Ken Burns Classroom

Exploring the National Parks

Ken Burns Film: The National Parks

Collections: Emergence of Modern America (1890-1930)

Subject: Science

Grade Level: 6-10

Run Time: 1 class period

Divide students into pairs or small groups. Have each group pick a national park they’d like to explore and research information from any number of sources. They should locate the park’s home state, create a map of the borders and size, and write brief descriptions of the park’s climate, major landforms, vegetation and wildlife. Have students provide oral reports on their parks or create PowerPoint presentations. Ask the following questions:

  • What types of environments were among those presented? Where are they? What do they look like? How are they alike? How are they different?
  • In what ways do those environments compare or contrast with your earlier idea of a park?
  • Which of the parks you viewed would you like to visit and why?

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