All About the Grand Canyon

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The lesson introduces students to canyons and to the Grand Canyon, its characteristics, formation details, and history.  The canyon is often named one of the seven natural wonders of the world.  Most students are familiar with the Grand Canyon but do not know the details or history of its formation.  The students would greatly benefit with a “field trip” to the Grand Canyon using one of the resource videos.  The lesson may be used in conjunction with lessons related to erosion, geology, rivers, and more.

All About the Grand Canyon Lesson Plan Includes:

  • Full Teacher Guidelines with Creative Teaching Ideas
  • Instructional Content Pages All About the Grand Canyon
  • Hands-on homework activities All About the Grand Canyon
  • Answer Keys
  • Common Core State Standards
  • Many Additional Links and Resources
  • Built for Grades 3-6 but can be adapted for other grade levels.

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Description

The lesson introduces students to the Grand Canyon, its characteristics, formation, and history. The introduction to the lesson offers a definition for canyons and the four main types. Then the Grand Canyon is described in detail, along with several photographs. Students could take a “field trip” to the Grand Canyon using the videos in the resources section. The lesson may be used in conjunction with lessons related to geology, rivers, erosion, important national landmarks, and more.

Sample Classroom Procedure / Teacher Instruction: 

  1. Ask students: What are things that come to your mind when you hear Grand Canyon?
  2. Allow for responses and discussion. Ask students what they know about the canyon and to share some things they would like to learn about the Grand Canyon.
  3. Allow for responses and discussion. Introduce All About the Grand Canyon to the class.
  4. Distribute All About the Grand Canyon content pages. Read and review the information with the students.  Use the final discussion question for the lesson closing.  Use the additional resources to enhance understanding. (A video should be shown for the “field trip”.)
  5. Distribute Activity page. Read and review the instructions.  Pair students and distribute supplies.  Encourage students to be creative, allow access to the Internet or other resources, give sufficient time to complete the posters.
  6. Once completed, students present the posters and the information to the class, display posters prominently in the classroom.
  7. Distribute Practice page. Check and review the students’ responses.
  8. Distribute the Homework page. The next day, check and review the students’ responses.
  9. In closing, ask students: Would you rather view the Grand Canyon up close and personal, in a helicopter ride over the gorge, or from one of the ledges of the canyon? Why?
  10. Allow for responses and discussion. Encourage students to explain why they would choose one view over another.

Common Core State Standards:

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.3.3, 7, CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.4.3, 7, CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.5.3, 7, CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.6.3, 7

Class Sessions (45 minutes): At least 2 class sessions

Additional Resources:

Many more teaching resources in Download!

Want more social studies resources? Check out our other Social Studies Lesson Plans!

Additional information

Grade Level

3rd Grade, 4th Grade, 5th Grade, 6th Grade

Subject

Social Studies