skip navigation
Left Navigation Links

 

Take Me to Your National Park

Printable view

Summary

Students will describe the purposes of national parks as a part of our American heritage. Students will identify and describe important national park sites in a specific state.

Coin Type(s)

  • Quarter

Coin Program(s)

  • 50 State Quarters

Objectives

  • Students will describe the purposes of national parks as a part of our American heritage.
  • Students will identify and describe important national park sites in a specific state.

Major Subject Area Connections

  • Language Arts
  • Social Studies

Grades

  • Second grade
  • Third grade

Class Time

Sessions: Four
Session Length: 30-45 minutes
Total Length: 121-150 minutes

Groupings

  • Whole group
  • Small groups
  • Individual work

Background Knowledge

Students should have a basic knowledge of:

  • The United States
  • Geography

Terms and Concepts

  • Quarter
  • Obverse (front)
  • Reverse (back)
  • National park

Materials

  • 1 overhead projector (optional)
  • 1 overhead transparency (or photocopy) of "Quarter Reverse" pages from several stateswith national parks (???)
  • 1 overhead transparency of the "Take Me to Your National Park" worksheet
  • Copies of the worksheets attached to this lesson plan
  • 1 class map of the United States
  • 1 copy of a text that gives information about national parks, such as:
    • National Parks (True Books) by David Petersen
    • M is for Majestic: A National Parks Alphabet by David Domeniconi and PamelaCarroll
    • Who Pooped in the Park? Series by Gary D. Robson and Elijah Brady Clark
  • Texts that provide information about specific national parks (for example, YellowstoneNational Park, Glacier National Park)
  • Examples of tri-fold brochures, especially visitors’ guides
  • Computers with Internet access
  • Chart paper
  • Markers
  • Writing paper
  • Construction paper

Preparations

  • Make an overhead transparency (or photocopy) of each of the following:
    • State quarter reverses from several states with national parks
    • "Take Me to Your National Park" worksheet
  • Make copies of each of the following:
    • "Take Me to Your National Park" worksheet (1 per group)
    • "Travel Guide Planner" worksheet (1 per group)
  • Locate a text that gives information about national parks (see examples under "Materials").
  • Gather texts that give information about specific national parks from the chosen state of study.
  • Gather examples of tri-fold brochures, especially visitors’ guides. As brochures can be folded in different ways, be sure to include at least one example of the fold the class will use (gatefold). Consider making a model by folding a piece of blank paper and numbering the panels.
  • Arrange to use the school computer lab for one session.
  • Bookmark Internet sites that contain information about national parks.

Worksheets and Files

Lesson plan, worksheet(s), and rubric (if any) at www.usmint.gov/kids/teachers/lessonPlans/pdf/263.pdf.

Session 1

  1. Describe the 50 State Quarters® Program for background information, if necessary, using the example of your own state, if available. Then display the transparency or photocopy of a state quarter reverse from a state with a national park. Locate the state on a classroom map. Note its position in relation to your school’s location. Repeat this process with several examples of state quarter reverses.
  2. Describe to the students that there are national parks in many states. Introduce the students to the selected text about national parks in the United States. Ask the students to name any known national parks and list these on chart paper. Ask the students to brainstorm reasons why national parks were created and also list these on the chart paper.
  3. Read aloud the selected text. While reading the text, add to the chart paper reasons for the creation of national parks and common features of these national parks. Tell the students that they will be researching national parks in the states they are studying for this lesson.
  4. Ask the students to write a journal entry or paragraph about why national parks are important.

Sessions 2 and 3

  1. Review the material covered in the first session, including reasons for the creation of national parks and common features.
  2. Divide the students into small groups. Explain to the students that they will research a national park in small groups and later create visitors’ guides about the park. Show the students examples of tri-fold brochures and visitors’ guides.
  3. Distribute the "Take Me to Your National Park" worksheet to each group. Review the directions with the students.
  4. Allow the students time to conduct their research using the Internet and available texts.

Session 4

  1. Review the material covered in previous sessions.
  2. Explain to the students that they will create a tri-fold brochure about the national park that they have researched. The brochure will be a visitors’ guide based on the information from the "Take Me to Your National Park" worksheet. The guides should include maps and illustrations. Distribute the "Travel Guide Planner" worksheet to each group and explain the construction of the brochure. If you prepared a model, show it to them.
  3. Provide construction paper and appropriate art materials. Allow the students time to complete their travel guides.
  4. Display the students’ work in the classroom and provide an opportunity for them to share their work with other classes.

Differentiated Learning Options

  • Allow students to produce their brochure information on the computer.
  • Provide written materials for the students to gather information about the national park.
  • Allow students to dictate the written components of their travel guides.
  • Have students use texts at various reading levels for their research materials.

Enrichments/Extensions

  • Have students create a travel guide independently for a national park of their choice.
  • Have students write essays about important people associated with national parks.

Use the students’ class participation, group collaboration, worksheets, and final travel guides to evaluate whether they have met the lesson objectives.

There are no related resources for this lesson plan.

Discipline: Language Arts
Domain: L.2 Language
Grade(s): Grade 2
Cluster: Conventions of Standard English
Standards:

  • L.2.1. Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English grammar and usage when writing or speaking.
    • Use collective nouns (e.g., group).
    • Form and use frequently occurring irregular plural nouns (e.g., feet, children, teeth, mice, fish).
    • Use reflexive pronouns (e.g., myself, ourselves)
    • Form and use the past tense of frequently occurring irregular verbs (e.g., sat, hid, told).
    • Use adjectives and adverbs, and choose between them depending on what is to be modified.
    • Produce, expand, and rearrange complete simple and compound sentences (e.g., The boy watched the movie; The little boy watched the movie; The action movie was watched by the little boy).
  • L.2.2. Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English capitalization, punctuation, and spelling when writing.
    • Capitalize holidays, product names, and geographic names.
    • Use commas in greetings and closings of letters.
    • Use an apostrophe to form contractions and frequently occurring possessives.
    • Generalize learned spelling patterns when writing words (e.g., cage --> badge; boy --> boil).
    • Consult reference materials, including beginning dictionaries, as needed to check and correct spellings.

Discipline: Language Arts
Domain: L.3 Language
Grade(s): Grade 2
Cluster: Conventions of Standard English
Standards:

  • L.3.1. Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English grammar and usage when writing or speaking.
    • Explain the function of nouns, pronouns, verbs, adjectives, and adverbs in general and their functions in particular sentences.
    • Form and use regular and irregular plural nouns.
    • Use abstract nouns (e.g., childhood).
    • Form and use regular and irregular verbs.
    • Form and use the simple (e.g., I walked; I walk; I will walk) verb tenses.
    • Ensure subject-verb and pronoun-antecedent agreement.
    • Form and use comparative and superlative adjectives and adverbs, and choose between them depending on what is to be modified.
    • Use coordinating and subordinating conjunctions.
    • Produce simple, compound, and complex sentences.
  • L.3.2. Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English capitalization, punctuation, and spelling when writing.
    • Capitalize appropriate words in titles.
    • Use commas in addresses.
    • Use commas and quotation marks in dialogue.
    • Form and use possessives.
    • Use conventional spelling for high-frequency and other studied words and for adding suffixes to base words (e.g., sitting, smiled, cries, happiness).
    • Use spelling patterns and generalizations (e.g., word families, position-based spellings, syllable patterns, ending rules, meaningful word parts) in writing words.
    • Consult reference materials, including beginning dictionaries, as needed to check and correct spellings.

Discipline: Language Arts
Domain: SL.2 Speaking and Listening
Grade(s): Grade 2
Cluster: Presentation of Knowledge and Ideas
Standards:

  • SL.2.4. Tell a story or recount an experience with appropriate facts and relevant, descriptive details, speaking audibly in coherent sentences.
  • SL.2.5. Create audio recordings of stories or poems; add drawings or other visual displays to stories or recounts of experiences when appropriate to clarify ideas, thoughts, and feelings.
  • SL.2.6. Produce complete sentences when appropriate to task and situation in order to provide requested detail or clarification. (See grade 2 Language standards 1 and 3 for specific expectations.

Discipline: Language Arts
Domain: SL.3 Speaking and Listening
Grade(s): Grade 2
Cluster: Comprehension and Collaboration
Standards:

  • SL.3.1. Engage effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grade 3 topics and texts, building on others’ ideas and expressing their own clearly.
    • Come to discussions prepared, having read or studied required material; explicitly draw on that preparation and other information known about the topic to explore ideas under discussion.
    • Follow agreed-upon rules for discussions (e.g., gaining the floor in respectful ways, listening to others with care, speaking one at a time about the topics and texts under discussion).
    • Ask questions to check understanding of information presented, stay on topic, and link their comments to the remarks of others.
    • Explain their own ideas and understanding in light of the discussion.
  • SL.3.2. Determine the main ideas and supporting details of a text read aloud or information presented in diverse media and formats, including visually, quantitatively, and orally.
  • SL.3.3. Ask and answer questions about information from a speaker, offering appropriate elaboration and detail.
  • SL.3.4. Report on a topic or text, tell a story, or recount an experience with appropriate facts and relevant, descriptive details, speaking clearly at an understandable pace.
  • SL.3.5. Create engaging audio recordings of stories or poems that demonstrate fluid reading at an understandable pace; add visual displays when appropriate to emphasize or enhance certain facts or details.
  • SL.3.6. Speak in complete sentences when appropriate to task and situation in order to provide requested detail or clarification. (See grade 3 Language standards 1 and 3 here for specific expectations.) 

Discipline: Language Arts
Domain: RL.2 Reading: Informational Text
Grade(s): Grade 2
Cluster: Key Ideas and Details
Standards:

  • RI.2.1. Ask and answer such questions as who, what, where, when, why, and how to demonstrate understanding of key details in a text.
  • RI.2.2. Identify the main topic of a multi-paragraph text as well as the focus of specific paragraphs within the text.
  • RI.2.3. Describe the connection between a series of historical events, scientific ideas or concepts, or steps in technical procedures in a text. 

Discipline: Language Arts
Domain: RL.2 Reading: Informational Text
Grade(s): Grade 2
Cluster: Integration of Knowledge and Ideas
Standards:

  • RI.2.7. Explain how specific images (e.g., a diagram showing how a machine works) contribute to and clarify a text.
  • RI.2.8. Describe how reasons support specific points the author makes in a text.
  • RI.2.9. Compare and contrast the most important points presented by two texts on the same topic.

Discipline: Language Arts
Domain: RL.2 Reading: Informational Text
Grade(s): Grade 2
Cluster: Craft and Structure
Standards:

  • RI.2.4. Determine the meaning of words and phrases in a text relevant to a grade 2 topic or subject area.
  • RI.2.5. Know and use various text features (e.g., captions, bold print, subheadings, glossaries, indexes, electronic menus, icons) to locate key facts or information in a text efficiently.
  • RI.2.6. Identify the main purpose of a text, including what the author wants to answer, explain, or describe.

Discipline: Language Arts
Domain: RL.3 Reading: Informational Text
Grade(s): Grade 2
Cluster: Craft and Structure
Standards:

  • RI.3.4. Determine the meaning of general academic and domain-specific words and phrases in a text relevant to a grade 3 topic or subject area.
  • RI.3.5. Use text features and search tools (e.g., key words, sidebars, hyperlinks) to locate information relevant to a given topic efficiently.
  • RI.3.6. Distinguish their own point of view from that of the author of a text.

Discipline: Language Arts
Domain: RL.3 Reading: Informational Text
Grade(s): Grade 2
Cluster: Integration of Knowledge and Ideas
Standards:

  • RI.3.7. Use information gained from illustrations (e.g., maps, photographs) and the words in a text to demonstrate understanding of the text (e.g., where, when, why, and how key events occur).
  • RI.3.8. Describe the logical connection between particular sentences and paragraphs in a text (e.g., comparison, cause/effect, first/second/third in a sequence).
  • RI.3.9. Compare and contrast the most important points and key details presented in two texts on the same topic.

Discipline: Language Arts
Domain: RL.3 Reading: Informational Text
Grade(s): Grade 2
Cluster: Key Ideas and Details
Standards:

  • RI.3.1. Ask and answer questions to demonstrate understanding of a text, referring explicitly to the text as the basis for the answers.
  • RI.3.2. Determine the main idea of a text; recount the key details and explain how they support the main idea.
  • RI.3.3. Describe the relationship between a series of historical events, scientific ideas or concepts, or steps in technical procedures in a text, using language that pertains to time, sequence, and cause/effect.

Discipline: Language Arts
Domain: W.2 Writing
Grade(s): Grade 2
Cluster: Research to Build and Present Knowledge
Standards:

  • W.2.7. Participate in shared research and writing projects (e.g., read a number of books on a single topic to produce a report; record science observations).
  • W.2.8. Recall information from experiences or gather information from provided sources to answer a question.
  • W.2.9. begins in grade 4.

Discipline: Language Arts
Domain: W.3 Writing
Grade(s): Grade 2
Cluster: Research to Build and Present Knowledge
Standards:

  • W.3.7. Conduct short research projects that build knowledge about a topic.
  • W.3.8. Recall information from experiences or gather information from print and digital sources; take brief notes on sources and sort evidence into provided categories.
  • W.3.9. begins in grade 4.

Discipline: Language Arts
Domain: All Language Arts Standards
Cluster: Using Technological Information
Grade(s): Grades K–12
Standards:

  • Students use a variety of technological and information resources (e.g., libraries, databases, computer networks, video) to gather and synthesize information and to create and communicate knowledge.

Discipline: Science
Domain: K-4 Content Standards
Cluster: Science in Personal and Social Perspectives
Grade(s): Grades K–12
Standards:

  • Personal health
  • Characteristics and changes in populations
  • Types of resources
  • Changes in environments
  • Science and technology in local challenges

Discipline: Social Studies
Domain: All Thematic Standards
Cluster: Time, Continuity, and Change
Grade(s): Grades K–12
Standards:

Teachers should:

  • assist learners to understand that historical knowledge and the concept of time are socially influenced constructions that lead historians to be selective in the questions they seek to answer and the evidence they use
  • help learners apply key concepts such as time, chronology, causality, change, conflict, and complexity to explain, analyze, and show connections among patterns of historical change and continuity
  • enable learners to identify and describe significant historical periods and patterns of change within and across cultures, including but not limited to, the development of ancient cultures and civilizations, the emergence of religious belief systems, the rise of nation-states, and social, economic, and political revolutions
  • guide learners in using such processes of critical historical inquiry to reconstruct and interpret the past, such as using a variety of sources and checking their credibility, validating and weighing evidence for claims, searching for causality, and distinguishing between events and developments that are significant and those that are inconsequential
  • provide learners with opportunities to investigate, interpret, and analyze multiple historical and contemporary viewpoints within and across cultures related to important events, recurring dilemmas, and persistent issues, while employing empathy, skepticism, and critical judgment; and enable learners to apply ideas, theories, and modes of historical inquiry to analyze historical and contemporary developments, and to inform and evaluate actions concerning public policy issues.

Discipline: Language Arts
Domain: All Language Arts Standards
Cluster: Use of Spoken, Written, and Visual Language
Grade(s): Grades K–12
Standards:

  • Students use spoken, written, and visual language to accomplish their own purposes (e.g., for learning, enjoyment, persuasion, and the exchange of information).

Discipline: Language Arts
Domain: All Language Arts Standards
Cluster: Research
Grade(s): Grades K–12
Standards:

  • Students conduct research on issues and interests by generating ideas and questions, and by posing problems. They gather, evaluate, and synthesize data from a variety of sources (e.g., print and nonprint texts, artifacts, people) to communicate their discoveries in ways that suit their purpose and audience. 

Discipline: Language Arts
Domain: All Language Arts Standards
Cluster: Applying Strategies to Writing
Grade(s): Grades K–12
Standards:

  • Students employ a wide range of strategies as they write and use different writing process elements appropriately to communicate with different audiences for a variety of purposes.

Discipline: Language Arts
Domain: All Language Arts Standards
Cluster: Effective Communication
Grade(s): Grades K–12
Standards:

  • Students adjust their use of spoken, written, and visual language (e.g., conventions, style, vocabulary) to communicate effectively with a variety of audiences and for different purposes.

Discipline: Social Studies
Domain: All Thematic Standards
Cluster: People, Places, and Environment
Grade(s): Grades K–12
Standards:

Teachers should:

  • Enable learners to use, interpret, and distinguish various representations of Earth such as maps, globes, and photographs, and to use appropriate geographic tools
  • Encourage learners to construct, use, and refine maps and mental maps, calculate distance, scale, area, and density, and organize information about people, places, regions, and environments in a spatial context
  • Help learners to locate, distinguish, and describe the relationships among varying regional and global patterns of physical systems such as landforms, climate, and natural resources, and explain changes in the physical systems
  • Guide learners in exploring characteristics, distribution, and migration of human populations on Earth’s surface
  • Have learners describe how people create places that reflect culture, human needs, current values and ideals, and government policies
  • Provide opportunities for learners to examine, interpret, and analyze interactions of human beings and their physical environments, and to observe and analyze social and economic effects of environmental changes, both positive and negative
  • Challenge learners to consider, compare, and evaluate existing uses of resources and land in communities, regions, countries, and the world
  • Direct learners to explore ways in which Earth’s physical features have changed over time, and describe and assess ways historical events have influenced and been influenced by physical and human geographic features