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Database Provider


National Park Service


3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th


Science, Social Studies, Earth and Space Sciences, Geography

Resource Types

  • Videos, 3 minutes, 9 seconds, CC, Subtitles
  • Artwork

Regional Focus

North America, United States, USA - West


YouTube Video

Drawing Connections: Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument

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  • This video discusses the preservation of the Gachado Line Camp building in Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument, which was built over 100 years ago to house people working in the Desert Southwest.
  • The video describes how preservationists are coming up with innovative ways to protect this one-room adobe structure from the changing environmental conditions brought about by climate change.
Teaching Tips


  • The student-friendly examples of improvisation in the video allow students to make connections between their own lives and what is happening at Organ Pipe Cactus National Park. 
  • This encouraging video shows how using the scientific method and being creative and resourceful can help students solve problems.
  • Watching the watercolor artwork take shape during this video may be engaging for artistic students.

Additional Prerequisites

  • The term "make do" is significant in this video so pre-teaching this term and its relationship to the word improvise may be helpful for some students.
  • It may be helpful to pause the video after the description of how adobe was made to ensure that students understand what adobe is and how it is eroding. 


  • This video would be a wonderful addition to a unit or lesson about erosion.  Hands-on projects with clay could recreate the work that preservationists are doing to study the effects of erosion on the structures.
  • Prior to watching the video, the teacher could help build background knowledge on this topic.  Teachers could ask students to discuss times they have had to make do when they didn't have the materials they needed. 
  • An additional discussion topic to build background knowledge and build cultural connections could be to have students discuss parts of their own history or the special things in their lives that they want to preserve.  
  • Other similar resources include this Jill Pelto watercolor and this video about preserving historic structures in New Jersey.
Scientist Notes
The video illustrates how climate change has threatened adobe structures (locally-made buildings from plant-based materials and clay) and outlines how adaptive measures to reinforce them with new materials can mitigate climate change impacts. This resource is recommended for teaching.
  • English Language Arts
    • Speaking & Listening (K-12)
      • 7.SL.2 Analyze the main ideas and supporting details presented in diverse media and formats and explain how the ideas clarify a topic, text, or issue under study.
  • Science
    • ESS2: Earth's Systems
      • 4.ESS2.1 Make observations and/or measurements to provide evidence of the effects of weathering or the rate of erosion by water, ice, wind, or vegetation.
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