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John Muir Biography Study Questions Answer Sheet
Ch.1 Lesson One

Through the Eyes of John Muir

by Janice Kelley

PDF Version of this page

What was one of John Muir's first encounters with nature as a young boy?
He was with his brother searching tide pools for crabs and other interesting creatures of the sea
near his childhood home in Scotland. He climbed the walls of the ruins of Dunbar Castle. Muir regularly
visited the shore and the meadows where he could study the creatures.

Describe at least one of John Muir's inventions.
1. Study desk
2. Sawmill was used in a stream to cut wood
3. Barometers

What was the reason he went on his 1,000-mile walk to the Gulf of Mexico? Describe one or more of the
experiences he shared about his journey.

John Muir knew he could not work in a factory again because there was so much to explore and
learn about the outdoors. For the first time in his life, he saw tall trees and dense forests. He saw high
mountains and deep valleys. Muir took note of flowering plants. There were kind families that offered
him food and shelter.

List three places in the United States that Muir visited.
Yosemite National Park
San Francisco
New York
Mt. Whitney
Niagara Falls
Lake Superior
Kings Canyon

What did he discover about how Yosemite was formed?
Glaciers had cut their way through the rocks to carve the Yosemite Valley. He measured the
height and width of rocks and boulders as evidence. Many people disagreed with him at the time,
although later he was proven to be right.

What else did John Muir do in Yosemite Valley?
John Muir was a nature guide, leading visitors to his favorite scenic spots. As a guide, he pointed
out the evidence of rocks carved by glaciers in several locations. He was also a shepherd. He also met
President Roosevelt to camp in Yosemite to convince him how important it was to establish Yosemite as a
national park for the public good.

Name some of his "high adventure" activities.
1. John Muir climbed Mt. Whitney when there was a severe snowstorm and it was extremely cold.
His body was frozen and he decided not to keep climbing in that weather.
2. He climbed Mt. Shasta. During his climb the weather changed and it started to snow heavily.
3. A third high adventure activity was when he climbed to the top of a Douglas-fir during a
windstorm to listen to the needles sing in the wind.

Why did John Muir live on a ranch?
John Muir married John Strentzel's daughter. Strentzel owned a large fruit ranch in Martinez,
CA. When Muir married Louie, they lived on the ranch and raised their family. John managed the ranch
after his father-in-law died.

What motivated John Muir to spend his life protecting wild lands?
He believed that the wonders of nature in America should be preserved as national parks for
people to visit and enjoy. He loved the wilderness and finding out more about nature. When Muir saw
indications that man was destroying natural areas, he decided to share his experiences with others by
writing articles and books.

Did John Muir act alone or did he have support to make changes happen? If so, name two people who
supported him?

No, John Muir did not act alone most of the time. He had support from Ezra and Janine Carr,
John Swett and Teddy Roosevelt. Muir helped to form the Sierra Club. By working together, Congress
passed laws that protected the wilderness and created national parks for people to enjoy, instead of being
destroyed by logging.

List some of the topics that Muir wrote about.
Trips to Alaska
His first summer in the Sierra
Saving wilderness
Preserving Yosemite as a National Park
sMountains of California

The print edition of the full curriculum Through the Eyes of John Muir includes a John Muir Biography Study Questions Answer Sheet providing solutions to the above list of questions.


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© Copyright 2015 by Janice Kelley. Permission to reprint for school purposes is granted to all public and private school teachers. All other rights reserved.
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