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How to
Use the Activities


Inquiry Question

Historical Context




Table of

Putting It All Together

For some people, southern Utah provided a place to settle, worship, and make a home. For others, it became a place to earn a living by accommodating tourists. For still others, the area provided an eye-opening opportunity to learn about the natural landscape of the West. Have students keep these different motivations in mind as they complete the following activities.

Activity 1: To Make Public, or Not to Make Public
Ask students to participate in a debate over land use based on the following hypothetical scenario: Several acres of wooded land in your community are for sale by a private owner. A potential buyer wants to purchase the land to build a home on it. Some members of the community want the town to purchase the land and turn it into a park with walking trails, a playground, and picnic tables. The park supporters and the potential buyer are about to present their opinions at a town meeting.

After reading the scenario to the class, divide them into two groups and assign one group the side of the individual buyer and the other the side of the park supporters. Give students time to formulate their argument with group members and designate two spokespersons. Ask a spokesperson from the first group to present a five minute position statement and then have a spokesperson from the opposing group offer a two minute rebuttal. After both groups have presented their argument and given a rebuttal, have the class vote on which side they would take and which side they think presented the best argument.

Activity 2: The Local Landscape
Over the course of millions of years, the earthís landscape has been formed by natural processes. Earthquakes, volcanoes, glaciers, erosion, and other forces have deposited sediments, formed kettles and moraines, carved canyons, and otherwise created the world we know. Have students research the history of the landscape of their own community, looking for both natural and human influences. Hold a class discussion on how the landscape has affected the community and how the community affected the landscape. What do students think the community might look like one hundred years from now? Why? Have the students create three different illustrations of their community including an illustration before people settled in the area, after settlement, and what they believe the community will look like in one hundred years. Present each of the groupís illustrations and discuss the possible affects of a human population in the future.

Activity 3: Promoting Local Resources
Divide students into small groups and have each group select a national park, monument, historic site, state or local park, wilderness area, or other public use area located in their community that they would like to promote. They should then conduct research to discover why it was established or put aside for public use, how it effected the community at the time it was established, and how it is used by the community today. Have each group create either a promotion page for a newspaper or magazine, a Web page, or a photo essay "advertising" their site. Photos, diagrams, headlines, text, and special tours are some items that might entice the reader to want to visit the attraction. After all promotional projects have been exhibited to the class, have the students vote on the top five places they would like to visit. Finally, have the students submit their projects to the given park, site, or public use area.



Comments or Questions

National Park Service arrowhead with link to NPS website.