A Place Protected
- Grade Level:
- Kindergarten-Third Grade
- Biology: Animals, Conservation, Ecology, Environment, Wildlife Biology
- 20-30 minutes
- Group Size:
- Up to 24
- habitat, animal protection, endangered species, protect
OverviewThis lesson plan is from "Making Connections: A Curriculum Guide to Mammoth Cave National Park, GrK-3", which comprises ten lessons. This is lesson 7 of that set.
What is the difference between a national park and a zoo?
Objective(s)The students will be able to:
- Express the importance of protecting animals in places like national parks
- Expand their existing knowledge of the park wildlife and its habitats
BackgroundZoos, aquariums, and botanical gardens help to manage and protect endangered species of plants and animals. They recreate the habitat in which these plants and animals are found. These facilities help to ensure that important gene pools are still in existence. Often these refuges protect exotic animals from all around the world.
On the other hand, national parks protect the species of plants and animals that are native to a specific area. Parks help to keep the gene pool alive in its natural environment rather than trying to replicate one. Parks in the United States have preserved the wildlife and the habitat which it depends on for survival.
There are many animals within Mammoth Cave National Park. They can be as small as snails and as large as deer. Some animals found in the forest include deer, raccoons, squirrels, snakes, wild turkeys, chipmunks, birds, coyotes, and fox. A few animals found in the river are turtles, beavers, fish, otters, and mussels. Other animals are found in the cave such as bats, cave crickets, salamanders (near the entrance), eyeless fish, and crayfish. All of these animals are important as well as the homes they occupy.
- A Place Protected Activity Sheet*
- Chart examples*
*Available from the downloadable Lesson Plat at the top of the page.
The teacher writes the words ZOO, NATIONAL PARK, ALIKE and DIFFERENT on the blackboard. The teacher asks the students to name things that are alike or the same about zoos and national parks.
The teacher asks the students to name things that are different between zoos and national parks. The teacher writes their responses on the blackboard.
The teacher explains that it is important to keep animals is their natural homes and national parks are able to do that. The teacher asks the students what kind of animals they think they would find in Mammoth Cave National Park. The teacher list these animals on the board.
The teacher passes out A Place Protected Activity Sheet to each student and explains that the students are to draw a picture of an animal found in Mammoth Cave National Park. They are to draw it in the home it lives in, this could be the cave, the forest, or a field. All animals and their homes can be drawn for this activity.
When the students finish their activity sheets they can share them with the class.
CLOSURE: Today we talked about some of the things that are alike and different with zoos and national parks. Both places are important, but it is very important for us to have national parks that protect not only the animals but their natural home.
AssessmentThe teacher is able to evaluate the students through class discussion, their drawings, and sharing their activities.
- To follow up this lesson the teacher could bind the students activity pages in a booklet for the students to read and enjoy together.
- The students could create a bulletin board with their pictures to remind them of the animals at Mammoth Cave National Park.
- The students could take a trip to a national park and/or a zoo to compare the two areas.