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In the 19th century, various scientists who held expertise in studying rocks, plants, and animals came together to form expedition teams for documenting the American West. Artists commonly worked as part of the team, making detailed sketches of the landscape. Many artists also created epic paintings based on these studies upon returning to their studios. These artworks influenced how government officials in Washington DC and the American public perceived and valued the Western landscape.

Through this lesson students work as an expedition team and learn how to translate environmental data into compelling messages that can shape the way their classmates understand a specific location. Students practice skills such as observation, interpretation, and communication while exploring the environment of Golden Gate Park. They then synthesize information from their discoveries by creating a public service announcement that focuses attention on an underappreciated aspect of the park.

Lesson Plan

Expedition GuidelinesView and Download