A new educational guide is out just in time for school—in whatever form school is taking. “Exploring Sleeping Bear: An Educational Guide” has been designed for use with “The Life of the Sleeping Bear,” a book that celebrates the Sleeping Bear Dunes area—the land and people—from prehistoric to modern times.

The 24-page educational guide was written with multiple grade levels in mind. The cover art was designed by a 13-year-old volunteer. There are easy-to-implement lessons, designed by teachers, to enhance understanding of 11 themed topics introduced in “The Life of the Sleeping Bear.” This 24-page booklet includes grade level suggestions and educational standards to help guide exploration through in-depth learning in science, history math and language arts/reading.

If you’re worried about learning loss and looking for ways to jump-start a successful year of learning with educational activities fun for the whole family, you can preorder this booklet for $4.95 on the books’ website. Order it with “The Life of the Sleeping Bear” ($29.95) and receive both the book and Educational Guide for $33.90, plus shipping and handling.

  • Learn more about the First People of the Sleeping Bear Dunes area before and after the Europeans arrived.
  • Read about area logging and the benefits of sustainable forestry.
  • Explore dark skies.
  • Find out more about how to protect native species (plants and animals) and how to prevent invasive species.
  • Research maritime history and the ships that sailed through the Manitou Passage.
  • Write stories and letters; design posters, charts and brochures; lead a scavenger hunt and create your own melting glacier.
  • Develop creativity, math and problem-solving skills, and have fun!

Photo by Friends of the Sleeping Bear Dunes

Here are some tips to help you prepare for a great learning experience:

  • Begin your journey by reading the sections in the book as indicated in the lessons and looking at the fascinating photos in “The Life of the Sleeping Bear” book. Ask children to think and talk about interesting new ideas.
  • Next, use the guide’s easy-to-implement lessons to enhance understanding of some of the concepts presented in the book.
  • Pick a time to work when you are all relaxed and ready to jump in for a day of discovery. Designate a space to work so hands-on activities can be easily cleaned up.
  • Encourage children to ask questions and look for answers. Journaling or writing down thoughts will help students with writing and language arts skills and allow them to return to a concept later.
  • Many lessons provide additional reference links to companion activities and information on the National Park Service website.