Grand Canyon National Park (True Books)
What I Learned Section 1 -- Answer the
1. The Grand Canyon is located in which state?
b) Arizona. The Grand Canyon is 277 miles
(446 kilometers) long, an average of 10 miles (16 km) across,
and 1 mile (1.6 km) deep. It is located in the Colorado Plateau
in Arizona. The canyon has a rainbow of different colors of rock.
In 1908, President Theodore Roosevelt created
a national monument around the Grand Canyon to protect it. In
1919, Congress expanded the monument to a park. This example show
the difference between a national monument and a national park.
National monuments are created by the U.S. President and protect
one main feature. National parks are created by the U.S. Congress
and preserve a combination of features including scenery, wildlife,
and historical sites.
Today, the Grand Canyon National Park contains
1,904 square miles (4,931 square km). Every year, millions of
people visit the Grand Canyon. Visitors can enjoy the park by
car, tour bus, antique railroad train, mule train, and river raft.
Visitors can also hike 400 miles of scenic trails along the South
Rim, the North Rim, and into the canyon. Remember to take good
hiking shoes, a sun hat, snacks, and lots of water.
The Grand Canyon is grand. Here are facts
about other land formations in the world. Did
the Amazon in South America is the world's biggest river?
Sahara in Africa is the world's largest hot desert?
Everest in Asia is the world's highest peak?
2. True or False: Layers
of limestone, sandstone, and shale can be found at the Grand Canyon.
True. The Earth is about five billion years old. The layered rocks
of the Grand Canyon walls goes back about two billion years. That's
a long time!
Each layer of rock represents a different
period. The limestone layers were deposited by prehistoric shallow
seas. Sandstone layers were formed by long-ago deserts and wind-blown
dunes. The shale layers are a result of muddy river flats called
deltas. Did you know shale
is a dark, soft, oily rock?
The oldest exposed rock is at the bottom
of the Grand Canyon. It contains little evidence of life. Moving
up the canyon walls, the rocks move forward in time. There are
fossil remains of simple sea creatures followed by fossil plants,
insects, fish, reptiles, and more.
3. The Grand Canyon
was formed by which river?
a) The Grand Canyon River
b) The Colorado River
c) The Mississippi River
d) The Yellowstone River
b) The Colorado River. The Grand Canyon
was carved out over six million years ago by the Colorado River.
The Colorado River runs east to west from
the Rocky Mountains to the Gulf of California. As it flows, it
carries millions of tons of melted snow and billions of gritty
fragments of sand and silt (powdered rock). The Colorado River
moves the melted snow, sand, silt, and rocks, and it slams them
against its bed and banks. This flow bashes, gouges, and grounds
its way deeper and deeper into the Colorado Plateau exposing layers
of rock and time.
Did you know
a river carves a canyon deeper while erosion widens a canyon?
Erosion can be caused by rain, wind, ice, or gravity. Erosion
widens a canyon, especially near its top, edges, or rims. Flash
floods create and widen side canyons.
The river, rain, wind, ice, and gravity
all help shape the Grand Canyon.
4. True or False: There
are three life zones at the Grand Canyon.
True. The Grand Canyon has three distinct life zones (or plant
and animal communities) with 300 kinds of birds, 88 species of
mammals, 58 types of reptiles, and 25 varieties of fish. The three
separate habitats are determined by elevation, temperature, and
The first life zone is the canyon. It is
the lowest, hottest, driest, and harshest of the life zones. In
the summer, the temperature can be over 100 degrees Fahrenheit
or 38 degrees Celsius. The rocks are even hotter.
Life can survive in the canyon because
of the Colorado River. Cottonwoods, willows, and other trees line
the river bank. The trees provide shade which cools the air which
slows evaporation which helps the soil stay moist which allows
plants to grow which provides food and shelter for many animals.
The bigger canyon animals include desert
bighorn sheep, mule deer, and mountain lions. The sheep and deer
eat plants and are called herbivores. Mountain lions eat meat
and are called carnivores.
The second life zone is the South Rim.
It is higher, cooler, and moister than the canyon bottom. It has
forests of pinyon pines, ponderosa pines, and junipers. It also
contains flowering bushes, cactus, and dry-land wildflowers. The
animals of the South Rim are deer, rabbits, squirrels, porcupines,
coyotes, and birds.
The third life zone is the North Rim. It
is higher than the South Rim, and it is the coolest and greenest
part of the park. Did you know
the North Rim is also the least crowded part of the park? The
North Rim has forests of ponderosa pine, aspen, and other mountain
trees. It also has lakes, creeks, and meadows. The North Rim is
open to visitors from spring to fall. The road closes in the winter
because of snow.
The largest animal on the North Rim is
the elk. Elk are members of the deer family. Every fall, male
elk make loud, bugle-like mating calls. There are also black bears
and Kaibab squirrels living on the North Rim. The Kaibab squirrel
is native to the North Rim and is not found anywhere else on Earth.
This squirrel lives in ponderosa pines. It has big ears with long
hairs on top. It has a dark body and a long, white, bushy tail.
5. Which of the following
Native Americans lived near the Grand Canyon almost one thousand
About ten thousand years ago, prehistoric
Native Americans probably discovered the Grand Canyon. They were
nomadic hunters and gatherers. Nomadic means constantly moving.
They did not build permanent houses and left little evidence of
their presence. Some of the items they did leave were small animal
dolls. These dolls are made from willow twigs and twisted into
shapes of deer and sheep. They are about four-thousand years old.
They were not toys. They were sacred objects.
About one thousand years ago, Anasazi came
to the Grand Canyon. Anasazi is a Navajo word meaning "The Ancient
Ones" or "Ancient Enemies." They were also hunters and gatherers.
Later, the Anasazi grew vegetables for food and cotton for clothing.
They built stone homes and painted pottery. On the South Rim of
the Grand Canyon is the Tusayan Ruin. It is the ruins of an eight
hundred year old Anasazi home.
In 1540, the Europeans first came to the
Grand Canyon. Garcia Lopez de Cardeñas was a Spanish explorer.
He was part of a larger expedition of Francisco Coronado. Cardeñas
and a small group of explorers left Coronado's group and traveled
west. The group met the Hopi, and the Hopi guided the explorers
to the Colorado River and the Grand Canyon. Did
you know Cardeñas and his men were the first
Europeans to see the Grand Canyon?
Today, the Havasupai live in Supai Village
on the Havasupai Indian Reservation. It is located in the southwest
corner of the Grand Canyon National Park. They tend livestock,
grow gardens, and sell goods and services to visitors. Havasupai
means "People of the Blue-Green Water." They got their name from
the nearby Havasu Creek and Havasu Falls. A large pool of sparkling
blue-green water lies at the base of the falls.
Other Native American tribes living near
the Grand Canyon are the Navajo, Hualapai, Hopi, and Kaibab-Paiute.
What I Learned Section 2 -- Define the
Elevation: Height above sea level
Erosion: The slow wearing away
of rock or other material by water, wind, ice, and other natural
Evaporation: The conversion by
heat of liquid to vapor, as when boiling water becomes steam
Fossil: The ancient, stony remains
of plants and animals; fossils can be an organism's body, or merely
a track or imprint
Mammals: Animals that are born
live (rather than hatched from eggs), nurse their mother's milk
as infants, and are usually covered with hair; humans are mammals
Nomadic: Constantly moving
Bonus Questions (Answer 1 of the
Following Questions for Your FREE
ONE of the features of the Grand Canyon National Park.
South Rim, North Rim, Tusayan Ruin, Havasu Creek, Havasu Falls,
Havasu Canyon, Supai Village, Bright Angel Trail, Grand Canyon
Village, and Kaibab Canyon.
The South Rim is located on the south side
of the Grand Canyon. The North Rim is located on the north side
of the Grand Canyon. The South and North Rims are two of the Grand
Canyon's three life zones.
The Tusayan Ruin is located on the South
Rim of the Grand Canyon. It is the ruins of an eight hundred year
old Anasazi home.
The Havasu Creek runs down the Havasu Falls
in the Havasu Canyon. This is near the Supai Village where the
Havasupai live. The Supai Village is in the southwest corner of
the Grand Canyon National Park.
The Bright Angel Trail is a trail from
the South Rim into the canyon. It is steep and has little shade
in the morning and evening.
b. Fill in ONE of the
following Fast Facts about the Grand Canyon:
Northwestern Arizona, United States
Nearest City: Flagstaff, Arizona
Size of Park: 1,904 square miles (4,931 square km)
Age of Canyon: About 6 million years
Length of Canyon: 277 miles (446 km)
Depth of Canyon: 4,500 feet (1,372 meters) at South Rim;
5,700 feet (1,737 m) at North Rim; 1 mile (1.6 km) average
Width of Canyon between Rims: 10 miles (16 km) average;
greatest width 18 miles (29 km)
Distances from South to North Rim: 12 miles (19 km) straight-line;
21 miles (34 km) by trail; 215 miles (346 km) by road
Height: North Rim 8,000 feet (2,438 m) above sea level;
South Rim average 6,800 feet (2,072 m) above sea level; Colorado
River 2,200 feet (670 m) above sea level
Annual Rainfall: South Rim average 16 inches (41 centimeters);
North Rim 26 inches (66 cm)
c. Use five of the words
in Section 2 in a sentence.
Answers may vary. Here are sample sentences from our young readers:
It is colder at higher elevations.
Erosion is caused by water
After it rains, the water evaporates
into the air.
I want to look for fossils
when I grow up.
I am a mammal, and so is my
Nomadic people did not stay
in one place.
d. Have a parent or friend give you
a spelling test with EACH of the words in Section 2.
More Valuable Information about Grand
Canyon National Park:
Canyon National Park (NPS)
Conditions at Grand Canyon National Park (NPS)
Canyon Historical Society
Grand Canyon Explorer