Lesson Plan

Research Made Real – Using National Park Service Web Pages to Locate Primary Sources

Hornet's Nest
Savage fighting in the Hornet's Nest - April 6, 1862

NPS Collection

Overall Rating

Add your review
Grade Level:
Sixth Grade-Eighth Grade
History, Language Arts, Social Studies
50 minutes class period
Group Size:
Up to 24
National/State Standards:
Mississippi Technology Curriculum: Middle School

4. Use content-specific tools, (e.g., web tools) to support learning and research.
8. Select and use appropriate tools and technology resources to accomplish a variety of tasks and solve problems.


Students will see how to use NPS web pages in their research. The following three sites will be shown to students:

1. Shiloh National Military Park Web Page
2. Junior Civil War Historian Web Page
3. Web Ranger

Students will learn how to navigate these sites to find information about the Civil War and then use that information to enhance their writing on an informative paragraph assignment.


 Students will learn how to use NPS web pages in their research.


Since 1916, the American people have entrusted the National Park Service with the care of their national parks. With the help of volunteers and park partners, we are proud to safeguard these more than 400 places and to share their stories with more than 275 million visitors every year. Shiloh National Military Park is one of those more than 400 places being kept safe for you and future generations. These places contain a wealth of both historic and natural significance and that wealth if available to the public.



Students will write an informative paragraph about their hometown of Corinth, Mississippi. Students will use primary source information from the Shiloh National Military Web Site to enhance their writing and ground their work in authentic research rather than personal opinion.

Park Connections

This lesson plan uses Shiloh's web site, which is a park resource in and of itself. In addition, the lesson shows students how to find out what resources are in the Shiloh National Military Battlefield as well as the programs available to the public.


Students can be given research questions to find on various web sites. There are both cultural and natural history NPS sites in the United States, and there are over 400 to choose from, so the topics and questions could be wide-ranged. Social Studies and Science teachers could have students find out what primary sources are available to the public on any subject they are studying.


Primary sources, secondary sources

Last updated: April 14, 2015