- Practice narrative writing
- Conduct research
- Develop vocabulary
- Participate in group discussions
Copies of the Our National Monuments Research and Writing Challenge
Step 1. To start this activity, ask students the following questions to get them thinking about national parks and places:
- What state has the largest national park? Alaska—Wrangell-St. Elias National Park and Preserve.
- What was the country’s first national park? Yellowstone National Park, which straddles Wyoming, Idaho, and Montana; established in 1872.
- True or False: There’s a national park, monument, or historic site in every state. True.
- Name a national park where you can see alligators and crocodiles. Everglades National Park in Florida.
- True or False: The Underground Railroad is on the National Register of Historic Places. True.
Step 2. Next, ask students to name any national monuments, parks, or historic sites they’ve visited and list them on the board. Supplement the list with examples from the activity sheet, including the Lincoln Memorial (DC), Grand Canyon (AZ), and Yosemite National Park (CA), and locate these on your class map. Explain that the government has designated these areas to be preserved and protected for the public.
Step 3. Distribute the student activity sheet and review it with your class. As an alternative to doing a report on a national monument or park, students will research a location to use as a setting for an imaginary narrative about a road trip. The activity sheet includes prompts to help students do their research and plan their stories.
Step 4. Provide students with access to resources to research national monuments and parks. For example, students might visit the National Park Service site for kids (nps.gov/kids) and the kids’ portal for the U.S. government (kids.gov). Students should research a location and take notes before beginning their stories.
Step 5. Remind students to use the prompts on the sheet to plan their stories before writing and to use details to describe the setting and location, as well as their adventure. They should write their stories on separate paper.
Step 6. Once done, invite students to share their adventure stories with the class.
Plan Your Visit to the Everglades National Park from nps.gov
Aboard the Underground Railroad from nps.gov
Lincoln Memorial from nps.gov
Grand Canyon from nps.gov
Antiquities Act from nps.gov