Hands-on, out-of-classroom learning adds educational options and greatly enhances comprehension. Virginia's widespread and numerous state parks are ideal settings for such learning, and the system’s SOL-referenced Your Backyard Classrooms program offers an easy, fun and exciting ways for teachers to help students learn about the natural world.
Virginia’s State Parks and Natural Areas… Your Backyard Classrooms is a set of K-12 science and social studies lesson plans tailored for use in parks and natural areas.
DCR manages Virginia’s state parks and natural areas and provides on-site workshops. At workshops, instructors learn to use lessons suitable for students’ interests and abilities. Teachers also get to know friendly, professional DCR staffers and learn about the particular park or natural area and its resources.
Teachers interested in taking part should contact the state park or natural area nearest their school to set up a workshop or field trip. Here are maps of Virginia's state parks and the state's natural area preserves.
Educators can download lesson plans listed below to use during field trips to Virginia State Parks and natural areas. We recommend that you first participate in a workshop for hands-on training. Here is a list of available workshops.
Many more plans will be posted as they are redone from printed versions.