National Parks - Nevada & California
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Come along as we visit Nevada’s one and only National Park – Great Basin National Park. Then, we move on to visit 5 parks in California, comparing and contrasting along the way. Joshua Tree and Death Valley demonstrate high desert vs. low desert landscapes and conditions. Sequoia and Redwood NP’s show us the difference between trees that are gigantic in circumference vs. height. Lastly, we visit one of the crown jewels of National Parks – Yosemite N.P.
Video length: 17:19 minutes
Learning Resources with this Video*
Quizzes – PDF & Online
Comparing National Parks Overview
Comparing National Parks – Worksheet
National Parks – Junior Rangers
Giant Sequoia Trees
If I Went to a National Park – California or Nevada
Draw a Landscape – National Parks
*Links are active on Full Video page.
National Parks – California & Nevada
Pick a Park
Students will choose another National Park (not in the video), maybe the one they would most like to visit. Students will then research it, and present it to the class.
Identify and make a list of the landforms in these National Parks.
Ask students to find out how many National Parks there are in the United States and mark them on a large map (or print one out) so students can see where they are.
Have students print out a map of the National Parks and identify where the sites in the video are located.
A cloze piece has full sentences used in the virtual field trip with blanks where students can write in the information that is missing. This task requires close listening to the trip in order to complete it.
Example: Coral reefs are the _______ type of ecosystem in the world. They’ve been around for over _____ million years.
Answers: oldest; 240
Alternatively, you could have students create 5-10 cloze statements and they could share those with the class.
A third alternative is to distribute the cloze worksheets before watching the video. Students can fill them in as they watch.
National Park Service
Ask students to look into the different classifications of the National Park Service. For example, what is the difference between a National Park, a National Monument, a National Preserve, etc.
Pick a Favourite
Have each student choose an interesting site from the video, and make a replica of it as well as writing a paragraph to explain why that site was chosen.
Tell students they are going to take a “trip” to 4 National Parks in the United States. They have to write a traveling notebook of their “trip” and include sites that they saw, things that they learned about each park, how each park was created. They will need to detail the cost of entrance fees, rules that they must abide by in each of those four parks, where they are going to sleep (i.e. tent, KOA, rent a camper, lodge), etc.
Which One is Closest?
Students will determine which National Park is closest to where they are located. Use mapping skills if needed. Students will then research it and write about it.
A National Park is Born
Research how various national parks are created. Choose one of the National Parks in the video and discuss how it came into being.
Students create a quiz based on the information presented for their peers. This can be used as a review for a test, or class activity where students are responsible for teaching other students assigned topics.
Art and Social Studies
Draw a landscape from the video you just watched.
Identify key vocabulary terms while previewing each video. Prompt students to find the meaning of each word as they watch the video.
Ask students if they have ever heard of the Junior Rangers program through the National Park Service. If not, share the information and ask if any of them have experienced it.
Choose 2 National Parks to compare and contrast.
Research/compare landforms and biomes
Research/compare rocks and minerals found in the parks
Research/compare weather patterns in parks
Students will answer the question “Why are National Parks important?”
Make a List
Students choose their top five notable sites that they would like to visit in these parks. They will explain why they chose their list and older students can present their list with a PowerPoint presentation.
Have you ever visited a National Park? Write about your experience and share it with the class.
Classroom Ideas for ALL Videos
Here are dozens and dozens of ideas that you can use in your classroom along with our videos!
Topics Covered In This Video
What makes a National Park special?
Great Basin N.P.
Joshua Tree N.P.
Death Valley N.P.