Social Studies 4: Creation of the National Park Service

It turns out people actually like seeing the wilderness rather than turning it into sprawling cityscapes. Go figure. Today's lesson is on the creation of the National Park Service.

4th GradeSocial Studies
Elementary and Middle School4th Grade
LanguageEnglish Language

Transcript

00:27

Officially-designated National Parks haven't always been a thing. [National park locations shown on a map]

00:30

They’re actually the product of the National Park Service, which was created with the purpose

00:33

of protecting American landforms and bodies of water. [Coop pointing at a blackboard]

00:37

Mostly from…Americans, sadly enough. [Girl next to tree that has 'Casey was here' carved into it]

00:39

The very first National Park to be established by the National Park Service very well might

00:44

be the most famous one of them all...

00:46

Yellowstone National Park.

00:48

Like Jellystone Park, but with fewer stolen picnic baskets.

00:52

Yellowstone was officially created in 1872 with the purpose of protecting the land for

00:54

[Yellowstone park location]

00:56

future generations to enjoy.

00:58

Assuming Yellowstone's volcano doesn't wake up on the wrong side of the bed any time soon… [Volcano smoking next to a bed]

01:02

The National Park Service was created by President Woodrow Wilson, who worried that, without

01:07

official protection…

01:08

…it wouldn't be long before America ran out of natural beauty for visitors to admire.

01:12

That’s not counting Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie, of course. [Woodrow Wilson giving a speech]

01:16

Preserving land for tourism isn't the only thing the National Park Service does.

01:19

They also assist in scientific research. [Dino pointing at a blackboard]

01:22

National parks give scientists access to protected land where climate, biomes and ecosystems [Scientists watch a bear poop]

01:27

can be observed. [The scientists look amazed and write notes]

01:28

The NPS also helps cities and towns protect their own historic landmarks so that tourists

01:32

can enjoy them.

01:33

Whether it's San Francisco's Alcatraz Island and its famous Alcatraz Prison… or Mark [Picture of Alcatraz]

01:38

Twain's boyhood home in Hannibal, Missouri…or the world’s largest donut in Inglewood,

01:42

California…

01:43

… the NPS will preserve it all.

01:45

Okay, maybe not the donut. [Stop sign appears over the giant donut]

01:47

National Parks can be found across the country in all four regions of the United States.

01:51

There’s Yellowstone in the West, Big Ben National Park in the South, Apostle Islands [The parks locations are shown]

01:56

National Lakeshore in the Midwest, and Arcadia National Park in the North.

02:00

So the next time your family wants to start planning the next vacation, why not suggest [Kid pointing at the map of national parks]

02:04

a nearby national park instead of something cliché and crowd-heavy, like a cruise or

02:09

Disneyland?

02:10

You don’t need a Fast Pass to observe nature…

02:11

And if you go down a waterfall that's pretty much like flash mountain... [Boy jumping off a waterfall]