Distance Learning

Lessons from the Land

Grade Level:
Upper Elementary: Third Grade through Fifth Grade
Social Studies

How have Alaska Natives, gold rush prospectors, hunter-naturalists, and visitors to Denali National Park and Preserve made use of this land through time? Find out in this fun, history-rich program, where we explore multiple land-use perspectives from past to present, and ultimately look forward into the future. 

Program Length and Grade Range

This 50-minute program is designed for students in grades 3–5.

How to Participate

Denali's Distance Learning programs are a fun and interactive way for our education rangers to visit your classroom for free!

Our Distance Learning presentations are available from November 1 through March 31 annually (with breaks around some major holidays). Registration begins on October 15th annually. Spaces are limited and registration is handled on a first-come, first-served basis.

You will find the link to our Distance Learning Registration Form on Denali's Distance Learning homepage.

Lessons from the Land—Teacher's Guide

Program Objectives

Students will:

  1. Explore the relationship between people and the land in Denali throughout time.
  2. Develop an understanding of why and how Denali became protected as a national park.
  3. Learn about the traditional and modern uses of subsistence harvesting in Denali.
  4. Share personal opinions related to stewardship values.
  5. Identify connections between supply and demand, market hunting, and survival.
  6. Contemplate their own land use ethics.

Standards Addressed

Vocabulary and Concepts Covered

  • Denali National Park and Preserve, inspiration, recreation, resource extraction, gold rush, supply and demand, subsistence, stewardship, place-based names.

Before the Distance Learning Program

  • Assign or read aloud the Denali: People and the Land student reading and the Denali Overview for Students.
  • Discuss this quote with your students: “If you don’t know history, then you don’t know anything. You are a leaf that doesn’t know it is part of a tree.” —Michael Crichton
  • We love chatting with students about Denali! Encourage your learners to think of questions to ask the ranger. We usually have time at the end of a program to answer questions, and we're happy to answer overflow questions via e-mail.
  • Make sure you have a Zoom link at least a week ahead of time.
  • The teacher is responsible for classroom management during the program. This includes calling on students throughout the program and helping to ensure that their answers and comments are understood by all. The teacher is also responsible for facilitating questions at the end of the program.

After the Distance Learning Program

  • Email us your questions, feedback, or an evaluation form. We love hearing ways that we can continue to improve our programs!
  • Post-activity suggestions:
    • Find out what Native Land you live on.
    • Discuss or write about any of the following essential questions in relation to Denali or the land where you live:
      • What has the relationship between humans and the land been like throughout time? How do we shape the land? How does the land shape us?
      • What choices did our elders make that affect the way we live today? How do our choices and actions today impact how people will live in the future?
      • How can we protect places we care about?

Last updated: November 17, 2021