Utah National Parks

Educator Resources

Educator Resources



Curriculum Resources  Lesson Plans   Videos & Photos
Curriculum Resources
  • Environmental Education Reading List
    The National Park Service gathered a list of books and materials to help educators teach about nature, animals, geology and much more.
    The National Parks GEODETECTIVE project contains 6 units:  Earth Systems, Rocks and Minerals, Landforms, Hydrology, Plate Tectonics and Paleontology.
  • Teaching with Historic Places
    Teaching with Historic Places (TwHP) enables teachers and students to learn from places without leaving the classroom. By examining and questioning readings, documents, maps, photographs, and by engaging in activities, students connect these locations to the broad themes of American history.
  • Views of the National Parks
    This multimedia education program provides opportunities for all Americans to discover why national parks are special places.  
  • Animals to look for when visiting Bryce Canyon:


Lesson Plans

Grades K-3  Grades 4-8   Grades 9-12

Grades K-3

Imaginary River TripImaginary River Trip
Students take an imaginary river trip, right in their classrooms. Along the way they explore how humans, animals and insects use the river to survive.
Preparing for WinterPreparing for Winter
This in-class presentation uses story and visualization to explore how different types of animals survive the winter.
RocksRocks and Minerals
Students explore rocks and minerals of the area. They investigate how sandstone was formed and experiment with wind and water to determine which is the effective erosional process.


Grades 4-8

Animal AdaptationsAnimal Adaptations
Students are introduced to animal adaptations as both activities and physical parts that help animals to survive.
Bighorn SheepBighorn Sheep
Students will learn about the bighorn sheep’s habitat, the plants they eat, and how to identify the birds that share bighorn habitat.
Bryce Canyon National Park: Hoodoos Cast Their SpellBryce Canyon: Hoodoos Cast Their Spell
Students describe the formations that deterred settlement and encouraged tourism in Bryce Canyon and examine how it was used by settlers, scientists, government agencies, and tourists.
Cultural ContributionsCultural Contributions
Students will be introduced to archaeology and the artifacts that provide clues to the lives of ancient people.
Discovering National ParksDiscovering National Parks
In this ARTSEDGE lesson, students learn about the history of America's national parks and the role that artists played in their creation and maintenance.
Force, Motion & Primitive TechnologiesForce, Motion & Primitive Technologies
Students explore different simple machines by examining ancient technologies. Students discover how wheels and axels were used to make fire, and how rock wedges can be tools.
Heat, Light and SoundHeat, Light and Sound
Students investigate what objects absorb and retain heat and use sound waves to find birds. They observe how lenses change light waves, and investigate how sunscreen blocks UV waves.
Living and Non-living InteractionsLiving and Non-living Interactions
Students will explore producers, consumers, decomposers and food chains.
Physical and Chemical Changes in MatterPhysical and Chemical Changes in Matter
Students explore the difference between physical changes and chemical changes in matter.
Physical Features of the EarthPhysical Features of the Earth
Students will learn about the different types of rock and the rock cycle.
Plant AdaptationsPlant Adaptations
Students explore genetics using desert plant adaptations, riparian plant adaptations, and a few desert plants and animals adapted to nighttime activities.
Traveling Safely in the DesertTraveling Safely in the Desert
This in-class presentation explores what a student needs to hike safely in the desert ecosystem. Students learn directions, things to bring with them, and what to do if they get lost.
Water CycleWater Cycle
Students will learn about the process of erosion in different environments and the water cycle.



Videos & PhotosHiking in Arches

Utah students and educators can visit eMedia (via Utah's Online Library) to view PBS Utah's video production "Utah: The National Parks" and Ken Burns' PBS film "The National Parks: America's Best Idea". There are also photographs of some of the National Parks in eMedia.