John Muir Day Study Guide
"When we try to pick out
anything by itself, we find
it hitched to everything
else in the universe."
-- John Muir, 1838-1914
The academic focus of the John Muir Day Study Guide is History - Social Science.
Please see the following for additional Muir-inspired lesson plans for other academic subjects.
John Muir Day Study Guide
was prepared to help teachers commemorate
John Muir Day each April 21 with their classes.
California teachers are encouraged to recognize John Muir Day by statute
but people all over the world celebrate John Muir's Birthday on April 21!
In addition, the guide is produced with the idea
that it may be used throughout the school year,
integrated with a variety of curriculum topics,
to set a tone of caring about our environment.
It can be used outside of California as well as within,
since only the fourth grade unit is California-specific.
If you live outside of California, we suggest you use the Sixth Grade
John Muir Geography Cards
Places Important to John Muir
page to find out if Muir ever traveled in your state or country,
and then you can create a lesson plan for your own geographic location.
Each chapter of the John Muir Day Study Guide is available FREE for downloading
in Adobe Acrobat file format (necessary for graphic-intensive pages), and in
standard Web HTML (for text portions) below.
You may also order the John Muir Day Study Guide in a printed booklet form by sending $7.00 post-paid, plus 31 cents California sales tax for California shipping addresses, to:
Sierra Club California
1414 K. St., Suite 500
Sacramento, CA 95814
If you order the printed version, please be sure to download our 2001
Update supplement first.
You can also order John Muir Day Study Guide with a Visa or Mastercard toll-free from the California Department of Education, Publications Unit: (800) 995-4099.
John Muir Day
The Governor annually shall proclaim April 21st to be 'John Muir Day'
- - California Government Code Section 6714.
John Muir Day:
(a) April 21 of each year is designated and set apart as John Muir Day, a day having special significance pursuant to Section 37222.
(b) On John Muir Day, all public schools and educational institutions are encouraged to conduct exercises stressing the importance that an ecologically sound natural environment plays in the quality of life for all of us, and emphasizing John Muir's significant contributions to the fostering of that awareness and the indelible mark he left on the State of California.
- - California Education Code Section 37222.1/
(Added by Stats. 2010, Ch. 241, Sec. 4. re-numbering Code from Education Code Section 37222 (a)(2) and (b)(2).)
Days having special significance:
(a) On each day designated and set apart as a day having special significance, all public schools and educational institutions are encouraged to observe that day and to conduct suitable commemorative exercises.
(b) It is the intent of the Legislature that the exercises encouraged by subdivision (a) be integrated into the regular school program, and be conducted by the school or institution within the amount of time otherwise budgeted for educational programs.
- California Education Code Section 37222.
This guide produced under the auspices of
Sierra Club California and the California Department of Education.
This updated on-line version of the Study Guide contains the instructional
text from the paper document.
In addition to this text, there are materials of a graphical
nature that are to be used in the suggested activities.
These are available in Adobe Acrobat PDF format
and are linked to the appropriate units.
Furthermore, there are
for each unit --
available at the bottom of each unit page --
as well as a
for the entire Guide.
The purpose of these on-line, hyper-text documents is to
give you a good idea of what's in the Study Guide.
If you want to use (a unit of) the Guide,
download the PDF files
that are most useful to you.
John Muir, explorer, scientist, and author, studied ecosystems worldwide and
expressed his views, helping establish the modern environmental movement.
A Note to the Teacher
Kindergarten - Grade 1
John Muir: Long Ago and Now
John Muir showed he cared about nature by writing, drawing,
and speaking to others.
- Sort Natural Objects
- Listen to Stories
- Make a Booklet about John Muir
Grades 2 - 3
John Muir: One Person Who Made a Difference
John Muir had many experiences which gave him the vision
to save wilderness areas.
Write in Journals
Make a Booklet about John Muir
John Muir in California
John Muir, an immigrant to California,
encountered environmental problems and found solutions.
Read About Events in John Muir's Life
Plot Locations Important to John Muir on California Maps
Resources for Grade 4
Speaking Out for Conservation
John Muir, an immigrant to the United States,
spoke out about his experiences and his visions for conservation.
Read Examples of John Muir's Work
Compare John Muir's Life to Our Own Lives
Write About Nature Persuasively
John Muir: Around the World in 76 Years
John Muir traveled around the world to compare and contrast natural
phenomena and to speak out about preserving ecosystems.
Play the "John Muir Day Game"
Create a Timeline
Plot Locations Important to John Muir on a World Map
Grades 7 - 9
John Muir in Yosemite
John Muir's vision led to the establishment of the National Park System.
Grades 9 - 12
John Muir's Vision Lives On
John Muir's vision for the preservation of an ecologically sound natural
environment persists today.
Identify Issues and Values Concerning National Parks
Research and Debate Yosemite's General Management Plan
Develop Personal Responsibility on a Local Issue Through Citizen Action
Resources for Grades 7 - 12
The Study Guide in Adobe Acrobat Format
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