Education Resources


Green Space Invaders - In this activity, students will compare competition in their own lives with that of plants.
Beaver Dress Up - Learn more about the adaptations of the Beaver through this fun role play and dress up.
Leaf Litter Critters - In this activity the learner will: recognize the diversity of soil insects in their school yard; recognize the diversity in the way scientists study insects; and use an insect key to sort insects into groups by their scientific order.
Stream Unit Inventory Form - This very user-friendly "Stream Unit Inventory Form" is used by teachers and students at Alder Creek Children's Forest.
Wetlands Mapper - Students and teachers can use the US Fish and Wildlife Service’s Wetlands Mapper to explore wetlands found within their watershed.
Seed Travelers - Students will be able to explain various methods of seed dispersal and how animals and natural processes play a role in helping plants reproduce.
You Can't See Me - Students will understand the importance of natural coloration and camouflage in survival, considering the colors of various animals found at the park.
Trail Skits - Students will learn how to be prepared, respect the natural ecology, and be safe on their trip to Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve.
Track Memory - Students will begin to learn to identify mammal tracks at Great Sand Dunes and learn to notice the difference between animal track shapes.
Think Like a Bird - Students will understand the complexities of nest building by attempting to design and build a nest themselves.
Land of Many Opportunists - Students will learn how aggressive exotic species take advantage of a wide range of resources in order to expand their range and compete in a nonnative habitat.
Latin Roots - Students will learn how scientists name new species of plants while creating a new one of their own.
Tree Classification - Students will learn the basics of tree identification at Great Sand Dunes and how to use a dichotomous key.
Let's Be an Archaeologist - Students will learn about the reasoning methods of archaeologists and gain insight about a culture by making their own inferences about the people who occupied an archaeology site.
Nocturnal Lives - Students will understand the difficulty nocturnal creatures have and the reasons they come out at night.
Magnetic Sand? - Students will understand that sand is made up of different minerals—one being magnetite, a compound containing iron.
Native Dyes - Students will become familiar with natural dyes, which plants they came from, and how Native Americans have used them.
Plant Adaptations - Students will understand the concepts of habitat and plant adaptations to desert environments.
An Ocean in Colorado? - Students will understand the globally rare phenomenon of surge flow, exhibited in Medano Creek.
Our Common History - Students will understand through chronological problem-solving and reading skills a summarized account of the human history of Great Sand Dunes.
Oh, So Special - Students will become acquainted with the habits and characteristics of a few special plants and animals before visiting the park.
Sand Filters - Students will see the importance of sand in water filtration and understand how aquifers are recharged.
Raven's Song - An on-line interactive fable with questions that refer to Great Sand Dunes' web site.
Quick Draw - Students will learn how trophic levels differ and are similar among ecosystems.
Shady Characters - Students will understand how the scientific method can be applied in their own backyard and how shade and sunlight is important for various plants.
Skagit Eagle Song - Students will create their own Skagit River eagle song, record it and have their song posted on this web site.
North Cascades in Your Backyard - Students will graph the return and exodus of migrating birds in their backyard and note birds which may have visited North Cascades National Park.
Sponge it Up! - Students will understand how glaciers act as hydrologic buffers for river flow.
Rooted In - Learn about the scientific use of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and their pivotal role in mapping vegetation throughout the park.
Forest Carnivores - Follow researchers in the field and search for illusive small-sized carnivores.
Veg Seg - Students will understand how scientists classify habitats and map vegetation zones.
Reflecting on Macroinvertebrates - Sift through the waters of mountain lakes and discover how researchers predict and measure water quality in wilderness areas.
Mammals of Flight - Compare habitat and species detections using raw bat data and see how well you can discover trends.
North Cascades Nomads - Understand why scientists collect data on migratory populations of landbirds and discover which North Cascades birds are likely to visit your home.
Thirsty River - Compare glacial mass balance data and learn why researchers measure glaciers to understand stream flow.
Dances with Eagles - Delve into long-term eagle data and search for comparisons between wintering eagles on the Skagit and their salmon food sources.
Awakening the Past - Peer through the lenses of archaeological methods and discover how ancient peoples lived in the North Cascades.
Bull Trout Tag - Students will compare adfluvial bull trout return rates among various natural and human-caused challenges.
Bat Scanner - Students will study bats in their own neighborhood and learn about bat habitats and feeding habits.
Morph It! - Students will discover how plant morphological features become characteristic to specific life zones.
Energy Hog - Beat down energy hogs that pig out on wasted energy - in the process discovering fun info about using energy wisely in your home.
Washing Machine Basketball - You can do lots of little things to save water. Making sure the washer is full before running it is one good example. Help the Water Smart Bee do a full load of laundry!
The Migration Game - Humpback whales are found in ocean's worldwide. Play the migration game to find out more about humpback whales and how you can protect them.
Mathabitat - In this puzzle, enhance your algebra, multiplication and math skills while exploring simplified food webs of three common ecosystems of the Pacific Northwest.
The Full Treatment - Take a tour and explore our water treatment process through this great new on-line book!

Book or Material Kit, Trunk, Equipment or Supply

U.S. Department of the Interior Youth Programs Tool Kit - The Toolkit is a resource created by the Impact Evaluation Work Group at DOI, with support from RMC Research Corporation, to help DOI bureaus and partners effectively and efficiently evaluate the impact of DOI programs on participants.


Aliens in Your Neighborhood - The Aliens In Your Neighborhood curriculum addresses key national strategies that help to limit the impact of invasive species, enabling your students to become working partners with their National Parks System as Citizen Scientists.
The Whittier Artificial Reef Project Curriculum - This teaching unit focuses on the ecology and importance of high-latitude rocky reefs as a habitat for marine life and the potential of artificial reefs to mitigate, or compensate, for negative impacts on marine habitats that result from human activities.



Habitat Search - This coloring puzzle will help students learn about the ecology of Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve. 

Lesson Plan

Inspector Flora - Students will observe wildflowers while learning to identify the main parts of a flower.. 
Insect Design - Students will be able to identify common insects at Great Sand Dunes while also understanding the general external morphology of insects. 
Probing for Pollinators - In this 60 second game, you'll hover above a flower and use your proboscis to figure out what adaptation a species of plant uses to attract pollinators at the right time.  

Video, Multimedia

Migration Science and Mystery -  A distance learning adventure that allows students and educators to travel 6,500 miles with millions of shorebirds as they migrate from Panama north to Alaska.
Surf Your Watershed -  Surf Your Watershed is a service provided by the Environmental Protection Agency to help you locate, use, and share environmental information about your state and watershed.