PUBLIC LANDS LESSON PLANS
PUBLIC LANDS LESSON PLANS
Into the Outdoors
Find science education resources that empower today’s classrooms to think critically about Planet Earth.
iTree Teaching Resources
From the USDA Forest Service
For grades 3 – 12, i-Tree is a state-of-the-art, peer-reviewed software suite from the US Forest Service that provides urban forestry analysis and benefits assessment tools.
Wilderness Connect K-12 Educational Resources
A variety of lesson plans related to wilderness and outdoor exploration are included here.
American Frontiers: A Public Lands Journey
America's public lands are a treasured part of our national heritage, representing its grandeur, bountiful promise, and vast natural resources. All citizens share in the rights and the responsibilities of seeing that our public lands are cared for and managed in a way that meets the current and future needs of the American people.
An Educational Resource Guide for the “Every Kid in a Park” Program
From the National Wildlife Federation
This guide provides a list of many extraordinary curricula, lesson plans, guides, and programs relating to our public lands and waters. With this guide, children, families and educators can: prepare for a richer experience when they use their free Every Kid in a Park pass to visit national parks and lands; learn about national parks, forests, refuges and other areas; and develop a lasting knowledge of natural lands and ecosystems that will enhance their public lands experiences as adults.
Every Kid in a Park
From the U.S. Government
Activity 1: Exploring Federal Lands and Waters (PDF). This lesson teaches students why our country protects lands and waters.
Activity 2: Environmental Stewardship (PDF). This lesson shows students how to take care of lands and waters.
Activity 3: Our Nation’s Native Peoples (PDF). This lesson teaches students about the people who lived on this land before it was called the United States.
Activity 4: Citizen Science (PDF). This lesson helps kids learn about the difference between weather and climate.
From Idaho STEM
CLICK HERE for a two-week lesson in which fourth grade students will be able to explain in writing what an ecosystem is and to create an ecosystem diorama.
What is Wilderness? – Definition, Problems & Preservation
The wilderness is the last untamed land found on earth. It remains undeveloped by man and serves as a refuge for wildlife. Learn about the wilderness, the law enacted to preserve it and the problems that wilderness areas face.
From the USDA Forest Service and the Cradle of Forestry in America Interpretive Association
This is a list of articles relating to wilderness that have been published in Natural Inquirer journals. The Natural Inquirer program produces a variety of science education materials for PreK through grade 12.
BLM Classroom Investigation Series
From the Bureau of Land Management
These materials address topics related to the programs and include Citizen Voice in Land Use Decisions, Solar Generated Electricity, Habitats and Wildlife, Native Plants, and Wilderness.
The National Parks: America’s Best Idea
The lessons on this site were developed to help teachers in the classroom use The National Parks: America's Best Idea. Activities are appropriate for grades 7-10 but are easily adapted to different age ranges. Many of the lessons incorporate video clips from the film as well as additional resources found on this site. All the lessons address national teaching standards listed within each plan.
Classroom Investigation Series: Wilderness
From the Bureau of Land Management
In this activity, students examine excerpts from an article titled “The Need for Wilderness Areas,” which is about the value of preserving wilderness. Students then compare the article to some of the language in the 1964 Wilderness Act. The article is by Howard Zahniser, who is also the act’s main author.
The Wilderness and Land Ethic Curriculum
From the Arthur Carhart National Wilderness Training Center
The Wilderness and Land Ethic Curriculum is the product of many educators, Forest Service wilderness managers and interested organizations. The curriculum was pilot tested in Colorado, Minnesota, and Montana through teacher workshops and in rural, suburban and urban schools. The goal of this project is to develop an awareness of the wilderness resource and its significance to our culture and society. It is designed for use in urban classrooms without dependence on any "field experience" (although many are adaptable to a field setting).
Infrared Yellowstone Lesson Plans
From Cool Cosmos and NASA
Infrared images show the relative distribution of heat as a false color map and can reveal information not found in visible light images. By comparing and contrasting visible light images and infrared images, learners will discover the importance of using different regions of the electromagnetic spectrum to study objects. Though not expressed in this lesson, this infrared exploration can be extended into exploring additional applications of infrared imaging on Earth and in space. Viewing objects using different types of light gives us a more complete understanding of these objects.
Sharing the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem Lesson Plan / Activity
From Montana Institute on Ecosystems
Through an active strategy game, students will experience the frustrations of trying to balance the needs of wildlife conservation, ranchers, home developers, and wildlife conservationists in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem. (Teachers could substitute another ecosystem with which they are familiar). Participants will also discuss possible solutions for accommodating all stakeholders.
Yellowstone National Park Curriculum Materials
From the National Park Service
Yellowstone National Park has a variety of searchable lesson plans on topics ranging from “A Bear’s Menu” to dilemma cards that review the conflicting mandates that the National Park Service must follow. Resources are also available to teacher about bears, predator-prey dynamics, erosion, water, animal tracks, historic Yellowstone artwork, geysers, and more.
The Yellowstone Teacher Project
Kennesaw State University
This site is designed as a resource for educators to use when teaching topics and issues related to Yellowstone National Park. Many of the issues surrounding America's first national park are controversial. The issues of diseased bison, winter use, bioprospecting, and wolf reintroduction are topics that can be used to teach and inform all age groups. Educators can provide students with the tools needed to become independent thinkers and strong decision makers.