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Home>>Collection>>Reading Program>>National Parks>>Yellowstone National Park

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Yellowstone National Park (True Books) Yellowstone National Parks (True Books)

What I Learned Section 1 -- Answer the Following Questions:
1. Yellowstone National Park is located in which of the following states?
a) Wyoming
b) Montana
c) Idaho
d) All of the above

d) All of the above. Yellowstone National Park is located mostly in Wyoming. It also spreads into Montana to the north and west, and into Idaho to the west.

Before the 1800's, Native Americans hunted and fished in the Yellowstone region. They also collected obsidian to make arrowheads. Obsidian is a hard, black, volcanic rock.

In the early 1800's, white explorers came to Yellowstone. They included John Colter, Jim Bridger, and Osborne Russell. When the explorers returned with stories of Yellowstone's beauty, people did not believe them. They thought the stories were tall tales. Soon, settlers began visiting Yellowstone to hunt, log, ranch, and mine.

On March 1, 1872, President Ulysses S. Grant signed a bill making Yellowstone the world's first national park. This protected the beauty, wildlife, and thermal wonders of Yellowstone.

Today, Yellowstone National Park protects 3,384 square miles (8,765 square kilometers) of mountains, valleys, and wilderness land. It contains four types of park within its boundaries. They are a thermal park, a wildlife park, a wilderness park, and a historical park.

There are so many things visitors can do at Yellowstone. They can view the thermal features, watch and take pictures of the wildlife, hike, camp, fish, ride horses or a stagecoach, tour the visitors' center, or become a Junior Ranger.

In the winter, Yellowstone is cold and covered in snow. The bears are hibernating in their dens. The bison, elk, and wolves are active. Some visitors explore the park on cross-country skis.

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2. What is magma?
The Earth's core of melted rock. Yellowstone has a thermal park. Thermal means caused by heat. The Earth's core of melted rock is called magma, and it lies closer to the Earth's surface at Yellowstone than it does anywhere else in the world.

Thousands of years ago, magma surged up through the cracks to the surface. The magma escaped in volcanic eruptions. The volcanic eruptions created cone-shaped mountains of lava, called volcanoes. Mount Washburn is an ancient volcano. It is also the highest point in Yellowstone.

Did you know when magma cools it becomes lava rock? Yellowstone has a lot of lava rock.

Today, this same magma heats the water creating Yellowstone's thermal features. These thermal feature include geysers, fumaroles, mud pots, and hot springs.

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3. Old Faithful is which of the following thermal features?
a) Geyser
b) Fumaroles
c) Mud Pot
d) Hot Spring

a) Geyser. A geyser is a natural hot-water fountain. Yellowstone has almost three hundred geysers. This is more than anywhere else in the world.

Here's how a geyser is formed: Water trickles into the ground and collects in pockets or channels. The water is then heated by the magma layer. The warm water expands and creates pressure. If the underground channel has a narrow spot, the water below is under tremendous pressure. The pressure causes the water to steam and boil up through the cracks in the surface. When the hot water reaches the surface, it erupts into the air and looks like a water volcano. This water volcano, or geyser, eruption ends once enough pressure has been released. Then the cycle begins again.

Did you know Old Faithful erupts about every 78 minutes? Each eruption lasts about three minutes and creates a 100 feet (30.5 meters) high fountain. Old Faithful is the most famous attraction and geyser at Yellowstone. Other geysers include Castle Geyser and Norris Geyser Basin.

The three other thermal features at Yellowstone are fumaroles, mud pots, and hot springs.

Fumaroles are steam vents spewing gases out of the ground. Fumaroles is a Latin word meaning "smoke."

Mud pots occur when thermal steam rises through a mud puddle. It creates a bubbling, burping mud pot. Did you know a mud pot colored by minerals is called paint pot?

Hot springs are created when steam rises through cold water and warms it. The lakes and streams of Yellowstone are cold, and the steam creates hot springs. One of Yellowstone's hot springs is called Rainbow Pool.

Algae and bacteria live in some hot springs which tint the water orange, yellow, brown, or green. Grand Prismatic Pool is a hot spring colored by algae and bacteria.

Some hot springs carry minerals to the surface. Over time, these minerals harden, build up, and makes terraces and steps. Mammoth Hot Springs is the largest of this type of hot spring at Yellowstone.

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4. Name ONE of the native wild animals living in Yellowstone National Park.
Bison (or buffalo), pronghorn, elk, moose, gray wolves, black bears, grizzly bears, ground squirrels, prairie dogs, chipmunks, badgers, coyotes, foxes, hawks, owls, ravens, pelicans, wrens, trumpeter swans, Montana grayling, and cutthroat trout.

Native means belonging to a certain place. The native wild animals living in Yellowstone have been there before the first Europeans arrived.

Bison is a giant, shaggy member of the cattle family. Did you know bison are usually mistakenly called buffalo? Bison were very important to the Native Americans in the West. The Native Americans hunted bison and used every part for food, clothing, and shelter. White settlers came to the West and killed many bison. Today, Yellowstone has one of the largest bison herds anywhere.

Pronghorns are the faster runners in America. They eat in sagebrush flats. Pronghorns look like antelope. However, antelope only live in Africa and Asia.

Elk are giant members of the deer family, and Yellowstone has more elk than anywhere. In the fall, bull (male) elk make a loud, whistling bugle call. Did you know elk also mew like cats and chirp like birds?

Moose are the largest deer. Some moose are as big as a horse. They like to browse on willow brush and aquatic plants in Yellowstone's marshy areas. Aquatic means living in or having to do with water.

By the mid-1920's, the gray wolves at Yellowstone had been killed. In the mid-1990's, gray wolves were returned to Yellowstone.

Yellowstone has black bears and grizzly bears. Did you know the color of the black bears' fur can be brown, cinnamon, or blond? Black bears eat meat, grass, wildflowers, and human food. Grizzly bears are larger and fiercer than black bears. There are only a few places in the United States where grizzlies live, and Yellowstone is one of them. Did you know the grizzly bear gets its name from the silvery or grizzled color of its fur?

Yellowstone has smaller animals, like ground squirrels, prairie dogs, and chipmunks. It also has animals that prey on these smaller animals, like badgers, coyotes, foxes, hawks, and owls.

The birds of Yellowstone include blue-black ravens, snow-white pelicans, tiny wrens, and giant trumpeter swans.

Yellowstone has lakes and streams filled with fish. Two of these fish are the rare Montana grayling and the cutthroat trout. Did you know the cutthroat trout can only be found at Yellowstone?

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5. True or False: The Yellowstone River flows through Yellowstone Lake.
True. Yellowstone Lake was formed by glaciers sliding down from the surrounding mountains. Did you know glaciers are ancient rivers of ice? Yellowstone Lake is 20 miles (32 kilometers) long and very deep. The Yellowstone River flows through Yellowstone Lake.

Over thousands of years, Yellowstone River carved a deep canyon through solid rock. This is called the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone. It is 1,500 feet (457 meters) deep. There are two waterfalls within this canyon. They are called Upper Yellowstone Falls and Lower Yellowstone Falls. They are the two largest waterfalls within the park. Lower Yellowstone Falls is as tall as a 31-story building, and Upper Yellowstone Falls is as high as an 11-story building.

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What I Learned Section 2 -- Define the following words:
Algae: Very tiny plants that live in water

Bacteria: Tiny, one-celled organisms

Erosion: Slow wearing away of rock or other material by water, wind, ice, and other natural forces

Minerals: Materials that make up rocks

Petrified: Turned to Stone

Wilderness: Unspoiled place filled with wild and natural landscapes, plants, and animals

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Bonus Questions (Answer 1 of the Following Questions for Your FREE Bookmark):
a.
Name ONE of the features at Yellowstone National Park.
Mount Washburn, Old Faithful, Fountain Paint Pot, Rainbow Pool, Grand Prismatic Pool, Morning Glory Pool, Mammoth Hot Springs, Yellowstone Lake, Yellowstone River, Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone, Upper Yellowstone Falls, and Lower Yellowstone Falls.

Mount Washburn is an ancient volcano. A volcano is a cone-shape mountain of lava. Mount Washburn is also the highest point in Yellowstone.

Old Faithful is a geyser. It erupts about every 78 minutes. Each eruption lasts about three minutes and creates a 100 feet high fountain. Did you know Old Faithful is the most famous attraction and geyser at Yellowstone?

Fountain Paint Pot is a mud pot colored by minerals. Mud pots occur when thermal steam rises through a mud puddle. It creates a bubbling, burping mud pot.

Rainbow Pool is a hot spring. Hot springs are created when steam rises through cold water and warms it. The lakes and streams of Yellowstone are cold, and the steam creates hot springs.

Grand Prismatic Pool is a hot spring colored by algae and bacteria. Algae and bacteria live in some hot springs and tint the water orange, yellow, brown, or green.

Mammoth Hot Springs is the largest hot spring at Yellowstone which carries minerals to the surface. Over time, these minerals harden, build up, and make terraces and steps.

Yellowstone Lake is 20 miles long and very deep. It was formed by glaciers sliding down from the surrounding mountains.

Yellowstone River flows through Yellowstone Lake. Over thousands of years, Yellowstone River carved a deep canyon through solid rock. This is called the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone.

There are two waterfalls within this Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone. They are called Upper Yellowstone Falls and Lower Yellowstone Falls. Did you know they are the two largest waterfalls within the park?

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b. What is a petrified forest?
A forest whose trees turned to stone after being covered by ash and mud from an erupting volcano.

In ancient times, volcanic eruptions buried forests with ash and mud in Yellowstone. The ash and mud contained minerals. The minerals were slowly absorbed by the trees, and the trees turned to stone. This created petrified trees.

Erosion gradually wore away the soil surrounding the stone trees which exposed Yellowstone's petrified forests. Did you know erosion is the slow wearing away of rock or other material by water, wind, ice, and other natural forces?

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c. True or False: Natural fires help keep forests healthy.
True.
Natural fires are started by lightning rather than humans. These fires destroy the old, dead timber and fertilize the soil with ash. Yellowstone has a policy to let natural fires burn unless they endanger human life or property.

In 1988, Yellowstone had many wildfires. These fires thinned the forests and created sunny new meadows with grasses, wildflowers, and brush. This new vegetation provides food for bison, elk, deer, and pronghorn which provides food for wolves, bears, and coyotes.

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d. Use five of the words in Section 2 in a sentence.
Answers may vary. Here are sample sentences from our young readers:
There is algae and bacteria in some hot springs at Yellowstone.

Bacteria are very tiny.

Erosion can create side canyons.

Rocks are made up of minerals.

There is a petrified forest at Yellowstone.

I like to go camping in the wilderness with my family.

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e. Have a parent or friend give you a spelling test with EACH of the words in Section 2.

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More Valuable Information about Yellowstone National Park:
Yellowstone National Park (NPS)
Old Faithful Geyser WebCam - Yellowstone National Park
Mount Washburn WebCam - Yellowstone National Park
National Geographic for Kids: Yellowstone
Yellowstone (AreaParks.com)

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