Cuyahoga Valley National Park is the sixth most frequently visited park among the nation’s 58 national parks, with 2,828,233 visitors per year. The park protects 33,000 acres along the banks of the Cuyahoga River between Cleveland and Akron and combines cultural, historical, recreational and natural activities in one setting.
The purpose of Generations: Cuyahoga Valley National Park — Preserve and Protect is to enhance students’ knowledge about Ohio’s only national park. Designed for grades 4-8, the multimedia kit includes interdisciplinary lessons plus a board game, a virtual tour and podcasts created specially for this project.
Generations: Cuyahoga Valley National Park, produced by Western Reserve Public Media, was created as a partner piece to the national PBS video series The National Parks: America’s Best Idea. The one-hour Generations documentary captures the story of Cuyahoga Valley National Park through the voices of people from all walks of life — park visitors, park personnel, historians, business and government leaders, environmentalists, educators, artists and many others. The documentary looks at all dimensions of the park, including its natural features (flora, fauna, habitats and geological features) and its social history (from Native American settlements through the post-industrial era). It also tells the story of the park’s establishment in 1974, its evolution into the park it is today and the hopes for its future.
The Teacher Guide
Lesson plans in this teacher guide help students understand these concepts:
- Mathematics: Finding the area of irregular shapes and calculating the cost of a trip to the park
- Science: Understanding issues of deer population and land and water reclamation
- Social studies: Learning about the history of the Towpath Trail and using primary sources for the Ohio & Erie Canal
- Language arts: Writing business letters and persuasive essays
- Art: Discovering nature through the creation of contour drawing and chalk and glue art
There is also a board game where students advance by answering questions about science, mathematics, social studies, language arts and animal identification. The game board, directions and questions are on the Web in PDF format as well as on the project Web site.
The Web Site
The project Web site, http://www.GenerationsCVNP.org, includes the complete teacher guide in PDF format and all of the lessons in a Web format. The site also includes games, student handouts and activities that are not in the teacher guide.