Lesson Plans

These are fully-developed formal lesson plans (some entire unit plans) including curriculum standards/benchmarks, detailed activity descriptions, time parameters, required materials needed, prepared teaching documents including activity sheets, handouts, and assessments, etc.
(For many more activities - projects listed by main Subject - see Project-Based Learning.)

Some Lesson Plans were created specifically for the Flint Hills Map & Education Program.  
Others are from different sources but adaptable to the Flint Hills. They are recommended here as place-based learning: presenting core curriculum within the local context - directly relating to students’ own local environment and community.

Lessons are divided by grade level - some grade ranges overlap - your grade may be in more than one section.  (See Also - Lesson Title Index below)

All Grade Levels - Adaptable K-12

  • Introduction to the Flint Hills K-12
  • Flint Hills Map Exhibit Unit - Guided Tour Main Map, Interpret Side Panel art & facts, Regional Map Activity, County Map Activity  - K-12
  • Prairie Communities Role Play - Jolly Rancher John & Bad Bart - Grades 3-10

Elementary K-5


  • Prairie Texture Collage- Grades K-1 
  • Recipe for Prairie (Ecosystem) - Grades K-2 
  • Indian Homes in Kansas - Grade 1
  • Celebrate Beef - Grades 1-5
  • Water Connections - Conservation - Grades 1-5 
  • Learning in the Prairie- by Dwight Platt - Grades 1-6  BOOK (on pdf) of 37 Lesson Plans!
  • Schools Past & Present:  The One-Room School  - Grade 2 
  • Prairies and Grasslands - Grades 2-3
  • Grass Root Systems - Grades 2-3
  • Your Friends at Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve - Grades 2-4
  • My Book of the Flint Hills Grasses - Grades 2-4
  • Cowboys & Cowtowns - Grade 3 
  • Indian Communities - Grade 3 
  • Community Landmarks i.e. Chase County Courthouse - Grade 3 
  • Prairie Plants - Grades 3-4
  • Birds of the Tallgrass - Grades 3-4 
  • American Indians -  Grades 3-4  
  • American Cowboy -  Grades 3-4
  • Tallgrass Wildlife  - Grades 3-4 
  • Exploring Climate Science (Climate Change) - Grades 3-5
  • Who’s That Pollinator and Pollinators Put Food on the Table - Grades 3-5 
  • Edible Soil Profile & Soil Erosion Pans - Grades 3-5 
  • Trading on the Santa Fe Trail - Grade 4
  • Vice-President of United States - Charles Curtis - Notable Kansan & Native American-Grd 4 
  • Daily Life on the Santa Fe Trail - Grade 4 
  • Kansas County Fairs Through the Years - Grade 4
  • American Bison - Grades 4-5 
  • Water - a Necessity of Life (Water Aquifers & Landfills) - Grades 4-5 

Elementary / Middle School 2-8

  • Nature’s Notebook - Grades K-8
  • Tadpole Tales - Frog Growth, Songs, Types - Grades 2-6
  • Autumn Calf - Bison Weight Data Activities - Grades 3-7
  • Prairie Food Chains - Grades 4-6 
  • How Much Stormwater Runs Off Your House? - Grades 4-6
  • Kansas Women and Their Quilts - Grades 4-6

[see also Middle/High School - American Indian Perspectives on Thanksgiving  - Grades 4-12]

Middle School 5-8

  • Illustrating Flint Hills Earth Cycles: 6-Panel Comic Strip - Grades 5-6
  • What’s It All About (Reading Vocabulary - Prairie) - Grades 5-6 
  • The Prairie Is… (poem) - Grades 5-6 
  • Scavenger Hunt Unit - Exploring Wildlife & Geology in Tallgrass Prairie Illustration (on Middle School Map exhibit side panel)- Grades 5-8
  • Where Does the Water Go? - Grades 6-8
  • Notable Features of a Watershed - Grades 6-8
  • Measuring Slope - Grades 6-8
  • Cattle Trail Cowboys - Grade 7
  • Burning and Beef Production Ratios: Percent of Increase in Cattle Weight - Grades 7-8

Middle / High School 5-12

  • American Indian Perspectives on Thanksgiving  - Grades 4-12
  • Living With the Land- Grades 5-12 
  • Birds:  “The Winged Ones: How Like & Different from Us” - Grades 5-12
  • What’s in the Water? (Water Quality) - Grades 5-12
  • Introduction to Scientific Collections and Museum Databases - Grades 5-12
  • Tracking Lesson - Grades 5-12
  • Freshwater Mussels - Grades 5-12
  • Where You’re At - Grades 5-12
  • Kids About Water - Grades 6-12
  • Graze Like a Cow - Grades 6-12
  • Place Names in the Kansas Flint Hills - Grades 7-10
  • Geocaching - Grades 8-12
  • This Place You Call Home: The Flora of Your County - Grades 8-12
  • Native American Heritage: Contemporary Arts - Grades 8-12
  • Native American Heritage: Traditional Arts - Grades 8-12
  • Native American Heritage: Oklahoma Indian Country Guide - Grades 8-12
  • Native American Heritage: Food Ways - Grades 8-12
  • Native American Heritage: The Guardian - Tribal Flags - Grades 8-12

High School / College 9-12+


  • Flint Hills Research Project - Grades 9-12
  • Everything Is Connected - Grades 9-12
  • Prairie Jeopardy Game - Grades 9-12 
  • Plant Collections - - Grades 9-12
  • Frog & Toad Lesson Plan - Grades 9-12
  • Climate Science in Focus - Earth as a System - Grades 9-12