Create a Park! A Place to Play and Plant Flowers

Create a Park! A Place to Play and Plant Flowers
Lady Bird Johnson: First Ladies' Lives

Skill: Elementary School
Time Required: Two to three class periods


Standards Compliance
NCSS Strand 1
Culture
NCSS Strand 3
People, Places, and Environments
NCTE Standard 8
Students use a variety of technology and information resources to gather, synthesize, and communicate knowledge.
ISTE Standard 3
Technology productivity tools
ISTE Standard 5
Technology research tools

Introduction:

One of Claudia (Lady Bird) Johnson’s interests was developing a beautiful environment through cultivating and planting.  Developing a park system was one way she could create a beautiful and clean environment for everyone to enjoy.  She was so involved in this effort that a park was named in her honor and another park was dedicated to Lady Bird at the island in the Potomac River in Washington D.C.  In this lesson, students will explore some of the work involved in establishing and developing a park.  Students can use their imagination in planning an imaginary park in their area.

Objectives:


Students will learn some of the basics in establishing a park.
Students will plan elements of a fictitious park.
Students will learn to use cooperative learning modalities.

Materials Required:

Computer with Internet access, paper, writing utensils, coloring utensils (or computer drawing program such as Paint), printer, and word processor.

Procedures:

  1. Introduce students to the lesson by asking them what a park is and if they know of names or have visited any of local, state, or national parks. 
  2. Use the computer and Internet access to research several parks that students mentioned.  (Examples of parks are provided in the web links.)
  3. Place students in groups of four to five students.
  4. Have students list items that they find in a park.  (For example, picnic tables, baseball fields, play ground, etc.)
  5. Allow each group to share their list and note the items mentioned on the board.
  6. Each group is responsible for designing a park in their area.  Encourage students to be creative.  They are responsible for:
    1. Drawing a map (like those that are provided at the parks or on the Internet.)
    2. Sketching the park’s appearance. 
    3. Listing the items that would be in the park.
    4. Part of the assignment includes how they would obtain the land used for the park, what the park would be used for, exactly what they would place in the park (baseball field, swing sets, pond, etc.).
    5. Lastly, require students to name their park.
  7. Allow students to present their park system to the class.

Extending the Lesson:

  • Contact your local park service (depending on where you live, it may be local, state, or national) and ask how your class can become involved with the park service in your area.

Sources & Resources:

Websites:
Books:
  • Gould, L.L. (1996).  American first ladies: Their lives and their legacy. New York, New York: Garland Publishing
Credits:
This lesson was developed by Marian Maxfield, Kent State University