To introduce glacier vocabulary students will learn about John Muir, his journals, National Parks and how writing can motivate science learning.

Throughout much of Earth’s history, glaciers have played an important role in shaping the landscape. Even today, glaciers are carrying out these same processes in various places on Earth, including the high Sierra Nevada Range of California. At a time when it was popularly believed that a sudden cataclysmic event had created Yosemite Valley, it was John Muir who rightly conjectured that it was the slow movement of glaciers over time that actually carved the Valley. His observations and measurements helped to prove that living glaciers still existed in the Sierra. This research was instrumental in making significant advances in the new science of his day--glaciology. See pdf

Group Size: Any

Learning Objectives:

For students to develop vocabulary of glacial terms.

Lesson inspired by:


Guiding Question:

How can we express glacial terms with literary genius?

How can creative representation of science work move science forward?


John Muir PPT Glacier Journal from John Muir


Have students cut list of vocabulary words from attached sheet. Look up definition, write a haiku to describe the word.

Students may work with partners.


Haiku that expresses the vocabulary it is expressing. Example:


massive mount of firn growing, changing, every day overwhelming flow



Benchmark or Standards:


Attached Files:



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