View Full Version : AT Teaching Kit

Heavy G
02-14-2011, 12:43
I am a graduate student in NJ and an avid backpacker. I am creating a teaching kit to be used with kids grades 3-5. The theme of the teaching kit is "Seeing the USA through the Appalachian Trail".

I am asking all of my fellow AT enthusiast for help. I can use any articles, information, stories you may have. Also, Pictures. I'd love pictures of the Trail. I have mostly pictures from Central PA- NJ. If you send me pics, Please let me know when and where it was taken. I appreciate your help.

The kit will incorporate Social Studies, Science, Geography, Physical Education and Math.

Thanks for the help.

Heavy G

02-14-2011, 15:27
That is such a great idea!! I'm a teacher and have been wanting to talk about hiking, etc., but haven't really taken the time to put anything together (with everything else that needs to be done at school). Good luck with this!

Captain Blue
02-14-2011, 16:21
A fourth grade teacher in my hometown created an Appalachian Trail project for her students. She was chosen to present it at the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics conference in 2007... "The Appalachian Trail project integrates math with real-life skills through a simulation of walking the Appalachian Trail. It was selected for presentation out of 3,000 entries."

Send me a PM or email if you want her contact info.

02-14-2011, 18:06
Heavy G

Assuming it's not a violation (I'm sure a MOD will let us know) you can pull photos from the WB gallery. Also there are plenty of stories here on WB and other websites we're familiar with. Your biggest challenge is where to start/sort/group etc... Many times I dig through a thread, find something else interesting, follow that, repeat... - forget what I was looking for (old age will do that). And don't forget the library - I learned a lot of info from reading books. Then there's www.trailjournals.com (http://www.trailjournals.com) - you won't have a shortage of material.

02-14-2011, 19:06
i think the kids should make the kits. they bring in wool sox and learn about water retention compared to cotton sox. they bring dads compas and learn what the north star is. they bring in a candy bar and study nutrition and calories per mile needed. string, the simple phisics of knots. a map to study place names and map symbols. and they find an artical or book about the AT and discuss the history by putting the articals in a timeline.

Heavy G
02-15-2011, 00:48
Those are activities that can be a part of it. The goal here is to create activities that involve math, science, social studies, ect... all centered around the AT as a theme. the kit would be something a teacher would want to use in his/her classroom as a unit plan, 3-4 weeks worth of activities.

Hikes in Rain
02-15-2011, 07:20
Math part is pretty easy and fun. You're out of water and you know there's a spring x miles away. You also know you can hike y miles per hour. For older students, add a couple more variables, such as the water is uphill, knowing your hiking speed drops z% for every w degrees of angle the trail goes uphill.

How long will you be thirsty??

02-15-2011, 09:21
Great Idea! It could also teach math & social studies in the form of Shuttle costs, hostels, hotels, planes & train fares ect, how much food to buy & how much will it cost to hike from point A to Point B then throw in some crazy weather like 1' of snow for older students that would have to then budget that food for an extra day or 2. of course on Zero Days ina shelter you would have to study the physics of Fire starter & Starting & why some wood will burn an some won't. So much to know! Just look at all the posts here & you've got a gold mine of study questions.

02-15-2011, 10:53
hey folks I wanted to let yall know that the Appalachian Trail Conservancy has a program helping teachers intergrate the AT into their ciricul....ciriculuu....lesson plans. Its called "trails to every classroom"

Check it out here: http://www.appalachiantrail.org/site/c.mqLTIYOwGlF/b.4806017/k.8638/Trail_to_Every_Classroom.htm

There are also resources for teachers here:

Heavy G
02-15-2011, 10:55
Great suggestions! I may have to come back to this for older kids. For now I have to keep it catered to kids grades 3-5.

02-16-2011, 08:05
lesson 001 social studys

their are two correct ways to speak the word "APPALACHIAN" true or false? discuss.

how many people visit the APPALACHIAN TRAIL each year?
more than 1,000,000,000

draw a pictue of the things you would carry on a backpacking trip of the APPALACHIAN TRAIL.

make a list of foods people eat while hikin the APPALACHIAN TRAIL.

Rick Hancock
02-25-2011, 20:36
This is a great idea. I have been doing a hands-on program at various grade levels for years. I incorporate geography, history, etc. I set-up an actual campsite tent, tarp, pack, sleeping bag, cooking gear. and so on. I tell them that my pack is my house, I have a bedroom, (sleeping bad/pad) kitchen, (stove/cook pot) closet, (stuff sack of clothes). It's amazing what the young kids retain and yet their mistakes are so funny, "Now that I've met you I know the trail is 2000' long" "When I grow up I'm going to call you and we're going to hike the AT together" " I'm not so sure I believe that story, but I'm going to believe you anyway" I sometimes do programs outside and the kids get to try a map and compass.

I once gave a talk to a group of LD kids, the teacher told me that I would likely hold their attention for about 30 minutes, I was there for 2 1/2 hours and they taped the program. The teacher said I should be getting paid for what I do but I just enjoy exposing the kids to the outdoors.

There is so much that could be done with a program like this. Good Luck