ACTIVITY #3 FOCUS ON:
Theodore Roosevelt was a badlands cowboy, soldier, explorer, scientist, and twenty-sixth President of the United States all by the age of 42. Known as the "Conservation President" some of Theodore Roosevelt's greatest accomplishments were in preserving and protecting our nation's lands. He added greatly to the national forests in the West. He reserved lands for public use and started huge irrigation projects.
The Antiquities Act of 1906 had a lasting effect on conservation in the U.S. Although the Act did not create a single park, it allowed Roosevelt and his successors to proclaim "historic landmarks, historic or prehistoric structures, and other objects of historic or scientific interest" in federal ownership as national monuments. As President, Roosevelt established the U.S. Forest Service, five national parks, 51 wildlife refuges, and set aside 150 million acres as national forest.
Procedure: (This activity can be assigned as a group or individual activity). Have students (or each group) develop a fact sheet on Theodore Roosevelt's contributions to conservation. Each student (or group) should also compile a list of the National Park Service (NPS) sites in your state. (Visit www.nps.gov for a listing of the National Park Service sites.) Conduct a classroom discussion on conservation and President Roosevelt's contributions, incorporating the students' fact sheets and NPS site lists.
Have students select one of the NPS sites from the list of those located in your state. Have students conduct additional source research and write a one- to two-page fact sheet on that park, using the following points as a guide in their information gathering:
1. What is the name of the National Park Service site?
2. How did this park get its name?
3. What is the history of this park site?
4. Are there any log cabins at this park? If so, who lived there and what is the historical significance of the log cabin?
5. Where is this park located? How can I get there (directions)?
6. What can I see when I visit this park site?
7. What are the visitor activities at this park site?
8. Are there any other interesting attractions near this park site (i.e., battlefields, theme parks, etc.)?
Instruct students to include pictures (perhaps from a family vacation they took to that park), maps or other visuals with their completed park fact sheet.
Have students share their park fact sheets and visuals with the class. Plan a class field trip to one of the National Park Service sites near your school, if possible.