Flint Hills Multi-Subject Activities

Index - FLINT HILLS MULTI-SUBJECT - Learning Activities


These activities involve multiple-subject areas.

LESSON PLANS are full format, formal Lesson Plans.  Others are brief format Learning Activities.

Curriculum Standards are in process of being added to ALL ACTIVITIES - by early July

Number
Topic
Main Subject Area
Related Subject Areas
1
Introduction to the Flint Hills LESSON PLAN
All Subjects
All subjects
2
Flint Hills Map Exhibit Unit LESSON PLAN
All Subjects
Social studies, science, math, art
3
Flint Hills Research Project Unit LESSON PLAN
All Subjects
Focus: Language Arts
All subjects
4
Flint Hills Discovery Center
All Subjects
Social studies, science, language arts
5
Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve
All Subjects
Science, ecology, social studies, history, economics, health and physical education, fitness, family and consumer science, child development, language arts, creative writing
6
Symphony in the Flint Hills - educational eco-tourism
All Subjects
Music, social studies, business, art, science, language arts
7
Tallgrass Prairie Preserve - Oklahoma
All Subjects
Science, biology, botany, animal science
8
Konza Biological Station
All Subjects
Science, biology, botany, animal science
9
Plan a Flint Hills Road Trip
All Subjects
All subjects: social studies, economics, sociology, science, geology, ecology, business, family and consumer science, family finance, language arts, writing
10
Issues in siting a new home in rural Flint Hills
All subjects
Social studies, economics, sociology, science, ecology; family and consumer science, family finance, career, agriculture and technology, construction, language arts, writing
11
What does the future hold for the Flint Hills
All subjects
Social studies, history, economics, science, ecology, career, agriculture, and technology, family and consumer science, language arts, writing, creative writing

Flint Hills Learning Activities to Integrate Flint Hills into Existing Curriculum

  

 
MULTI-SUBJECT ACTIVITIES


1. Introduction to the Flint Hills

 
In this Introduction to the Flint Hills LESSON PLAN (adaptable grades K-12), students will identify the geographic region of the Flint Hills, explore its unique geological, biological, economic and cultural features, consider its ecoservices and benefits to all citizens (whether landowners or not), and summarize reasons why the tallgrass prairie should be preserved. (all subjects)

(Back to top) 

2. Flint Hills Map Exhibit Unit


On-site and classroom activities related to the Flint Hills Map Exhibit LESSON PLANS (Elem, Middle, High). On-site of exhibit: Guided Tour interpreting exhibit (same for Elementary, Middle, High): Legend and all Main Map features, Remaining Tallgrass Prairie, Locator Map, Last Stand Facts. Guided Questions interpreting art and text of educational Side Panels (in 3 versions Elementary, Middle, High). Follow-up in classroom: Regional Map Activity and Your County Map Activity: Students practice map skills (location grid, scale), review main geography of region, explore local geography of county, interpret more map resources; special focus on water resources. Teacher’s Guide.

(Back to top)

3. Flint Hills Research Project Unit


(High School) This Flint Hills Research Project Unit LESSON PLAN (grades 10-12) is a fully-developed documented essay unit.  It contains a 16-day class schedule, includes all ready-to-use materials, teacher guides and management tools, rubrics, etc.: Contains Cause and Effect analysis on place-based topics - see wide range of Topic Choices. Includes Primary Source Interview activity, plus these background writing skill exercises: steps in research, types of evidence, keywords, citations and documentation, quoting, paraphrasing, avoiding plagiarism, outlining, introductions, conclusions, cause and effect topic sentences, revision. (all subjects; language arts)

(Back to top)
Purple Flower

4. Flint Hills Discovery Center


Students will explore the resources of the
Flint Hills Discovery Center. Students will take a field trip to this learning center dedicated entirely to helping people understand the tallgrass prairie and the Flint Hills ecoregion, and to assure its long-term preservation.

What is your response to the theater experience? How is the Discovery Center divided? What different topics does it portray? Which are scientific? Which are cultural? What is the “underground forest”? What did you learn about Native American management of the prairie? About cattle ranching? Which section is the most interesting and informative to you? What other types of events are sponsored by the Discovery Center? How does this center help develop tourism across the Flint Hills?

Students will discuss these questions, write a summary of their visit, and answer the question: how will the Flint Hills Discovery Center help preserve the Flint Hills? (all subjects; social studies; science; language arts)


(Back to top)

5. Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve


Students will explore (either in a field trip or a virtual tour of the
website and related websites) the land and programs of the Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve.

What basic information about tallgrass prairie can you learn? Why does the Park Service want people to better understand tallgrass prairie? What can you learn in the Visitors Center exhibits? Which section is the most interesting and informative to you? How many acres are in the Preserve? Is this tallgrass prairie different in appearance from other pastures you see in the Flint Hills - why? What are the management practices on the Preserve: grazing, burning, etc.? How does the Preserve serve as an example of eco-tourism? What are the opportunities for health and fitness activities there? What specific opportunities are created for children to experience and learn about nature? What is a “National Preserve”? When was the Preserve formed? What is the legislative history of the Preserve? Who owns and operates the preserve? What is the Nature Conservancy and what do they do? How is the Preserve a unique partnership between government and a private nonprofit? What is the economic impact of the Preserve on the surrounding area? What local businesses does it help support? What motorized access and hiking trails are available on the preserve? What benefits do these experiences have for the public and for the land? What unique buildings are found on the ranch? How were they used? What is the history of the bison herd there? Why did they start a bison herd at the preserve? What Native Americans once made their homes on this land? What were their burning practices? What is the Preserve currently doing to restore prairie from where it has been lost? What are scientists learning at the preserve? What studies can help ranchers manage their tallgrass resources? What is the Heartland Inventory and Monitoring Network (HTLN)? Look at one of their reports on the Preserve - what are their scientists monitoring and what are they finding? What other
Tallgrass Prairie Preserve does The Nature Conservancy operate (in Oklahoma)? How is that preserve different? How many bison are located in Oklahoma?

Students will list 5 new facts they learned in the Visitors Center. Students will write a summary answering one or more of the above questions. Students will write a description in prose or poetry form of what it is like to hike in the “sea of tallgrass” in the preserve - what do you see, hear, smell, think and feel? Students will create an on-site en plein air a painting or drawing of the landscape and/or historic buildings (science, ecology; social studies, history, economics; health and physical education, fitness; family and consumer science, child development; language arts, creative writing; art)

(Back to top)

6. Symphony in the Flint Hills - Educational Eco-Tourism


Students will explore the
cultural and economic impact of the Symphony in the Flint Hills as a case study in educational eco-tourism. (Schools should request copies of the annual Symphony Journals as a valuable print resource for their school libraries - these are also indexed and online.)

What happens at this unique event? How and when was this organization formed? What is an organization’s “mission,” and what is the “mission” of this organization? What have been the various themes of this event? What are its educational activities and topics? What is its physical and online presence? Where do the events take place? How does the event support
artists and writers? How and why is music used as the keystone of this entire Flint Hills education program? What related events does the organization now sponsor? How does the event increase the public’s understanding of the Flint Hills and tallgrass prairie? What is its economic impact on “gateway” communities near its locations? What publications has it produced and what kind of information is in them? What has been its impact on the public’s understanding of the Flint Hills?

Students will create a graphic organizer illustrating the many facets of this organization’s activities. Students will write a review of an article of the Symphony Journals. Students will write a summary of the Symphony’s educational activities. Students will describe the
musical selections of the various symphonies (listed in the annual Journals) and how these relate to the culture of the prairie. Students will write an essay summarizing the overall impact of this event on how it fulfills the organization’s stated “mission.” (music; social studies; business; art; science; language arts)

(Back to top)

7. Tallgrass Prairie Preserve - Oklahoma


Students will explore the resources and programs of the
Tallgrass Prairie Preserve - Oklahoma.

Where is this preserve located? When was it started and by whom? Who owns and administers it? What is The Nature Conservancy and what does it do? What is remarkable about the size of the preserve? How large is it? What is the mission of this preserve? How big is their bison herd? How long has it been there? What research programs take place at this preserve? What is patch-burning? What grazing issues are they exploring? What research center is located there? How do they share the results of their research with the public? What is the history of the land area? What historic resources exist on the preserve? Does the public have access to this area for recreational purposes?

Students will write an informative essay or create a power-point presentation describing the resources and programs of the Tallgrass Prairie Preserve in Oklahoma. (all subjects; science, biology, botany, animal science)

(Back to top)

8. Konza Biological Station


Students will explore the activities and research programs of the
Konza Prairie Biological Station.

Where is the Konza Prairie Natural Area located? How large is it? When was it started and by whom? How large is it? What is the mission of this preserve? How does it serve Kansas State University? What is there educational program and what activities do they offer? Who administers it and how do they use it? Describe their bison herd. How long has it been there? What research programs take place at this preserve? What is patch-burning? What scientists work there? How do they share the results of their research with the public? What is the history of the land area? What historic resources exist on the Konza? Does the public have access to this area for recreational purposes?

Students will write an informative essay or create a power-point presentation describing the resources and programs of the Konza Prairie Biological Station. (all subjects; science, biology, botany, animal science)

(Back to top)

9. Plan a Flint Hills Road Trip

Students will plan a
Flint Hills Road Trip visiting at least 6 counties and seeing 10 attractions or features in these categories: historical, geological, ecological, artistic, musical, physical recreation, culinary, and agriculture, economics (shopping).

Where will you go? How long will you be gone? What will you see? How much will you spend? Where will you eat and sleep? What clothing and special supplies or equipment will you pack?

Students will create (1) a map of their Travel Route (2) a Travel Itinerary (with web links where available) of attractions, picnic sites or restaurants, hotels or camp sites (daily schedule) and (3) a Travel Budget (food, lodging, gasoline, entrance fees, souvenirs). (all subjects; social studies, economics, sociology; science, geology, ecology; business; family and consumer science, family finance; language arts, writing)

(Back to top)

10. Issues in Siting a New Home in Rural Flint Hills

Students will explore the ecological, economic, social, aesthetic and other impacts resulting from the
decision of where to site the building of a new home in a rural Flint Hills area.

Should you build on a beautiful, pristine hilltop to create a wonderful personal view? How will building your house on a pristine hilltop permanently affect the view for everyone else? Calculate the “view-shed” of your home - everyone within this radius will have to look at your hilltop home instead of a formerly beautiful natural horizon. How will your neighbors feel about this? What will be the impact on the tallgrass prairie vegetation of construction of a long driveway, water lines, utility poles, etc.? What will be the fragmentation effects on local wildlife and plant species? What would be the effect on potential Flint Hills eco-tourism and quality of life in the area if everyone built on hilltops? How difficult will it be to obtain a reliable household water source in an upland location? What will be the impact on your quality of life in the home area with strong hilltop winds? What alternatives are available for home-sites that might have less damaging impact? Are any previous home-sites available where prairie disturbance has already occurred? Could homes in the area be clustered in lowland areas (but out of floodplain) to maximize remaining undisturbed prairie? Any options for off-the-grid energy generation such as solar or wind?

Students will create a cause-and-effect graphic organizer identifying the biological and ecological effects of building a home in a previously-undisturbed intact tallgrass prairie ecosystem. Students will write an advisory letter to new land buyers describing the best ways to site new homes and yet preserve remaining tallgrass prairie. (all subjects; social studies, economics, sociology; science, ecology; family and consumer science, family finance; career, agriculture and technology, construction; language arts, writing)

(Back to top)

11. What does the future hold for the Flint Hills? 


Students can speculate on future economic trends to predict whether their area will contain more or fewer people in 100 years.

What areas of the United States have experienced significant changes in population over the last 100 years? What caused these changes? How will human culture, family, and community in the Flint Hills change? How will agriculture and land ownership patterns change? How do world events influence local conditions? What will be the impact of climate change on the Flint Hills: how will the Flint Hills environment be impacted? What might be unique economic, social, and ecological factors in the Flint Hills you should consider in predicting the future? Would having more people necessarily mean decline of the tallgrass prairie, or could settlement patterns be designed to preserve prairie and yet provide areas for growing communities? How could growth be made sustainable? What policies and educational efforts could promote this?

Students will brainstorm future causes and effects together. Each will then write a prediction paper identifying causes and effects in the future of the Flint Hills. Students will write two short stories: one creating a positive scenario for the Flint Hills and one a negative scenario. (all subjects; social studies, history, economics; science, ecology; career, agriculture, and technology; family and consumer science; language arts, writing, creative writing)


(Back to top)