John Muir Teacher Resources
Find John Muir educational ideas and activities
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Save a National Park: John Muir
Students simulate the life of John Muir while helping Yosemite to become a national park; students then write a newspaper article advocating the park's creation.
John Muir Nature Journal
Students explain how John Muir carefully and quietly observed nature and record his observations in his journal with writings and drawings. Students create their own nature observation journal.
A Campfire Conversation
Students examine point of view as it relates to public issues. In this point of view lesson, students become familiar with the point of view of John Muir and Theodore Roosevelt about the wilderness. Students debate if the wilderness should be preserved.
Seventh graders summarize how Earth processes today are similar to those that occurred in the past. They read excerpts from John Muir's "Yosemite Glaciers" and explain how slow geologic processes have large cumulative effects over long periods of time.
Environment: John Muir Day
Students observe John Muir Day by visiting Websites containing fact sheets, excepted writings, as well as songs, pictures, and educational sources. They use April 21 as a day to reflect on Muir's accomplishment and environmental legacy. This study guide contains free online lesson plans for teachers.
Oh, California: Understanding Primary Sources: What Did John Muir See?
Students read a selection from the writings of John Muir. They discover his view on California and its natural resources. They create a display of images that show what California has to offer.
John Muir: Long Ago and Now
Students explore nature objects brought indoors such as rocks, seeds, leaves and shells to identify where the objects came from. They hear stories about John Muir's life and make booklets about nature areas they enjoy.
Stewardship of Yosemite National Park
Students devise a plan that would be true to John Muir's spirit of stewardship toward Yosemite. They analyze a core map to determine the original plan and usage of the park and compare the original plan to a current park map.
Young scholars read and investigate the accomplishments of John Muir. They gather information about one of the United States National Parks founded by John Muir. They create a tri-fold brochure about John Muir and a National Park he founded.
Eighth graders examine avalanches after reading excerpts from John Muir's book, "The Yosemite." In small groups, they conduct experiments with flour, sugar, and potato flakes representing different snow consistencies. Then, 8th graders predict the angle at which each material will slide down a board. Upon completion students record and discuss their experiment results and determine the factors that can trigger avalanches.
Valuing the World Around You
Students explore the concept of environmental stewardship. In this character education activity, students examine a quote from John Muir regarding the value of nature.
John Muir in California
Fourth graders listen to key events in John Muir's life and plot locations on a California map. They discover that John Muir was an immigrant to California who encountered environmental problems and found solutions.
Students participate in a demonstration of what it means to "conserve" using a snack provided to them. They examine the California state quarter, John Muir, and the "conservation". They identify other things they can conserve.
John Muir - Around the World in 76 Years
Sixth graders create timelines of John Muir's life while playing a game based on John Muir's travels. They discover that John Muir traveled around the world to compare and contrast natural phenomena and to speak out about preserving ecosystems as they play.
John Muir's Vision Lives On
High schoolers identify perspectives on land management issues. They research and debate Yosemite's General Management Plan and develop personal responsibility on a local issue through citizen action.
The Muir Image
Learners, in groups, discover how they can protect wilderness areas. They define environmentalist and wilderness and explain the importance of the National Park system.
Here is another in the interesting series of lessons that use the special State Quarters as a learning tool. This one uses the California State Quarter. During this lesson plan, pupils learn the many ways they can conserve natural resources such as: water, trees, and even electricity and money. There are many excellent worksheets embedded in the plan. An excellent lesson plan!
After five class sessions, young scientists will be able to identify common rock types: igneous, sedimentary, and metamorphic. This plan involves hands-on activities, includes various handouts and worksheets, and requires there to be assorted rocks on hand. You will undoubtedly have a rockin' time!
Fifth graders identify the causes and effects of several different kinds of severe weather phenomenon. They read an excerpt from John Muir's book The Mountains of California and research one of the following severe weather phenomena using the Internet and library resources; thunderstorms, blizzards, tornadoes, hurricanes, drought, and flooding.
TE Activity: Cool Views
Students define preservation and conservation before listening to an article read by the teacher about John Muir and Gifford Pinchot, famous environmentalists. They complete a Venn diagram before deciding which side of this environmental issue they represent and how they fit in.