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Teacher Feature

Teacher Feature

Natural Beauty

Overview

In honor of the California Quarter, students will read and learn about the accomplishments of John Muir.  Students will gather information about one of the United States National Parks founded by John Muir.

Activity

After reading February's 2005's Coin of the Month page, review with students reasons why John Muir was called a naturalist and was important to the state of California.

Students will research John Muir and one of the National Parks he founded (Yosemite, Sequoia/Kings Canyon, Grand Canyon, Mount Rainer and Petrified Forest) focusing on some of the minerals, plants and animals found there.

Have students gather information about John Muir and National Parks using Web sites such as:

  • www.sierraclub.org/john_muir_exhibit
  • www.ecotopia.org/ehof/muir
  • www.nationalgeographic.com

Have students gather information about John Muir using age-appropriate text such as:

  • John Muir: Young Naturalist by Montrew Dunham
  • Call Him Father Nature: The Story of John Muir by Patricia Topp
  • John Muir (Rookie Biography Series) by Wil Mara
  • John Muir by David Armentrout
  • John Muir: Man of the Wild Places by Carol Greene

Students will create a tri-fold brochure about John Muir and one of the National Parks he founded.  They should include information about specific minerals, plants and animals found at the site in the form of pictures and descriptions.  The brochure should also contain the location of the park and an image representing the natural beauty found in the park.  Instruct students to write one to three paragraphs providing background information about John Muir showing why he was known as "The Father of our National Parks."

Extension

Have students view a piece of art displaying some of nature's beauty found in our National Parks.  Reproduce the image using water colors or another medium of choice.

Standards

The project described above reflects some of the national standards of learning as defined by the National Council for the Social Studies (NCSS), the National Council for Teachers of English (NCTE), and the International Society for Technology in Education.  These standards are listed below:

Language Arts Standards

Gather and use information for research purposes:  Students will locate materials to assist in research for their brochure.

Social Studies Standards

People, Places and Environments:  Students will create a brochure showing features about National Parks that John Muir founded.



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