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Find Your Park, Love Your Park

Activities and ideas to get your students excited about parks

How many of your students have experienced a national park? A natural park of any kind? These activities can help you bring your students on a trip to understand the importance of parks in the United States and inspire their curiosity to experience these places for themselves. Our activities are designed to be used alone or as a series, and can be scaled beyond grades 3-5.


Classroom Activities



Explore Natural Spaces


Grades 3–5          🕒 3 hours

Students use an exploration journal in a nearby natural place for a series of five mini-field trips. They have a different task on each trip, including mapping, listening, and observing and documenting plants and animals. Students consider how to protect or enhance the natural space they have explored.

Create a Park Atlas


Grades 3–5          🕒 2 hours

Students use digital maps to explore parks at different scales: the neighborhood, town, state, and national levels. They create an atlas entry for one park, featuring both environmental and cultural characteristics. They combine their entries to make a classroom atlas.

Design a Park


Grades 3–5          🕒 2 hours

Students brainstorm and list features of parks. Working in groups, they make decisions together about what to include in a new park and create a poster to display their park design.

People and Parks: Challenges and Solutions


Grades 3–5          🕒 50 minutes

Students explore ways that people's actions can negatively affect natural places, including parks, through two hands-on activities. They then consider solutions to these problems. 

Pledge to Protect a Favorite Park


Grades 3–5          🕒 50 minutes

Students analyze the Pledge of Allegiance and other examples and think about why people make pledges. They select a green space that is important to them and brainstorm ways to help protect it. They write a park pledge and add it to an interactive map.


Find Ideas for Exploring and Appreciating Parks