountains are known as the "Salamander Capital of the World" as they are an especially abundant and diverse group in the Great Smokies. There are 30 species of salamanders within the boundaries of the Park. Since these salamanders breathe through their skin they are more susceptible to water and air pollution and can be used as bioindicators. Many species aren't active year round which also gives us valuable phenology data that may shift with a changing climage. During this study students will work in groups inventorying and monitoring many of the salamanders found in the park.
Location: Sugarlands


Tennessee State Standards:

Biology I
Embedded Inquiry: 3210.1, 3210.2, 3210.3, 3210.5
Interdependence: 3210.2.1, 3210.2.3, 3210.2.4, 3210.2.5, 3210.2.6
Biodiversity and Change: 3210.5.1, 3210.5.3, 3210.5.5

Biology II
Embedded Inquiry: 3216.1, 3216.2, 3216.3

Interdependence: 3216.2.1, 3216.2.2, 3216.2.3, 3216.2.4
Biodiversity and Change: 3216.5.1, 3216.5.3, 3216.5.5
Botany: 3216.7.1, 3216.7.8

Environmental Science
Embedded Inquiry: 3260.1, 3260.3, 3260.5, 3260.6, 3260.7

The Living World: 3260.2.2, 3260.2.4
Water and Land Resources: 3260.4.3, 3260.4.4, 3260.4.5
Waste Production and Pollution: 3260.6.1, 3260.6.2

Ecology
Embedded Inquiry: 3255.1, 3255.2, 3255.3, 3255.5
Communities: 3255.3.1, 3255.3.2, 3255.3.4, 3255.3.5
Ecosystems: 3255.4.4, 3255.4.5, 3255.4.6
Humans and Sustainability: 3255.6.1, 3255.6.2, 3255.6.3, 3255.6.4

Salamander Monitoring Lesson Plan

 
8th tardigrade 215

Tardigrade inventory:

When most students imagine national parks and nature in general they probably think of large, charismatic animals such as bears and deer. Although these animals are important parts of the ecosystem, there are many other pieces that we often overlook. Tradigrades and other microorganisms are some of the most numerous and most biodiverse organisms on Earth. This unit explores the biodiversity and ecologic role of these fascinating microscopic organisms. During the study students will be introduced to the process of identifying lichens and isolating resident tardigrades, rotifers and other microscopic organisms.
Location: Twin Creeks Science and Education Center

Tennessee State Standards

Biology I
Embedded Inquiry: 3210.1, 3210.2, 3210.3, 3210.4, 3210.5
Interdependence: 3210.2.1, 3210.2.4, 3210.2.5
Biodiversity and Change: 3210.5.1, 3210.5.2, 3210.5.5

Biology II
Embedded Inquiry: 3216.1, 3216.3, 3216.4, 3216.5, 3216.6, 3216.7
Biodiversity and Change: 3216.5.1, 3216.5.3, 3216.5.5
Comparative Anatomy and Physiology: 3216.6.1

Ecology
Embedded Inquiry: 3255.1, 3255.2, 3255.3, 3255.5, 3255.5
Communities: 3255.3.1, 3255.3.2, 3255.3.4, 3255.3.5
Ecosystems: 3255.4.4
 
Maple Leaf
Fall colors
Tree Phenology:
Great Smoky Mountains National Park, a place renouned for its biodiversity, is a great place participate in a citizen science led effort of monitoring phenology. Phenology is the study of cyclic and seasonal natural phenomena, especially in relation to climate and plant and animal life.
Location: Twin Creeks Science and Education center, Sugarlands



Tennessee State Standards

Biology I

Embedded Inquiry: 3210.Inq.2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7
Embedded Mathematics: 3210.Math.2, 3, 5
Interdependence: 3210.2.1, 4, 5
Biodiversity and Change: 3210.5.1, 2, 5

Biology II
Embedded Inquiry: 3216.Inq.2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 10, 11
Embedded Mathematics: 3216.Math.2, 3
Interdependence: 3216.2.1, 2, 3, 4
Biodiversity and Change: 3216.5.1, 5
Botany: 3216.7.2, 7

Ecology
Imbedded Inquiry: 3255.Inq.1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 11, 13
Individuals: 3255.1.2, 8, 9
Ecosystems: 3255.4.4, 5, 6
Humans and Sustainability: 3255.6.1, 3, 4

Phenology Lesson Plan
 
snail
Snail
Snail Inventory:
The soils in Great Smoky Mountains National Park over the years have been exposed to high levels of acid rain, especially at high elevations sites such as Clingman's Dome. Soils with a pH of 5.5 or less (acidic soils) have a low availability of calcium and other nutrients but have an overabundance of aluminum and iron. Snails are an important part of the soil's food chain; however, the majority of snail species in the park are calcium based and may be negatively affected by acidic soils. Because of this, park managers study snails to observe the affects of acid rain on soils and the availability of nutrients to plants and animals. During this lesson, students search for and identify snails, explain why scientists are concernd about snail populations, and learn about the role snails play in the soil food chain.
Locations: Clingmans Dome
Tennessee State Standards:

Biology I
Embedded Inquiry: 3210. Inq.2, 3, 4, 6
Embedded Mathematics: 3210.Math.3
Embedded Technology: 3210.T/E.1, 3
Interdependence: 3210.2.4, 5
Flow of Matter & Energy: 3210.3.1
Biodiversity and Change: 3219.5.5

Biology II
Embedded Inquiry: 3216.Inq.2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 9, 10, 11
Embedded Mathematics: 3216.Math.3
Embedded Technology & Engineering: 3216.T/E.1, 4
Interdependence: 3216.2.1, 3
Flow of Matter & Energy: 3216.3.1
Biodiversity and Change: 3216.5.1, 3, 5
Comparative Anatomy & Physiology: 3216.6.2

Ecology
Embedded Inquiry: 3255.Inq.1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 11, 13
Embedded Technology & Engineering: 3255.T/E.4
Individuals: 3255.1.2, 4, 8, 9
Ecosystems: 3255.4.1, 4, 6
Biomes: 3255.5.1, 2
Humans and Sustainability: 3255.6.1, 3, 6, 7

Environmental Science
Embedded Inquiry: 3260.Inq.1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 13
Embedded Technology & Engineering: 3260.T/E.1, 3
The Living World: 3260.2.1, 3, 4, 5, 8
Human Population: 3260.3.5
Water & Land: 3260.4.1, 5, 6, 8, 9, 11
Energy Resources & Consumption: 3260.5.7, 8
World Production & Pollution: 3260.6.1, 5
Global Change & Civic Responsibility: 3260.7.10

Physical World Concepts
Embedded Inquiry: 3237.Inq.1, 2, 3, 4, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12
Embedded Technology & Engineering: 3237.T/E.1, 3
Embedded Mathematics: 3237.Math.9, 10

Physical Science
Embedded Inquiry: 3202.Inq.2, 3, 4, 7, 9, 10
Embedded Technology & Engineering: 3202.T/E.1, 3
Embedded Mathematics: 3202.Math.9, 10
Matter: 3202.1.28
Energy: 3202.2.11

Scientific Research
Embedded Technology & Engineering: 3295.T/E.1, 4
Practice Ethics: 3295.1.8
Thinking Critically: 3295.2.1, 4, 5, 7, 8, 9
Investigate: 3295.3.1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8
Analyze & Evaluate Data: 3295.4.6, 7, 8, 9, 11, 14

Snails Inventory Lesson Plan
 
Lichen on tree
Lichens:
Lichens are a unique species formed through a symbiotic relationship between algae and fungi. This unit focuses on how lichens are used as bioindicators of poor air quality. Monitoring lichen composition is important to detect the loss of biodiversity as less pollution tolerant speices die out and are replaced by more tolerant species. During this study students will observe and identify the growth forms of the lichens on assigned trees and determine the percentage of coverage of each form.
Locations: Clingmans Dome
Tennessee State Standards

Biology I

Embedded Inquiry: 3210.Inq.2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7
Embedded Mathematics: 3210.Math.2, 3
Interdependence: 3210.2.4, 5
Biodiversity and Change: 3210.5.1, 2, 5

Biology II
Embedded Inquiry: 3216.Inq.2, 3, 4, 5, 10
Embedded Mathematics: 3216.Math.2, 3
Interdependence: 3216.2.1, 2, 3, 4
Biodiversity and Change: 3216.7.3, 4, 8

Ecology
Embedded Inquiry: 3255.Inq.1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7
Communities: 3255.3.6, 7
Ecosystems: 3255.4.4, 5, 6
Humans and Sustainability: 3255.6.1, 2, 6

Environmental Science
Embedded Inquiry: 3260.Inq.1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9
The Living World: 3260.2.2, 3, 4
Water and Land Resources: 3260.4.4, 5

Lichens Lesson Plan

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

107 Park Headquarters Road
Gatlinburg, TN 37738

Phone:

(865) 436-1200

Contact Us