Woody Guthrie’s famous folk song, “This Land is your Land,” isn’t the national anthem. But it surely captures the American spirit of adventure and environmental stewardship embodied in the millions of acres of parks, wilderness, historic structures, lakes, and snow-capped mountains managed by the federal government.
To celebrate its 100th birthday and engage the next century’s explorers, the National Park Service and other federal land-management agencies have teamed up with the White House to open parks to 4th graders and their teachers and parents for free. Every Kid in a Park includes trip planning tools and teacher activity guides:
Activity 1: Exploring Federal Lands and Waters (PDF). This lesson teaches students why our country protects lands and waters.
Activity 2: Environmental Stewardship(PDF). This lesson shows students how to take care of lands and waters.
Activity 3: Our Nation’s Native Peoples(PDF). This lesson teaches students about the people who lived on this land before it was called the United States.
Activity 4: Citizen Science (PDF). This lesson helps kids learn about the difference between weather and climate.
The National Park Service also offers resources for teaching with history.
No time or money for field trips? The National Park Service offers electronic field trips as well as virtual tours of Yellowstone and rafting down the Grand Canyon. The centennial also features an urban park initiative for the 80 percent of Americans who live in cities. Find your park!