Creating Lesson Plan Assets for the Educators Portal: Background

Interpretation and Education

Updated Curriculum-based Education

Lesson Plan Asset Components

When managing lesson plan assets, there are required fields in order to submit your lesson plan. This section takes a dive into Background with a goal of helping you to create an effective lesson plan in the NPS Educators Portal.

Crafting Background Information

What information does the teacher need about the park unit in order to support student learning?

The background information in your lesson plan helps bring your park to life within the context of the classroom curriculum. This section should succinctly describe the connections between the standard/concept and the park’s resources. Teacher background information should include the framework the teacher needs to successfully implement the lesson.

Since teachers from across the world can access these lesson plans, teachers may not have first-hand experience or knowledge of your park unit. Comprehensive background information makes it easier for teachers to integrate the lesson into their classroom curriculum. Additionally, it equips teachers to answer common student questions about the park-specific content.

Questions to consider when developing the background information section include:

  • How do the concepts, skills, and vocabulary connect to your park?
  • Why is your park an important example of these concepts, skills, and vocabulary?

Example from the NPS Educators Portal

From Glacier Bay National Park’s Seals of Glacier Bay Lesson One: Flipper Feet:

Pinnipeds, also known as fin-footed mammals, are a group of carnivorous marine mammals that include three families of mammals: seals, sea lions, and walrus. Two species of pinnipeds live in Glacier Bay: harbor seals and Steller sea lions. Since they are both pinnipeds, these two animals have many similarities, but they also have key differences. With a little observation it is easy to distinguish between the two species. Read more.


Using an existing lesson plan or an idea, succinctly describe the connection between the standard/concept with the park’s resources in 300 words or less. Share your draft background in the Common Learning Portal.

Additional Resources

Learn more about the other components of the NPS Educators Portal.

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