Explore Our National Parks, 7-10

Free digital media resources from Ken Burns’ documentary series The National Parks: America’s Best Idea, including on-demand video, lessons plans, student activities and historical archives, are available through PBS Teachers®. Among the unique resources to help educators infuse technology into instruction are the place-based digital storytelling modules. Several video screencasts, along with printable quick-start guides, provide step-by-step instructions on using the latest technologies to create digital storytelling projects, addressing basic- to advanced-level technology skills. The modules illustrate the processes of geotagging, video editing and special effects, uploading stories to a public section of the National Parks site, and more. In addition, the National Parks project offers 10 standards-based lesson plans, nine day-trip activities and five “Untold Stories” discussion guides. The “Untold Stories” tell the roles of African Americans, Asian Americans, Hispanic Americans, and Native Americans in the creation and protection of individual parks. One of the mini-documentaries, “City Kids,” explores the efforts to bring inner-city youth into the parks, often for their first encounters with wilderness, to learn about the earth, teamwork, and themselves.