My favorite week of the year is easily National Park Week, which coincides with Earth Day each April. I’m a big fan of the National Parks (I even share a birthday with them), so naturally I love sharing the parks with my students! I have a bulletin board dedicated to the parks, along with nearly 2 dozen national park books. I have complied a list of my favorite national park books to share with you. Check out the list below.
For All Ages: M is for Majestic: A National Parks Alphabet by David Domeniconi
This charming alphabet book will take you to many of the national parks! From Acadia to Zion, students will learn all about the parks and what make them each unique. Pam Carroll does an amazing job bringing the parks to life through her illustrations of landscapes, animals, and people enjoying the parks.
Pre-School/Kindergarten: All Aboard: National Parks by Kevin & Haily Meyers
This simple introduction to the national parks is perfect for any early childhood classroom. This book takes you through a day in the parks, starting with the sunrise in Acadia and ending with sunset in Olympic. Children can see beautiful artwork of nine national parks, and learn which animals can be found in those parks (and what their footprints look like). It is also a board book, which makes it durable for any classroom or home library.
2nd-3rd Grade: My Ranger Years: from Junior Ranger to Park Ranger by Dayna Higgins
In this journal style story, the author takes us through a young boy’s journey with the National Parks. The story highlights 21 different parks, and includes many pictures and graphics. The graphics (charts, diagrams, etc.) compliment the story, and allow the young reader to better understand the parks. This a great story for any young nature lover!
2nd-4th Grade: What I Saw in Yellowstone- A Kid’s Guide to Wonderland by Durrae Johanek
This is a great interactive book for any child that visits Yellowstone National Park. The book is informational, but in a very kid friendly way. It teaches children about the animals, plants, natural wonders, and history of the park. Students can jot down things they have learned and complete the checklist of things they saw.
3rd-6th Grade: John Muir: America’s First Environmentalist by Kathryn Lasky
Without John Muir our national parks would not be where they are today and in this age appropriate biography, students can learn about Muir—from his early years in Scotland to forming the Sierra Club in 1892. If you are teaching about the national parks, then John Muir s ought to be part of your discussion. This book is a great teaching tool to help your students discover the wonderful man who worked so hard to preserve the natural beauty of our country!
3rd-6th Grade: National Geographic Kids: National Parks Guide USA by Sarah Wassner Flynn
This is a book that my students are reading year-round! This book includes information on all the national parks (although it depends on the edition you have… I have the 2014 edition, so it is missing a few of the most recent parks). The information is presented in a kid-friendly way and allows the reader to dive deep into the park and the surrounding area. This is the perfect book for any child going on a national park road trip!
4th-8th Grade (for research): Preserving America Series by Nate Frisch
This is a wonderful series for upper elementary and middle school students. There are 10 books in the series, all of which are informative and give students a well-rounded look at each park. I highly recommend these books for research projects on the national parks.
This is by no means an exhausted list, simply a few of my favorites! If you have any national park books you love, please share them in the comments below!
Happy Reading and Happy National Park Week!
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