Wednesday, June 14, 2017

National Park Day

The National Parks Service plays such an important role in our country, so over the last few weeks,  each of the second grade classrooms has been learning about a few of our many wonderful National Parks.  While each classroom chose a different park to study, we all learned about the importance of protecting our environment and exploring the wonderful world around us! 

Acadia National Park

Over the last few weeks, the giraffes have been hard at work transforming our classroom into Acadia National Park, which is on Mount Desert Island in Maine. Each of the giraffes chose an animal that lives in the park  to research before our big day, and they also worked in small groups to recreate some of the landmarks that can be found around the park. Here are the landmarks we recreated in the classroom:

Bubble Rock/Jordan Pond

Carriage Roads
Sunrise at Cadillac Mountain

Thunder Hole

Each giraffe researched, wrote, and typed up facts about their animal and created a model, painting, or video about their animal to go with their facts. Since Acadia is on the coast of the Atlantic, we had animals from the land and from the sea! 

We had some awesome parent  volunteers helping us get our room ready to go for Wednesday! When our day for exploration finally arrived, we put on our park ranger vests and posed for pictures in front of the landmarks we recreated before heading off to the other "national parks" down the hallway :)

While the giraffes were off exploring the other parks, the other second graders got to check out all of their hard work! 

Redwood National Forest

As for us, we first traveled to California to see the Redwood and Sequoia Trees. It was amazing to see how massive these trees are! We learned that Redwoods are the tallest trees and Sequoias are the widest. The tallest tree is a 379 ft tall Redwood Tree and the largest tree on earth is General Sherman, which is a Giant Sequoia that is 102.6 ft in circumference at its base.

Denali National Park

After checking out the trees in California, we headed north to Alaska to visit Denali National Park, which is home to the tallest peak in North America, Denali (Mount McKinley) which is 20, 308 ft tall. We also got to see lots of the animals that live around Alaska, including a grizzly bear!

Yellowstone National Park

We headed southeast from Denali to Wyoming, Montana, and Idaho to see Yellowstone National Park. We got to see Old Faithful, which is a geyser in the park that can shoot water 90-184 ft into the air! Yellowstone is also home to the American Bison, which President Obama made the Official Mammal of the United States just last year! 

We were extra lucky in the giraffe class, because we also have our very own Yellowstone Expert to teach us even more about the first national park in the entire WORLD, including how it got its name from President Theodore Roosevelt! 

Everglades National Park

We made our last stop in Florida when we traveled to the Everglades National Park. We learned all sorts of cool facts about the plants and animals that live in the largest mangrove ecosystem in the western hemisphere!

After we collected badges from each of the parks we visited, we had recess and lunch and returned to the classroom for a special surprise from some amazing parent volunteers! 

We headed outside to enjoy popovers, jam, and lemonade just like the ones at the Jordan Pond House courtesy of some incredible mamas! 

They were SO delicious and such a special treat!

The giraffes truly did an amazing job transforming our classroom into Acadia National Park. Every day, I am so inspired by your creativity, ingenuity, and imagination. You made every day an adventure, and I hope you never stop exploring! 

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