Lesson Two: What is Public? What is Private?
Grade Level: 2nd Grade
Time: 45-60 minutes
Essential Question: How can we be stewards of Wyoming’s public and private lands to benefit current and future generations?
Objectives: Students will:
• Determine the difference between the terms public and private.
• Use a map of Wyoming to identify public and private lands.
Purpose: Students learn that Wyoming has both public and private lands.
• WE ARE STEWARDS poster with exit tickets from previous lesson.
• Specific Picture Cards from Lesson 1: Yellowstone Falls, cowboy boots, cornfield and pivot, pronghorn herd, dog, and Tetons.
• Three additional private Picture Cards and three additional public land Picture Cards (chosen from Lesson 1). You will reference South Pass State Park, Guernsey State Park, and Hot Springs State Park at the end of the lesson, but they can be some of your choices.
• Chart paper
• Tape and/or glue
• Wyoming Land Ownership Map (one per student) – (Source 1)
• Wyoming Land Ownership Map Answer Key (one for the teacher)
• Student Journals OR notebook or printer paper to make Student Journal pages (one per student)
Suggested Teacher Preparation:
• Prepare the T-chart poster. Label one side PUBLIC and the other side PRIVATE. (See Land Ownership in Wyoming organizer)
• Choose three additional Public Picture Cards and three additional Private Picture Cards from remaining Picture Cards.
• Designate an area of the room to be Public and an area to be Private.
• Identify your own local public land areas and where they are located on the Wyoming Land Ownership Map. (See step 7)
• Prepare Student Journal pages by leaving space to tape/glue the Wyoming Land Ownership Map and typing/writing the following sentence stems on notebook/printer paper OR write the following sentence stems in Student Journals:
○ I know ________________________ is public land because _________________________.
○ I know ________________________ is private land because ________________________.
○ Wyoming is unique because ______________________.
○ How will being a steward impact the future of our state’s public land? _____________________________________________
Social Studies: SS2.5.2 (Explicit), SS2.5.1 (Practiced/Encountered)
ELA: 2.SL.1, 2.SL.6 (Practiced/Encountered)
CVE: CV5.3.1, CV5.4.4 (Practiced/Encountered)
• Private land – land owned by a person or group and kept for their exclusive use; permission and access for any purpose must be granted by the owner
• Public land – land owned by a government; may or may not be accessible to the public
1. Discuss with students their exit tickets on the “WE ARE STEWARDS” poster from the previous lesson. Focus the discussion on students using the word STEWARD and how they can be stewards.
2. Say: “In the previous lesson, we looked at pictures of opportunities for stewardship and discussed how we can be stewards in each. Today, we are going to discuss how the stewardship of places and things can change depending on if the place or item is public or private.” Display the T-Chart you created.
3. Begin a discussion using the following Picture Cards from lesson one: Yellowstone Falls, cowboy boots, cornfield and pivot, pronghorn herd, dog, and Tetons. Display and discuss the cards one at a time, so students understand if these places/items are public or private. Have the students name if the place or item is public or private. Once the class decides, tape the picture on the T-chart under the appropriate heading. Continue this discussion with all six cards.
For example, say: “Yellowstone Falls, in Yellowstone National Park, are PUBLIC because they can be seen and used by everyone. Anyone who visits needs to be a steward of this national park and make sure to keep it clean, follow the rules so kids are safe, etc. A corn field and pivot are PRIVATE because they only get to be used by the owner, and the owner would be the steward over that farm. The owner would be the one responsible for watering the crops, picking up garbage, maintenance of equipment, etc.”
4. Say: “Now, we will practice determining if places or items are public or private. This area of the room is public. This area of the room is private. I will show more of our Picture Cards. If the picture is a public place or thing, go to the public area. If it is a private place or thing, go to the private area. After I hold up the Picture Card, I will tell you when to go.” Hold up the first Picture Card, and have students move to their chosen areas. Once all students have chosen a space, say: “Discuss with someone nearby why you chose either public or private and how you determined whether the picture was showing a public or private place or item.” Call on different students to share reasons why they chose public/private. Check that students are in the accurate spaces and clear up any misconceptions before moving on to the next picture. Have students reconvene in the center before the next picture is presented. Complete the same process with the five other additional Picture Cards.
5. After completing all of the additional Picture Cards, ask: “What do we now know about public and private lands?” Allow students to share their ideas. Ask: “Why do we need to be good stewards of public and private lands?”So, we can use them now as well as leave them for future generations. Using the images students have just seen, knowledge about local surroundings in your community, and student background knowledge, have the class list characteristics of public lands and private lands. Write them on the T-chart to use as a resource throughout this unit. PUBLIC LAND is land that is used for many different purposes. We can all use the land, and we are all responsible for the stewardship of the land. PRIVATE LAND is land that is owned by a person or group that we cannot use without their permission. The owner is responsible for caring for his or her own land.
Display the Wyoming Land Ownership Map and pass out student copies. Say: “Look at the map, and share with a neighbor what you see.” Students should notice that the map shows colors representing different types of land. Ask: “Wyoming is made of public and private lands. What do you notice when you look at this map of public and private land in Wyoming?” Allow students to discuss. Make sure that students mention the following: Wyoming is unique because more than half of our state is public land.
Revisit the definitions of public/private land from T-chart. Identify areas that are public and areas that are private. Hold up or point to the Picture Cards from lesson one with public lands depicted on them: Tetons, Yellowstone Falls, South Pass State Park, Guernsey State Park, and Hot Springs State Park. Say: “All of these public lands are located in our state.” Ask: “How can we be stewards of these areas so that they will be available for our use and other people’s use both now and in the future?” Allow time for students to respond. Refer to other public lands in your area to help students make connections. Circle on the map where the public lands Picture Cards mentioned above are located and some other examples of public lands from your own local area. Some local examples are: parks, monuments, grasslands, reservoirs, lakes, forests. These will be studied more in depth in future lessons. Have students also circle the same areas on their own maps and tape or glue the map into their journals. Ask: “We need to be stewards of our entire land, and this includes taking care of our public lands. How will being a steward impact the future of our state’s public land?” Because Wyoming has so much public land, we need to be stewards of it to help ensure that it is available for future generations.
Pass out Student Journal pages, and have students complete the following four sentence stems:
• I know ________________________ is public land because _________________________.
• I know ________________________ is private land because ________________________.
• Wyoming is unique because ______________________.
• How will being a steward impact the future of our state’s public land? _____________________________________________
Check student responses to make sure they understand the difference between public and private land and the importance of being a steward. Students can use the journal pages to track how their thinking changes as they continue through the Outdoor Recreation and Tourism unit.
1. Wyoming Association of Conservation Districts. (2017, July 27). Wyoming Land Ownership Map. Cheyenne, Wyoming.