Alligator in the Cypress Swamp
Alligator in the Cypress Swamp on the Natchez Trace, Milepost 122
NPS Photo

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Grade Level:
First Grade-Graduate Level (Masters, PhD)
Subject:
Art, Community, Language Arts, Leadership, Museum Studies, Service Learning
Duration:
Variable, could be up to a yearlong project
Group Size:
60 or more
National/State Standards:
These will vary with the subject matter being addressed. Besides community awareness, subject areas covered could include animals, plants, history, American Indians, Natchez Trace Parkway, Mississippi Studies, art, and music. 
Keywords:
public relations, communications, community service, service learning, media team, podcast, Photography, music, filming, multimedia

Overview

This lesson plan inspires community service projects associated with the  Natchez Trace Parkway and National Scenic Trails. It raises awareness of the national parkway that runs through Mississippi, Alabama and Tennessee. National Parks have limited avenues to raise awareness and teach people about their national treasures.
Students will produce community service media projects about some aspect of the Natchez Trace Parkway and its National Scenic Trail. This is a highly variable lesson plan.

Objective(s)

Enduring Understandings:

a) Individuals have responsibilities to their communities. 

B) Creativity, critical thinking, and innovation are critical skills in communication. 

 Essential Question: How can you communicate the value of a National Park?

Vary with subject.



Background

Examples: 

♦A Middle School project supporting the Everglades National Park is available at http://www.evergladesplan.org/get_involved/ecotour_2010.aspx 

♦YAP has a couple of examples at  http://www.nps.gov/nebe/photosmultimedia/index.htm

♦Many photos are available through the Natchez Trace Parkway Division of Interpretation. Photos may be available at www.nps.gov/natr.

Raise awareness for your local area of the Natchez Trace Parkway. Help your students produce a media presentation that promotes the Natchez Trace Parkway and the National Scenic Trails! Show it in your school, other area schools, day care, etc., or even the public library. Be sure to send a copy of it to the Natchez Trace Parkway, Division of Interpretation. Maybe the Natchez Trace will even feature it on its website. If we get enough, we will make a compilation DVD that will be available to the public. If we get enough quality products we will host a multi-media festival!

If there are local media production resources, perhaps they could be enlisted to help develop a production.



Materials

Whatever it takes to make a computer or DVD production between 2 and 60 minutes long. Minimum would be a computer with a presentation program or a digital camera and computer to edit the video.

Procedure

Student Task and Instruction: Variable with project selected by students or teacher. Some ideas to spark imagination:

Stills put into a Power Point type production:

• Shots of stills compiled into a video format

• School kids' artwork from different grade levels/ media types

• Photos of Natchez Trace Parkway and National Scenic Trails

• Poetry, music, nature sounds as background music

Live production:

• Music Video •

 Video/still mix

• Hip-hop video

• Cheers

• Song and dance

• Mini-documentary

• Non-fictional Skit about boatmen, postal rider, etc.

• Fictional story about boatmen, postal rider, etc.

• Present or film a "live news report" about an event on the Natchez Trace.

Final production should be able to be shown on a DVD.

Teacher Closure: Put it on your school website or on YouTube. Show the video(s) to other classes, host a viewing at the public library, and submit a copy to the Natchez Trace Parkway, Division of Interpretation, 2680 Natchez Trace Parkway, Tupelo, MS 38804. 662-680-4027

Assessment

Student participation

Park Connections

Promotes conservation, environmental education, and highlights nature and the parks.

Extensions

1.) Have students invent a project if they had unlimited funds and resources.

2.) Have students design a project that they would do if they had unlimited funds.



Additional Resources

This is an excellent example of a Middle School project supporting the Everglades National Park is available at http://www.evergladesplan.org/get_involved/ecotour_2010.aspx

 Many photos are available through the Natchez Trace Parkway Division of Interpretation. Photos may be available at www.nps.gov/natr.



Vocabulary

Variable