Let's Celebrate Our National Parks With Deeper Learning


This year, we are celebrating the centennial of the National Parks Service. This is an opportunity for students and adults to learn more about our national parks and what we can do to preserve our natural resources and national treasures. The National Park Service is encouraging people to discover a park near them and become involved through recreation, conservation, and historic preservation programs.


The mission of the National Park Service:  "The Nation Parks Service preserves unimpaired the natural and cultural resources and values of the National Park System for the enjoyment, education, and inspiration of this and future generations. The Park Service cooperates with partners to extend the benefits of natural and cultural resource conservation and outdoor recreation throughout this country and the world."

Let's celebrate through Project Based Learning. I totally agree with an article on the Edutopia website. Project Based Learning doesn't have to only be about "solving a problem." It can be about "something worth celebrating."

Here's a few of my activities in my national parks PBL unit.

1. History - Early Leaders Who Made a Difference 

Students can learn about these important people who were conservationists.
- John Muir is known for being the Father of the National Parks Service. His love of nature and conserving our natural resources led him to convince the U.S. government to protect Yosemite, Sequoia, Grand Canyon, and Mt. Rainier as national parks.
- President Theodore Roosevelt is known as the conservationist president. Roosevelt was once an avid hunter in the Badlands of North Dakota. Through his visits, he witnessed the decline of different wild animal species and loss of habitat. Students can read this passage about President Roosevelt.


2. PowerPoint of Popular National Parks

In this PowerPoint, I've provided photos of different national parks, their location, year established, outstanding geologic features, and other facts.

Let's celebrate the centennial of our National Parks Service. This blog post gives 5 ways to incorporate project based learning.


3. Research

Students can select a national park they want to research and complete the information about the park. Topics include the history, geologic formations, animals, vegetation, activities to do at the park, climate, threats, and conservation. They will also record questions or things they want to know about the park.
Let's celebrate the centennial of our National Parks Service. This blog post gives 5 ways to incorporate project based learning.


3. Google 

Google now offers 360 virtual tours of five different national parks. Each has a virtual tour with documentaries. Your students will love it! They will be able to experience the national park. And, I've provided a lesson using Google Maps for students to learn more about a national park. The QR Code linked to the national park can be posted in the classroom for students to visit.

Let's celebrate the centennial of our National Parks Service. This blog post gives 5 ways to incorporate project based learning.

4. Plan a Trip to a National Park

Students can plan a trip to a national park. They will have to calculate how much they will spend on meals, places of interest, and travel.
Let's celebrate the centennial of our National Parks Service. This blog post gives 5 ways to incorporate project based learning.


5. A Bit More...

- Write a postcard to friends or family about a national park.
- Create your own national park and design a brochure about the park.
- Be a reporter and use DoInk Green Screen to report about a national park.
- Lastly, write reflections about the unit.
Let's celebrate the centennial of our National Parks Service. This blog post gives 5 ways to incorporate project based learning.

For the complete National Parks unit, just visit my Teachers Pay Teachers store. Click on the image below.
Let's celebrate the centennial of our National Parks Service. This blog post gives 5 ways to incorporate project based learning.

Let's celebrate the centennial of our National Parks Service. This blog post gives 5 ways to incorporate project based learning.


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