K-12 Teaching and Learning From the UNC School of Education

LEARN NC was a program of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Education from 1997 – 2013. It provided lesson plans, professional development, and innovative web resources to support teachers, build community, and improve K-12 education in North Carolina. Learn NC is no longer supported by the School of Education – this is a historical archive of their website.

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  • Chimney Rock State Park: Explore the wonders of nature up close and personal at Chimney Rock Park. From nature talks and special programs to hiking trails, there is much to do and see.

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Located at the highest point in Gaston County, Crowders Mountain State Park is home to hardwood forests and diverse plants and animals. Concerned citizens stopped mining operations from coming in and encouraged the state of North Carolina to acquire the land for a state park.

Rangers hold regularly scheduled educational and interpretive programs about Crowders Mountain State Park. Educational materials about the park have been developed for grades 5-7 and are correlated to North Carolina’s competency-based curriculum in science, social studies, mathematics and English/language arts. The Crowders Mountain program introduces students to basic geologic concepts, including the rock cycle, rock and mineral identification, weathering and erosion, and resource use. 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. You can receive a free copy of an EELE by attending its corresponding workshop at a park, or you can borrow these guides through interlibrary loan at any public library in North Carolina. The EELE for Crowders Mountain State Park is “Twin Peaks Monadnocks” for grades 5, 6, and 7.

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.

For more information about visiting the park, e-mail crowders.mountain@ncmail.net or call (704) 853-5375.

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