There are six downloadable lesson plans below that are intended to help prepare your students for an Electronic Field Trip to Bryce Canyon National Park. They are designed to be adaptable for grade levels between 4th and 8th and are applicable to national and state standards.
The first five lesson plans are designed to be usable on their own or as companions to the games featured on this site. The sixth lesson plan is featured on the broadcast and can be done by your students simultaneously with youth hosts on the show.
1. How do you make a Hoodoo? [pdf]
- Introduce and describe limestone
- Offer an overall explanation to the question of how hoodoos are formed
- Illustrate the stages that rocks go through during hoodoo formation (plateau, fin, window, hoodoo)
- Show that the rock formations at Bryce Canyon erode rapidly because of frost wedging
Game: THE CASE OF THE MISSING FORMATIONS
2. The Colorado Plateau - Grand Staircase Stepping Through Time [pdf]
- Introduce students to the concept of the Grand Staircase and the geographical location of different parks along that staircase
- Emphasize that different layers were formed by unique past environments and the rocks and fossil records tell us what the environment was like
- Teach students about the specific environments that created each layer of the Grand Staircase
Game: THE CASE OF THE MISLABELED SAMPLES
3. Earth’s Dynamic Treasures – Rocks & The Rock Cycle [pdf]
- Introduce students to the rock cycle
- Students will have an opportunity to categorize rocks from the three rock types
- Students investigate the rock cycle and experiment with changing materials from one type to another
Game: THE SEARCH FOR UNSOLVED GEO-MYSTERIES
4. National Parks in the Colorado Plateau [pdf]
- Teach students about the geography of national parks in Southern Utah and the surrounding areas
- Differentiate the unique geological features and qualities of each park
Game: THE CASE OF THE MISSING ASSISTANT
5. How do weathering & erosion change landscapes? [pdf]
- Identify the processes of mechanical and chemical weathering that break down rocks at the Earth’s surface
- Distinguish between weathering and erosion
- Predict how weathering and erosion will alter hoodoos in the future
Game: THE CASE OF THE MIXED UP HOODOOS
6. How do you make a fossil? [pdf]
- Explain what branch of geology studies fossils (paleontology) and what a paleontologist does.
- Introduce students to fossils and how they are formed.
- Emphasize that fossils are predominately found in sedimentary rocks because of the processes associated in their formation. Students will discover that the rocks found within Bryce Canyon National Park contain a variety of fossils.