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National Park Foundation’s Electronic Field Trip

Found In: all subjects, 3-5, 6-8

The National Park Foundation’s Electronic Field Trips let students visit national parks in the classroom. Each electronic field trip (EFT) includes a televised broadcast (each approximately one hour) from a national park with National Park Service Rangers and youth hosts and an accompanying website.

Saguaro National Park

The Saguaro National Park EFT is an exploration of different locations in the park and the plants and animals found there.

The accompanying website, “Desert Diversity, A Bioblitz at Saguaro National Park,” features activities and downloadable lesson plans.

  • In Welcome to the Desert, students walk at trail in the desert and identify plants along the way with a dichotomous key.
  • In Saguaro Cactus, students measure the height of a Saguaro at different stages of its growth and learn about threats as well as aids to its survival.
  • In Water in the Desert, students track animal movements as they visit sources of water by identifying animal tracks and other signs.
  • In Changes with Altitude, students pilot in a hot air balloon to search for animals in their natural life zones in the Rincon Mountains.
  • In the final activity, Observe at Home, students try to record as many species as they can during a BioBlitz.

If they like Whac-A-Mole, they’ll get a charge out of this. When each activity is completed, students can print a certificate.

Each of EFT’s lesson plans are intended to help prepare your students for the field trip. These lesson plans are in PDF format and are designed to be hands-on and adaptable for 4th through 8th grade. Some lessons include other downloadable resources such as images, PowerPoint presentations charts, forms, and cards.

In addition, a resources section links to more biodiversity websites for related information and activities.



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