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Grades 9 - 12
John Muir's Vision Lives On

Unit Concept:

John Muir's vision for the preservation of an ecologically sound natural environment persists today.


In at least three class sessions, students identify perspectives on land management issues, research and debate Yosemite's General Management Plan, and develop personal responsibility on a local issue through citizen action.


  1. Make copies for the students of the pages entitled Yosemite General Management Plan , National Park Service , and Viewpoints on Yosemite Management . Make an overhead transparency of Ways to Value the Environment .

  2. Obtain posters, videos, slides, photographs, or websites of Yosemite.


  1. Find out what the students know about Yosemite. Explain that four million people visit Yosemite every year, impacting the park and putting pressure on wilderness and ecosystems.

  2. Show a video, slides, and photos of Yosemite. Referring to the overhead of Ways to Value the Environment , ask the students to list the different perspectives people have about managing the park.

  3. Distribute the National Park Service information and ask students how the National Park Service can provide for both use and preservation of the park.

  4. Let the class know that Yosemite National Park's General Management Plan is under discussion for possible revision . People have many different perspectives on what the plan should include and how it should be implemented.

  5. Form teams of students to research different perspectives on the management of Yosemite, using the Yosemite Management Viewpoints.

  6. Each group has five minutes to present the viewpoint they researched and then may discuss the degree to which they personally agree or disagree with that perspective. The National Park Service team, which could include the whole class, evaluates the points of view and decides upon a course of action.

  7. Each student should, as a homework exercise, take some action as a concerned citizen, such as attending a public hearing on Yosemite or a local planning issue, creating an educational display or poster, composing a song, or writing a letter to the newspaper. The homework excercises may be presented in class.

    (Note the Final Yosemite Valley Plan Record of Decision was signed on December 29, 2000. Teachers will need to update this exercise until this John Muir Day Study Guide is updated.)


  1. Debate another national, state, or local park's management or another environmental issue, such as development of agricultural land, world population growth, and land use issues in your community.

Resources for Grades 7 - 12

Download this complete unit in Adobe Acrobat (pdf) format (file size = 355,524 bytes).

The entire Study Guide is also available in PDF format.

John Muir Day Study Guide Home

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