Lesson Plans

These lesson plans are available for download to use in your classroom with your students. The following table shows which grade level TEKS each activity has been correlated with. Please note that almost all the activities can be modified to meet TEKS for other grade levels.

Activity Activity Summary Subjects Grade Levels
 Discovery Tour Students will go on a guided tour through the Discovery Passages at Natural Bridge Caverns and learn how different geological processes formed the cavern system. Science 1-8 & Earth & Space Science
 Analyzing Groundwater Students will compare the properties of different soil types including filtration rate. Students will relate the filtration rates to pollution and learn about aquifers and the impact humans can have on them. Science 7
 Analyzing Soil Types Students will compare the properties of different soil types including texture, particle size, and filtration rates. Science 4
 Bats Need a Cave Students will play a game to simulate how human impact can affect the habitat of bats. Science/English, Language Arts & Reading K-3
 Cave Formation Age Estimation Students will investigate the actual growth rates of flowstone formations. Science and Math 8, Earth & Space Science
 Clear as Mud Students will analyze "water" samples taken from a “spring” on two different occasions. Science 4-5
 Clues From the Past Students will simulate the work of archaeologists as they look for artifacts to describe the types of communities that different prehistoric groups lived in. Social Studies and Archaeology 2-7
 Creating a Topographical Map Students will use clay models of a landscape to create a topographical map. Science 8
 Disappearing Rocks Students will drip vinegar onto rocks to demonstrate the weathering effect of a weak acid on limestone. Science 4-8
 Modeling the Rock Cycle Students will use crayons to model the processes that create igneous, sedimentary, and metamorphic rock. Science 4-7
 Momma Bat Baby Bat Students will simulate the way a mother bat locates her baby when she returns to the nursery and relate this experience to the story Stellaluna by Janell Cannon. Science/English, Language Arts & Reading K-2
 Moving Rocks Students will physically manipulate clay models to demonstrate changes in the Earth's crust. Science 3-8
 Rocks and Minerals Students will observe rock and mineral samples to learn about the basic properties of minerals and the three different rock types. Science 4-8
 Secret Sink Students will work together as city planners to design a community. They must take into account the needs of community members, businesses and the environmental impact on the land itself. Science and Social Studies 6-8
 Sinkhole in a Cup Students will learn how sinkholes form as well as the impact humans can have on groundwater quality. Science K-8
 Sluice Sorting Students will use their findings from bags of mining rough to group the rocks based on their properties and characteristics. Science K-1
 Guide to Accompany the Tour A guide for teachers detailing the entire Discovery Tour at Natural Bridge Caverns. Science ALL
 Natural Bridge Caverns Board Game Students will play a board game as a review of their trip to Natural Bridge Caverns. Questions include key vocabulary. Science 4-8
 Rocky Road Game Students will play a board game to review the Rock Cycle. Science 6-8
 Natural Bridge Caverns Magic Triangles Students will use manipulatives to match the term with the correct definition, example or picture. Science 4-8

Exploring Caves Story and Activities

Students will follow the adventures of two children as they explore a cave. A talking bat serves as their guide. Students will learn the science behind caves as well as take part in various activities to increase their knowledge and appreciation of caves.

* Stories and activities created by the USGS and modified by Natural Bridge Caverns. Originals found at usgs.gov.

Chapter 1: Lost In The Cave
  • Reading Follow-up Activity
  • What is a Cave?
  • Caves Stories - Tales of Adventure
  • Find a Cave
Chapter 2: Bat Shows Off the Cave
  • Reading Follow-up Activity
  • Cave Diagram
Chapter 3: A Strange Lunch in the Cave
  • Reading Follow-up Activity
  • Adapting to the Park - Bats and People
Chapter 4: Water and Caves Sculptures
  • Reading Follow-up Activity
  • Water Creates a Cave
Chapter 5: Caves Guard the Past
  • Reading Follow-up Activity
  • Cave Art and History