Educational Pilot Program

     This educator program for AN AMERICAN ASCENT empowers students to see themselves in the world of outdoor adventure and overcome the perspectives that stand in their way.  The material is not a curriculum, but simply here to help educators easily expand on the stories and themes covered in the film.

    The lessons are not necessarily dependent on each other and can be taught in any configuration. Choose the lessons and activities that best fit your students. Total instruction and assessment time ranges from 0.5-3.0 hours and complements the 24 minute classroom version of AN AMERICAN ASCENT.

    Teacher feedback is important as we develop this material. Feel free to fill out the feedback form at the bottom of this page.

Overall Driving Question: what is your relationship with nature and the outdoors? 

Lesson 1:  Nature and You

How do you define “nature”? Do you have any special memories of spending time in nature? Where was it? What was special about it?

Resources: Lesson 1


Lesson 2:  Seeing Yourself Outdoors

How do people in your family and community utilize nature and the outdoors? In what activities do they participate?


  • Can you name examples of outdoor adventurers?
  • Examples: Buffalo soldiers in Yosemite, Sofia Danenberg, Charlie Crenshaw, Jimmy Chin

Resources: Lesson 2


Lesson 3: Public Lands  

Brief discussion of types of US public lands.


  • Where is your nearest National or State Forest?
  • Where is your nearest National Park?
  • Where is your nearest City Park?
  • Why should you care about these places?

Resources: Lesson 3


Lesson 4: Benefits of Time Outdoors


  • Given 4 outdoor scenes (river, mountain, trail, city park), what activities can you imagine doing in those places?
  • How could spending time in public natural spaces like these benefit you, your family, or your friends?

Resources: Lesson 4


Lesson 5:  Environmental Protection

How do you think your participation in outdoor activities affects your desire to protect & preserve public natural places?

Resources: Lesson 5


Wrap Up Question:  What do you think your relationship with nature and the outdoors will be as an adult?

Please leave us some feedback on these lessons and activities:

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