Student Activities

Cottonwood Trail Post Visit

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Grade Level:
Lower Elementary: Pre-Kindergarten through Second Grade
Literacy and Language Arts,Science



Students have this opportunity to explore the natural history of the dunes at Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore through art and looking at modern day photos.


Students understand that the sand dunes were created by glaciers long before people were here. Students also understand that the dunes are an ever-changing place.



 Paper, drawing material, photos of park visit (optional)


  1. Discuss your trip to the park. What did you see? What did you learn?
  2. Long ago, what formed these dunes? Glaciers! What has shaped them since? Wind, water, plants, people.
  3. Pass out papers and drawing materials. 
  4. Students divide their sheet of paper in half lengthwise.
  5. On the left side of the paper they draw an imagination of what this area looked like while glaciers were still shaping the land.
  6. On the right side of the paper they draw the dunes as they are today.


Through group discussion and individual drawing, students will demonstrate their understanding of the glacial impacts on the land.


Students write a poem or a letter to a park ranger about their visit to the park.

Last updated: October 6, 2017