John Wesley Powell Lesson Plans

There are so many wonderful ways you can study John Wesley Powell’s life!  Our top recommendation is learn all about him and about the Grand Canyon!  Here are a few ideas to help get you started.

Powell Letter

For the free downloads to go with our John Wesley Powell letter go here!

Don't have the letter yet?  You can grab the snail mail letter here or the instant digital download version here.

For All Ages


Watch The Legacy of John Wesley Powell: Adventurer, Leader, Scientist, Explorer


National Park Podcast
The Great Unknown: John Wesley Powell and the Grand Canyon

Grand Canyon Artifact


Grand Canyon National Park

Books about John Wesley Powell



Powell Shelfie

One Week with John Wesley Powell

Day 1: Hello Powell!

  • Read the Heritage Letter from John Wesley Powell
  • Watch The Legacy of John Wesley Powell: Adventurer, Leader, Scientist, Explorer

Day 2: Powell’s Greatest Adventure

Day 3: Trace His Path

  • Locate the Green River in Wisconsin on a map then follow its course as it joins up with the Colorado River then follow the Colorado through the Grand Canyon until it meets up with the Virgin River (or Rio Virgin as it was called in Powell’s day).
  • Have you ever visited the Grand Canyon? Talk about those memories and reminisce with your pictures today!

Day 4: Celebrate!

The day Powell’s team came out of the Grand Canyon was a big day!  Create a poster, newspaper headline, or article celebrating Powell’s accomplishment.

Day 5: Field Trip

Powell fell in love with nature study as a young child.  You may not live close enough to travel to the Grand Canyon, but you can go out in nature wherever you live.  Explore, study, observe, and enjoy the nature around you today!

Bonus Videos:

Watch John Wesley Powell: From the Depths of the Grand Canyon: Nat Geo Live

This half-hour video shows a historical reenactor giving a speech as John Wesley Powell, telling about his life and adventures in the Grand Canyon.


View the Grand Canyon in 4K with this relaxing video



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