About This Lesson
This lesson is based on the National Historic Landmark documentation form "Going-to-the-Sun Road, Glacier National Park, Montana" (with photographs); the National Register of Historic Places Multiple Property Documentation form, "Historic Park Landscapes in National and State Parks"; and archival material. Fay Metcalf, an education consultant, wrote Going-to-the-Sun Road. Marilyn Harper and the Teaching with Historic Places staff edited the lesson. TwHP is sponsored, in part, by the Cultural Resources Training Initiative and Parks as Classrooms programs of the National Park Service. This lesson is one in a series that brings the important stories of historic places into classrooms across the country.
Where it fits into the curriculum
Topics: The lesson may be used in American history, social studies, and geography courses in units on conservation and the environment or the influence of the automobile on popular culture.
Time period: 1920s and 1930s
Relevant United States History Standards for Grades 5-12
Relevant Curriculum Standards for Social Studies
Find your state's social studies and history standards for grades Pre-K-12
Objectives for students
1) To identify the problems encountered in designing and building Going-to-the-Sun Road.
2) To analyze the role of Frank A. Kittredge in planning Going-to-the-Sun Road.
3) To describe and evaluate arguments for building roads to provide access to Glacier National Park and other backcountry and wilderness regions.
4) To identify an important highway or parkway in their own community and describe the work that went into its construction.
Materials for students
The materials listed below either can be used directly on the computer or can be printed out, photocopied, and distributed to students. The maps and images appear twice: in a smaller, low-resolution version with associated questions and alone in a larger version.
1) two maps showing Montana and Glacier National Park;
2) three readings about building Going-to-the-Sun Road and National Park Service policy on conserving the landscape;
3) six photographs showing the construction of the road and scenic vistas from it;
4) one drawing of Going-to-the-Sun Road.
Visiting the site
Glacier National Park is a unit of the National Park Service. To travel on Going-to-the-Sun Road, enter the park from the west by taking U.S. Highway 2 to the West Glacier entrance. From the east, go north from the junction of U.S. Highway 2 on the Blackfeet Highway (U.S. 89) to St. Mary. Visitor centers are located in Apgar, Logan Pass, and St. Mary. For more information, contact Glacier National Park, West Glacier, MT 59936 or visit the Park's Web page.