Caves: Teaching Resources

I took my son to Natural Bridge Caverns. And while the tour was pretty good, I was disappointed with the educational information available–gift shops or displays. I find I have this problem with a lot of “field trip” like places. It’s as if just by going to the place, you’re supposed to soak up all of the necessary information.

Maybe it’s just my history major hang-up, but such places rarely have enough information for me. But next time I go to Natural Bridge Caverns, I’m prepared and you are as well since I’m listing everything I’ve found below. After using some of these resources, you should be prepared to get your money’s worth.

 

Watersheds.org

yes Lesson Plans
yes Worksheets
yes Visuals
yes Vocabulary
yes Reading Lists
yes Links
yes Information

Super concentrated, organized site with flash movie and teacher’s guide. Includes lesson plans, student activities, resources and background reading for learning about karst topography

Caves: A Window in the Edwards Aquifer

yes Lesson Plans
yes Worksheets
yes Visuals
no Vocabulary
yes Reading Lists
yes Links
yes Information

Perfect website for south Texas. Includes videos, virtual field trips, and information sheets. Lesson plans are designed for grades six and up.

Wind Cave National Park

yes Lesson Plans
yes Worksheets
no Visuals
yes Vocabulary
yes Reading Lists
yes Links
yes Information

Provides pre and post activities for grades one to eight. Most of the lessons are focused on general environment issues rather than caves specifically.

Lost River Cave

yes Lesson Plans
yes Worksheets
yes Visuals
yes Vocabulary
yes Reading Lists
yes Links
yes Information

Offers a variety of lesson plans for grade k to five. The website has a nice flash video showing the formation of caves.

Cave of the Mounds

yes Lesson Plans
yes Worksheets
no Visuals
yes Vocabulary
no Reading Lists
no Links
no Information

Has lesson plans for k to twelve broken down by speleology, rocks, and paleontology.

The Underground World of Caves

no Lesson Plans
no Worksheets
limited Visuals
no Vocabulary
yes Reading Lists
yes Links
minimal Information

This is a brief, well organized site.  It provides a basic overview of how caves are formed and some pictures of various cave formations. Not great for information but very useful references.

Exploring Caves

yes Lesson Plans
yes Worksheets
yes Visuals
yes Vocabulary
yes Reading Lists
yes Links
grade level Information

Exploring Caves is an interdisciplinary set of materials on caves for grades K-3. Caves entail at least five scientific disciplines: earth science, hydrology, mapping, biology, and anthropology. Each of these disciplines involves a unique content area as well as the development of particular intellectual skills. This unit aims at helping teachers to sort and organize the most important ideas in this rich scientific area. Detailed lesson plans serve as ways to pass these ideas on to very young students.

Karst Topography Lesson Plan #: AELP-GLG0001

yes Lesson Plans
no Worksheets
no Visuals
no Vocabulary
no Reading Lists
no Links
no Information

This is a lesson plan only. Students (4th through 6th graders) build a model mountain and observe effects of rain on Karst topography

Introduction: The Science of Caves

yes Lesson Plans
no Worksheets
no Visuals
no Vocabulary
no Reading Lists
yes Links
limited Information

This is a scholastic lesson plan oriented more towards ideas on teaching about caves rather than actual information or material.

About Bats, Caves, and Deserts

yes Lesson Plans
yes Worksheets
yes Visuals
yes Vocabulary
yes Reading Lists
yes Links
yes Information

This is from the National Parks Service Carlsbad Caverns.  It has an extensive activity list as well as fact sheets and a glossary.

Unique Land Forms

yes Lesson Plans
no Worksheets
no Visuals
yes Vocabulary
limited Reading Lists
limited Links
grade level Information

This lesson is from Discovery School and is aimed for grades 3 to 4.

Kentucky Down Under

 

yes Lesson Plans
yes Worksheets
yes Visuals
yes Vocabulary
no Reading Lists
no Links
yes Information

This site has a variety of resources for teachers including printouts and lesson plans.

The Virtual Cave
no Lesson Plans
no Worksheets
yes Visuals
no Vocabulary
no Reading Lists
no Links
yes Information

This site has great photos and descriptions of various cave formations.

California Underground

no Lesson Plans
no Worksheets
yes Visuals
no Vocabulary
no Reading Lists
yes Links
yes Information

Interactive site for California caves.  Lots of emphasis on bats.  Includes slide shows and quizzes.

Karst in British Columbia

no Lesson Plans
no Worksheets
yes Visuals
no Vocabulary
limited Reading Lists
no Links
definitely Information

This website is the online version of a Canadian document concerning Karst in British Columbia.  Good source for an overview of Karst formations.

American Cave Conservation Association

no Lesson Plans
no Worksheets
yes Visuals
no Vocabulary
yes Reading Lists
yes Links
yes Information

Kid’s Cave section is an excellent one stop source for cave information.  No lesson plans but plenty of at home activities as well as jokes and riddles.

More than Skin Deep

yes Lesson Plans
no Worksheets
yes Visuals
yes Vocabulary
no Reading Lists
yes Links
yes Information

This site is an online edition of a teacher’s guide to caves in the Ozarks.  It contains activities as well as information pages.

Mammoth Cave

yes Lesson Plans
yes Worksheets
yes Visuals
yes Vocabulary
yes Reading Lists
yes Links
yes Information

All related to Mammoth cave but lots of it.  Extensive lesson plans and activities for kids.