LINCOLN, Neb. — A new set of lesson plans offers teachers of those in kindergarten through sixth grade opportunities to integrate the Nebraska State Parks Centennial into their classrooms.
Ten plans and one interactive map explore different facets of the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission park system, which dates to 1921 when Chadron State Park became the first of 76 park areas in the state.
The lesson plans — adapted for classrooms, online learning or informal settings — are downloadable and support state standards in a fun and interesting way. Students can diversify their knowledge by exploring the state parks around them, in some cases by taking a trip to the great outdoors. Each plan is designed to encourage youth to be engaged actively in parks.
“From our rich history to our unique geography, there is something for everyone at your Nebraska State Parks,” said Amanda Filipi, Game and Parks educator at the Wildcat Hills Nature Center and designer of the lessons. “Opportunity is available to both the inquisitive and the bold.”
It is hoped youth who experience the plans in action gain a sense of belonging at state parks. Topics include:
An exploration of Nebraska state parks’ history: A look at how the Civilian Conservation Corps of the 1930s helped build Nebraska’s parks; A call to design a state park on paper or in 3D; A call to research and narrate a park tour; The creation of a mural that reflects a Nebraska park; An exploration of potential parks careers; An exploration of plant and animal habitats; A call to observe and record nature and then create a sound map; A call to conduct an interview to discover Nebraska state park memories; and A call to create a map and label Nebraska state parks closest to one’s home.