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Activity Teacher Notes 1.4

1.4 What do you think about National Parks?

Levels: P, S, SS
Focus curriculum areas: Society and history
Key concepts: Social responsibility, sustainability, opinions

Honeymoon Bay

Freycinet National Park

Understanding goals

For students to consider their views about how public land should be utilised. To encourage students to look at public land from different peoples' perspectives. To collate class data and draw conclusions.

1. Print out and read the statements in the What do you think about national parks PDF [101 KB] and decide whether you agree, disagree or have no opinion at all and tick the appropriate column.

Statement Strongly agree Mildly agree No opinion Mildly disagree Strongly disagree
1. Access to national parks should be restricted to those who have an interest in studying some aspect of it.          

2. If oil supplies run short it would be worthwhile exploring for oil in national parks.

3. If I study a book about plants and animals I can learn more about natural environments than by actually visiting a national park.          
4. Cars should be banned in parks. They should be left in a central car park and people can ride bicycles or walk.          
5. Even if I never visit a national park it is important for me to know they are there.          
6. People should be allowed to undertake whatever kind of recreational activities they want to in a national park.          
7. Rangers should be trained as experts in the plants and animals of their park and should be able to explain them to visitors.          
8. People fishing for recreation in a national park should be allowed to catch as many fish as they can.          
9. I feel I have a responsibility to do something positive to help conserve the environment in national parks.          
10. New tourist accommodation should be established anywhere within national parks so people can stay overnight.          
11. National parks have a value that cannot be fairly calculated in economic terms. They provide an understanding of the natural world and inner peace.          
12. I would like to spend a large part of the park’s budget on purchasing an ecosystem that is not well represented at present in the national parks system, even though it would be expensive and the particular ecosystem may not be very attractive to many people.          

2. As a class collate the results for each question on the board.

3. Choose two statements that had ‘strongly agree’ response from the group. In pairs discuss why this might be so.

4. Next choose two statements that had ‘strongly disagree’ from the group. In pairs discuss why this might be so.

5. Choose a statement where your opinion differed quite strongly from that of the group. Consider reasons why this may be so. Write a brief explanation of this.

6. Consider ways in which you might be able to influence other people's opinions. Is it appropriate to do this? Write a brief explanation about why or why not. Suggest two ways that might successfully influence other people's opinions.

7. In groups, list possible reasons why some people would agree and others disagree. Present your information to others as a debate, a role-play or a written pamphlet.

Thanks to Parks Victoria for the use of these pages from Understanding Victoria's National Parks www.parkweb.vic.gov.au/education/resource_kit/section1.htm.