• Views 530
  • Favorites

Database Provider


ASU Global Futures


6th, 7th, 8th, 9th, 10th, 11th, 12th


Science, Social Studies

Resource Types

  • Lesson Plans
  • Presentation Slides
  • Activity - Classroom, 55 minutes

Regional Focus

North America, United States


Google Slides, PDF

Mini-Debate: National Parks

Ask a Question

  • In this activity, students will learn how an increase in visitors is impacting national parks and then have a debate about limiting the number of visitors to national parks. 
  • Teachers will use these slides from ASU to teach this lesson. 

Teaching Tips


  • Students can prepare for their arguments by reading the information found in the linked articles.
  • This lesson cuts across many subject areas.

Additional Prerequisites

  • Teachers should check that they can access the articles in their region. If the articles are not accessible, teachers should find alternative articles for students to use as they prepare their arguments.
  • The "Every Kid in a Park" link no longer works. This lesson is still great because there are at least two resources for each side of the debate.


  • Students can debate in small or large groups.
  • After the debate students could research the national parks that get the least visitors each year and come up with a public service campaign to promote those parks in order to redistribute the number of visitors going to the same parks.
  • Other resources on this topic include this video from the National Park Service about a program that brings students from urban high schools into the national parks to learn about the environment, this video on how nature can boost your health, and this video on the water infrastructure system built for visitors to a national park.
Scientist Notes
This activity will offer students the opportunity to engage and proffer solutions to conserve recreational parks. The activity is valid and recommended.
  • Science
    • ESS3: Earth and Human Activity
      • MS-ESS3-4. Construct an argument supported by evidence for how increases in human population and per-capita consumption of natural resources impact Earth’s systems.
      • HS-ESS3-4. Evaluate or refine a technological solution that reduces impacts of human activities on natural systems.
    • LS2: Interactions, Energy, and Dynamics Within Ecosystems
      • MS-LS2-5. Evaluate competing design solutions for maintaining biodiversity and ecosystem services.
      • HS-LS2-7. Design, evaluate, and refine a solution for reducing the impacts of human activities on the environment and biodiversity.
  • Social Studies
    • Geography
      • SS.Geog2.a.m Analyze why populations increase or decrease in various regions throughout the world. Analyze the distribution of population patterns at various scales (e.g., local, state, country, region).
  • Related Resources


    Login to leave a review