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K–12 teaching and learning · from the UNC School of Education

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  • New River State Park: Visit New River State Park and discover its unspoiled beauty as well as the flora and fauna of the area.
  • North Carolina State Museum of Natural Sciences: Resources for learning about natural North Carolina including animals, snakes, insects and ecosystems.
  • Pettigrew State Park: Named for the Pettigrew family and their farm, this land was made a state park in 1939. The park has more than 1,200 acres of land and 16,600 acres of water. Students will discover the natural history of this area as well as the history of the people who have lived on this land.

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A remnant of the ancient Sauratown Mountains, Pilot Mountain is a quartzite monadnock. To the native Saura Indians, the earliest known inhabitants of the region, Pilot Mountain was known as Jomeokee, the “Great Guide” or “Pilot.” It guided both Native Americans and early European hunters along a north-south path through the area.

The North Carolina State Parks website offers a search feature for finding the plants and animals that can be found at each state park. Using the drop-down menus, you can choose a park and either an amphibian, bird, reptile, mammal, fungus, insect, or vascular plant. You can search within each group by family, scientific name, or common name. There are photographs from the state parks and fun facts for some of the species.

Rangers hold regularly scheduled educational and interpretive programs about Pilot Mountain. Educational materials about park have been developed for grades 9-12 and are correlated to North Carolina’s competency-based curriculum in science, social studies, mathematics and English/language arts. The Pilot Mountain program introduces students to the “mountains away from the mountains” and the geologic processes that formed them. Accompanying the program is a teacher’s booklet and workshop, free of charge to educators.

Each state park and recreation area has an EELE (environmental education learning experience) curriculum guide that includes on-site activities, pre- and post-visit activities, student information pages, worksheets, fact sheets, vocabulary, and references. Teachers can receive a free copy of an EELE by attending its corresponding workshop at a park, or they may borrow these guides through interlibrary loan at any public library in North Carolina. The EELE for Pilot Mountain State Park is “Jomeokee Geology” for high school students.

See the article The Southern Appalachian Mountains - How They Got Where They Are by Kempton H. Roll. Scroll to page 4.

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