Lesson Plan

Cultural Uses of Native Plants: Grades 6-12

Kīpuka Puaulu - a special ecological area
Kīpuka Puaulu - A Special Ecological Area

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Grade Level:
Sixth Grade-Twelfth Grade
Biology: Animals, Biology: Plants, Botany, Conservation, Ecology, History
This lesson is a 2 hour guided tour at Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park
Group Size:
Up to 60


In a journey through Kīpuka Puaulu students will discover the importance of biodiversity, the traditional Hawaiian uses of native plants, the continued value of these plants into the modern era and an appreciation for the ongoing need to protect Hawai‘i's natural resources.


In this lesson our goal is to leave students with a deeper and more connected understanding of the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, and the cultural and biological components that play into it. By teaching students about the uses and history of the threatened plant life in this special ecological area of the park students will be able to gain an appreciation for the value of biodiversity and protecting native forests. In teaching the traditional Hawaiian cultural uses of plants, students will find a personal connection to the forests and history of their homeland; fostering a stronger sense of responsibility for our precious natural resources and further showing the connections between modern science and traditional knowledge.


No background information is really necessary, possibly reading over some folklore of Pele would be suggested.


Assessment can be based upon worksheet provided with curriculum, although assessment wont be necessary considering we will go over answers together. Later testing of discussed topics is left up to the teacher(s).

Park Connections

This lesson plan teaches basic cultural history and ecological importance of Kīpuka Puaulu in Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park.


Kīpuka Puaulu, kīpuka, endangered species, threatened species.

Last updated: June 8, 2017