BY: Janet Bragg, Lebanon, IN
Site address: http://www.nps.gov/
Grade Level(s): grades 4 -12
"Park Net" is the website sponsored by the National Park Service. Through this website, information can be obtained about our nationís parks and historical landmarks. The home page menu contains selections for Visit Your Parks; Links to the Past; Park Smart; Info Zone; and Nature Net. The Links to the Past selection will provide databases for such topics as archeology, Civil War, structures and landscapes of historic places, maritime, museum collections, and peoples and cultures. Study guides, glossaries, curricula and other educational tools are also provided under this section. Additional tools for integrating the national parks and historic places into curriculum can be found in "The Learning Place" under Park Smart.
A park can be located by name, theme, state, or region by accessing the Visit Your Parks link. This link also pictures the park of the month and a closer view can be obtained by clicking on the picture. Pertinent information concerning each park can also be obtained through this link.
Based on trivia, the "Did You Know...?" section, located under the Info Zone menu, provides the reader with many interesting facts about the parks.
The Nature Net choice addresses natural resources significant to the parks. A menu can be accessed that will allow you to select a geological feature such as glaciers, caves, hot springs and river systems. A choice of one of these fourteen features will allow you to view listings of the parks by geological classifications. Links to water and biological resources pertinent to each park can also be obtained from this section.
Visit the "Who We Are" menu selection to learn of the criteria for eligibility to become a national park. Also under this selection information as to the classification of the national parks is listed. Parks are classified into such designations as battlefields, monuments, memorials, parkways, preserves, scenic trails - to name a few of the many classifications. Definitions of classification titles are given along with statistics for each classification. For instance, there are eleven national battlefields, and these are listed under that classification.
In addition to the topics covered above, there is a wealth of additional information. Travel pertinent information such as hours of operation, admittance expenses, and camping facilities are among the topics addressed for each park under the Visit Your Parks section.
Visit this website on your own, and Iím sure you will uncover additional sources of information. While I have tried to annotate the features I felt most useful to educators, there were still many categories that remain unexplored. This website is an excellent source for information on the national parks.
Geography Standards addressed:
Places and Regions: #4) understands the physical and human characteristics of places
Environment and Society: #14) How human actions modify the physical environment.
Indiana Social Studies Proficiency Guidelines addressed:
#2 identify the physical and cultural characteristics of the United States
#9 develop a commitment to the democratic principles that led to the development of the
United States as a nation through practice of citizenship skills
Purpose: The purpose of this lesson is to enrich the study of United States geography and to acquaint students with a part of their heritage as citizens of the U. S. This lesson will serve to familiarize students with the parks and their regional locations. It will additionally promote a respect for our national parks and a realization that these parks need to be preserved and protected.
Grade Level(s): 5th (can be adapted to curriculum for other grade levels)
Geography Standards Addressed:
1. Riddles should be created by teacher. An optional number of riddles should be prepared, but remember the students need time to research independently and create their own riddles. (Suggestion: 5-10)
I am home to the worldís largest geyser area. I am so large I take up space in three states in the Western region of our country. What park am I and in which states am I located? (answer: Yellowstone National Park WY, MT, ID)
I measure 152 feet in length and stand tall in an island. You will find me in the Northeast region of the U. S. What am I and in what state am I located? (answer: The Statue of Liberty) Ellis Island, New York)
2. Direct students into connecting with this website (see annotation on national parks).
3. Acquaint students with the home page of this website and its accessible links. This would be a good opportunity to discuss what national parks are and to view the Who We Are section.
4. Lead students into entering the Visit Your Parks section. Check to see that all students are at this location. Assist those students who need help.
5. Direct students in locating a park by state, name, and theme. At this point, lead all students in searching for the same information.
6. After you feel students are familiar with moving around in the website, explain the assignment: solving riddles and creating riddles.
7. Give each student a riddle page and solve one riddle as a class.
8. Allow for independent work, helping those students who need assistance.
9. When students have correctly solved their riddles, give students two index cards for the creation of their own riddles. Make sure students write riddle on one card and answer on another.
10. Studentsí riddles could be drawn individually by classmates and solved independently (one per student). These could be consolidated and shared on a bulletin board.
11. Compare and contrast physical and geological features common by regions. Discover and classify parks using categories furnished in the Who We Are section in this website. Complete this in discussion format as a group activity.
12. As a closure to this activity, discuss how the national parks belong to the citizens of the U. S. Elicit responses as to appropriate and inappropriate human actions in relationship to these resources.
Students will solve 80% of their riddles correctly. Students will create their own riddle by using the same format furnished in the riddles they solved.
GEOGRAPHY WEBSITE PROTOCOL
Site address: http://www.isu.edu/~trinmich/allabout.html
"theme": The Oregon Trail
grade level(s): grades 5-12
An excellent resource to assist in the understanding of the Oregon Trailís significance in Americaís westward expansion, "All About the Oregon Trail" contains the following menu selections:
Introduction to the Oregon Trail - This section briefly discusses the origins and significance of the trail.
Discoverers and Explorers - The roles of such notables as Lewis and Clark; The Astorians; Pike and Long; the Mountain Men; the fur trading companies; and Fremont` are highlighted in this selection.
The Route West - This choice describes how the first emigrants to Oregon arrived by ship. A map depicting the trail and numbering historically prominent landmarks along its route is also located at this site. These numbered points can be selected for a view of the site accompanied by a description of its history. St. Louis, Independence Rock and Fort Bridger are among the 22 sites available for viewing.
Other menu selections cover the topics of camping along the trail; hardships encountered by the emigrants along the trail; and the role buffalos and Native Americans played in the emigrantsí life along the trail.
Under "Fantastic Facts About the Oregon Trail," an assortment of amusing and fascinating stories can be printed and shared. One such story is about a honeymoon spent sharing a covered wagon with others.
A free study guide utilizing the documentary "The Oregon Trail," created by Mike Trinklein and Steve Boettcher and aired on PBS, suggests many activities and discussion topics. This study guide can be downloaded and printed for classroom use. This guide can be obtained by selecting the Oregon Trail Bookstore (& Video Store) choice. Ordering information for the video and supplmentary materials can be obtained at this selection.
national parks/Bragg 2
National Geography Standards addressed:
IN Social Studies Proficiency Guidelines addressed:
Classroom idea/lesson plan attached: yes______ no_______
BY: Janet Bragg