- Grade Level:
- Kindergarten-Third Grade
- Geography, Mathematics, Social Studies
- 20-30 minutes
- Group Size:
- Up to 36
- indoors or outdoors
- puzzle, symbols, grouping, National Parks, jigsaw puzzle
OverviewThis lesson plan is a part of Making Connections: A Curriculum Guide to Mammoth Cave National Park, GrK-3, produced by the park's Environmental Education program. The GrK-3 Guide comprises ten lessons; this is lesson 1 of the set.
After being introduced to symbols and grouping, students will assemble two puzzles symbolic of our national parks - a ranger hat and the arrowhead patch.
- Visualize symbols of the National Park System
- Become a productive group member while identifying the components of a national park
The first national park, Yellowstone, was established in 1872. This was the first national park in the world. Today there are over 390 different national parks in the United States. This idea, that was born in America, has since spread throughout the world. National parks were developed to protect and preserve both natural and cultural aspects for future generations. They were also established to provide enjoyment to the visiting public. In 1916 the National Park Service was established as a federal agency. For almost one hundred years the American public has fallen in love with its ideals and traditions.
- Two jigsaw puzzles- one Stetson hat and one Arrowhead
- Four signs saying- plants, animals, people, and rocks,
- Two pictures, one of a Stetson hat and one arrowhead (download from this site)
This PDF file is for use in constructing the Arrowhead Puzzle required for the "Park Puzzle" Lesson Plan. This version is in black-and-white. You may use the color version if you prefer. The print is 22" wide by 28" high. Adhere the printed Arrowhead to a firm substrate such as Fomecore™ or thick cardboard. Also print the Arrowhead Puzzle Pattern and carefully cut the puzzle along the lines indicated as you lay the pattern over the puzzle. View
This PDF file is for use in constructing the Arrowhead Puzzle required for the "Park Puzzle" Lesson Plan. This version is in color. You may use the black-and-white version if you prefer. The print is 22" wide by 28" high. Adhere the printed Arrowhead to a firm substrate such as Fomecore™ or thick cardboard. Also print the Arrowhead Puzzle Pattern and carefully cut the puzzle along the lines indicated as you lay the pattern over the puzzle. View
This PDF file is for use in constructing the Arrowhead Puzzle required for the "Park Puzzle" Lesson Plan. This is the cutting pattern for use in cutting the puzzle once you have created it. The pattern is 22" wide by 28" high. Carefully cut the puzzle along the lines indicated as you lay the pattern over the puzzle. View
This PDF file is for use in constructing the Ranger Hat Puzzle required for the "Park Puzzle" Lesson Plan. The print is 32.5" wide by 16.5" high. Adhere the printed Ranger Hat to a firm substrate such as Fomecore™ or thick cardboard. Also print the Ranger Hat Puzzle Pattern and carefully cut the puzzle along the lines indicated as you lay the pattern over the puzzle. View
Begin by creating the puzzles for this activity using the printable patterns and other downloadable materials available with this lesson. Once the puzzles are complete, glue one plant, animal, people, or rock image to the back of each puzzle piece.
The teacher asks, “When you think of a national park, what things do you think about?” The students may respond with things like - animals, trees, plants, rangers, etc. The teacher many need to encourage them to think about the hat ranger’s wear and the patch. The teacher shows the students pictures of the ranger’s hat and patch. These are symbols that stands for the National Park Service. The teacher should write the students' responses on the blackboard.
The teacher asks, “Why are national parks special?” The students should be able to answer, “To take care of animals and plants.” The instructor may need to help with the concept that parks take care of the rocks, or land found within its boundaries. Rangers help to take care of people that visit the park. Ranger also tell about the people that are important to that park, such as Abraham Lincoln at Abraham Lincoln Birthplace National Historic Park.
The teacher reinforces the idea that parks take care of people, plants, animals, and rocks. The teacher explains that these four things are all pieces of what makes up our national parks.
The teacher now passes out pieces of wood (parts of the puzzle) to each student. The teacher has the students look at their pieces to see which category (people, plants, animals, and rocks) is on their piece. The teacher places signs in four areas of the room (plants, animals, people, and rocks). The instructor tells the students to go stand next to the sign that matches their picture.
The teacher now tells the students that they are holding a piece to one of the symbols. They may have a piece that belongs to the hat or a piece that belongs to the patch (arrowhead). They need to find other people that have pieces like them (similar color) and then put their pieces together with their pictures (of rocks, plants, animals and people) showing.
The teacher then talks about how all these things go together to form a symbol of the National Park Service. The students now take apart their puzzle and flip their pieces over. This time put the puzzle together again to see their symbol more clearly.
The students return to their seats with their puzzle piece. The class reviews what is protected in a national park and that it is important to take care of them. The teacher collects their puzzle pieces.
CLOSURE: Today we talked about the four reasons that we protect national parks. It is because of these special things that parks are popular throughout the country.
AssessmentThe teacher is able to evaluate the students as they move to their category and then interact with their group.
The ranger hat and arrowhead patch are symbols associated with the National Park System. In this lesson students learn that national parks were formed to protect the unique landscape, history, plants and animals found within park boundaries. These components combine to make each park a special place.
Extensions1. Take a look at a U.S. map and talk about parks found in other states. (Ask the Environmental Education Coordinator for a U.S. Map with national parks highlighted.)
VocabularyNational Park, plants, animals, people, rocks
Last updated: April 14, 2015