Are you studying the southwest region of the United States? Looking to engage your students with the national parks? Look no further than Great Smoky Mountain National Park! I’ve compiled my top 5 tips for teaching with Great Smoky Mountain National Park!
1.) Become a Remote Junior Ranger
Most of you reading this don’t live within field trip range to Smoky Mountain National Park. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t have your students become Junior Rangers. They have several activities online, and you can print a badge as well. I also like to pair my students’ learning with a video from Rock the Park or the Arts and Culture project that Google and the NPS paired up for.
2.) Read about the Park
Having books about the park available for your students is a great way to have them learn about the park. Below is a list of a few of my favorite books, and you can click here to check out my Great Smoky Mountains National Park book list on Epic.
3.) Skype with the Park
Since we all can’t visit the park, bring the park to your classroom! It is super easy to set up a Skype or Zoom (or Google Meet) call with a ranger from Smoky Mountains National Park. Over the years I have done a bunch of calls with rangers and they have all been fantastic. To learn more about the programs that the Smokies offers, check them out here.
4.) More than the Park
5.) Make it Simple
Looking to easily add the national parks into your lessons? Grab my FREE Great Smoky Mountains National Park Reading Comprehension activities. In this week-long reading unit students will learn about the park using both fiction and non-fiction, new vocabulary words, text connections, park brochure and pennant, and MORE! AND I have both a printable and digital version. Grab these FREE resources here!
The national parks are truly magical! I hope you and your students enjoy the adventure!
And if you are really getting into the national parks, be sure to grab my FREE history of the national parks activities here!
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