Grade Levels: 3-5, 6-8

*Click to open and customize your own copy of the National Parks Lesson Plan

This lesson accompanies the BrainPOP topic National Parks, and supports standards related to describing how human activities affect the cultural and environmental characteristics of places or regions.Students demonstrate understanding through a variety of projects.


Prompt students:

  • Think of a time you visited a park, went on a hike, or just enjoyed nature somewhere. What did you enjoy the most about your visit?


  • Read the description on the National Parks topic page.
  • Play the Movie, pausing to check for understanding. 
  • Assign Related Reading. Have students read one of the following articles: “Real Life,” “In Depth,” or “Famous Faces.” Partner them with someone who read a different article to share what they learned with each other.

Step 3: APPLY and ASSESS 

Assign National Parks Challenge and Quiz, prompting students to apply essential literacy skills while demonstrating what they learned about this topic.


Students express what they learned about National Parks while practicing essential literacy skills with one or more of the following activities. Differentiate by assigning ones that meet individual student needs.

  • Make-a-Movie: Produce a documentary about National Parks explaining how Westward Expansion impacted natural resources in the U.S. Describe how National Parks help protect those resources.
  • Make-a-Map: Create a concept map identifying ways National Parks help protect endangered species.
  • Creative Coding: Code a digital museum exhibit featuring symbols, figures, and artifacts to represent the importance and impact of National Parks.
  • Primary Source Activity: Examine a letter from John Muir to Theodore Roosevelt and cite details to answer accompanying questions.

More to Explore 

Time Zone X: National Parks: ​​Place historical events in chronological order in this interactive timeline game.  

Related BrainPOP Topics: Deepen understanding of the importance and history of National Parks with these topics: Humans and the Environment, Natural Resources, and Westward Expansion.

Teacher Support Resources: