Mindprint Toolbox

Search Results

Please wait...

National Park Service (NPS)

For: Students
Mindprint Rating

Tags

Mathematics Reading Science Social Studies Writing All Ages Website

Skills

Verbal Reasoning Abstract Reasoning Spatial Perception

Mindprint Expert Review

Pros

  • Lesson plans provide background information, materials to download, writing prompts which can be useful to enhance a lesson or prepare for a field trip.
  • Site uses clean interface and beautiful high definition photos.
  • There are no ads or other distracting features on the site.

Considerations

  • While the navigation in specific topics is straight-forward, adults might not be aware of the depth and variety of resources available.
  • Some of the lesson materials are from sites other than the NPS.
  • Students will need to visit the separate WebRangers site for activities targeted for them to use independently.

Mindprint Expert Review

This phenomenal free site from the National Park Service not only offers key information and photos of all the national parks, but also provides free detailed lesson plans connecting parks to language arts, social studies, math and science. National parks can be searched by name or state, and adults can find field trip information, events, programs, weather, and pre-visit and post-visit lesson plans. There are beautiful photos, videos, valuable information for visits, and interesting background information.

Teachers might be pleasantly surprised by the depth and variety of free resources for classroom lessons for preK through adult education covering math, science, language arts and social studies. Users can search by subject, grade and/or common core standard. For example, searching social studies/middle school will provide 46 lesson plans. Users can choose their topic (e.g Harriet Tubman) which identifies the park (Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad National Historical Park) and seven lessons. Lessons include an objective, preparation, downloadable materials and activities, multi-step presentation plans, and assessment materials. Note that students will need to link to the WebRangers website designed for their independent use of games and activities. Overall, this site is an excellent resource for adults to find valuable information, photos, lesson plans and field trip information.

Academic Benefits

Improves academic skills

  • Provides sufficient and varied types of practice problems to maximize understanding and generalization of the targeted skill/concept
  • Manufacturer claims alignment with Common Core/Known Standards
  • Presents educational concepts accurately
  • Explains answers so students can learn from mistakes
  • Better for teaching the skill to new or struggling learners
  • Better for practicing or refreshing the skill
  • Skills are practiced through authentic, meaningful problems (not just rote practice)

Fun

Engaging for the Mindprint recommended age range

  • Appropriate for a broad age range to use and enjoy
  • Subject matter and problems are relevant, interesting and authentic to students
  • Visually appealing to children in the target age range
  • Provides virtual rewards or incentives after meeting specified goals or objectives
  • Provides a "break activity" between academic problem sets
  • Offers ongoing, progressive challenge
  • Overall - Enjoyable. Given the option, students would choose this option

Easy to Use

Understandable for children in the Mindprint recommended age range

  • Has a free or trial version
  • Provides teaching guidance for adults to support the child and set appropriate goals
  • Provides an age-appropriate tutorial/first time users can work independently
  • Student should be able to use independently after first use
  • Has a multi-player option to foster in-person collaboration or cooperation
  • Multiple users can save a profile
  • Student graduates to the next level or topic only after meeting a benchmark
  • Can play without sound and not distract others
  • Students can save work between sessions
  • Can effectively understand and monitor student's progress (email report or in product)
  • Requires registration before using the first time
  • Provides options to play in languages other than English/Good for ELL
  • Presents information in multiple formats (voice over, pictures and text, etc.)
  • Overall - Easy to use

Cognitive Concerns

May not be advisable for students with the following cognitive needs

  • Reading Basics
    • Directions may be confusing for students using independently
    • Includes long written questions or text that students must be able to read on their own