PARK BASED LEARNING
“We who are gathered here may represent a particularly elite, not of money and power, but of concern for the earth for the earth's sake." - Ansel Adams
America's National Park system is the envy of the world. They are places to reflect, to learn, to be reminded of just how small we are and how wondrous the natural and cultural heritage of our nation is...
Nothing can replace the experience of visiting these places first hand. No picture can ever capture the full majesty of the Grand Canyon. No classroom lesson can ever encapsulate the raw power of Yellowstone's geysers and thermal features. No webpage can translate the emotional impact of walking the fields of Gettysburg.
With this in mind, it is our hope that this project will inspire the people of our ever-shifting world to learn about, protect, and eventually experience these places for themselves.
Our lessons and resources are designed around two powerful approaches to authentic and engaging learning;
The Buck Institute for Education's High-Quality Project Based Learning model, focusing on both content and 21st century skill development like collaboration and communication.
Game-based design principals that incorporate games, simulations, and role-plays to promote high-levels of student engagement and critical thinking.
Lessons are all in "print and play" format, meaning they come with everything you'll need to use them in your own classroom. You are also free to adapt these lessons as well. Most lessons include all of the following;
Detailed lesson guides for teachers including instructional advice and suggested pacing.
Common Core aligned and "soft skill" 21st century learning goals that are taught and assessed.
Multiple assessment tools to help measure the learning of all types of learners.
Every forms, rubrics, and organizers that you need, all in PDF form. You create nothing from scratch.
About Our Logos
Prior to the adoption of the arrowhead, the National Park Service widely used the Sequoia Cone as its logo. We adopted this design both for its historic connection to the National Park system, but also as a reminder that even the largest of things start out as a small seeds.
We also use the American Bison in recognition of both its significant connection to the National Parks, and because of its recent adoption as our nation's official landmark mammal. We too hope to support the landmark changes to education teacher are making everyday with our project. Thanks to Steve Laing for th use of his icon.
This project was started and is led by James Fester, a teacher, consultant, and most importantly a state and national park volunteer interpreter. You can learn more about him on this website by clicking here!
The lesson designers, contributors, and beta-testers who have supported this project represent a wide cross-section of educators, naturalists, historians, and a even a couple of NPS rangers as well! More about them is coming soon!