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
For students to develop vocabulary of glacial terms.
Lesson inspired by:
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.
massive mount of firn
growing, changing, every day
Benchmark or Standards: