• A curve along the Natchez Trace Parkway with fall colors

    Natchez Trace

    Parkway AL,MS,TN

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  • Portion of National Scenic Trail Near Tupelo Closed to Hikers

    Part of the Natchez Trace National Scenic Trail (NOT the Parkway) near Tupelo, MS, has been closed until 2015 due to construction under Tupelo's Major Thoroughfare Construction Project. Parkway travelers may expect delays, but no detours are expected. More »

Curriculum Materials

The Natchez Trace Parkway is a diverse blend of history, environment, and recreation. Its thousands of years of human history began with travelers who pre-dated the mound builders, and continues on through 20th century public works projects. The Trace contains diverse environmental features ranging from mixed hardwood forests on foothills, to prairie and swamps. The 444-mile corridor provides opportunities for a vast variety of outdoor recreational experiences. Our educational program reflects the diversity of the Trace and provides educational experiences that engage students and inspire learning.

We are currently updating our pages, so please be patient with our progress and check back as our lessons become searchable. Links to lesson plans are below and also at the bottom of the For Teachers page.

Browse Our Curriculum Materials

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  • Natchez Trace Parkway

    United States Colored Troops in the Civil War

    United States Colored Troops in the Civil War

    African American troops fought valiantly in the Civil War. This Teacher Ranger Teacher created lesson uses a web quest and primary sources to look at the contributions of these brave soldiers.

  • Natchez Trace Parkway

    Study for A Worn Path by Eudora Welty

    Study for A Worn Path by Eudora Welty

    "A Worn Path,” is a short story written by Eudora Welty in 1940. The story is set on the Natchez Trace and the town of Natchez, MS. The protagonist is Phoenix Jackson an elderly African-American woman who goes on a heroic quest to procure medicine for her ill grandson. Students will read “A Worn Path,” complete a comprehension quiz, discuss the layers of metaphor, simile, allusion, and allegory utilized by Welty.

  • Natchez Trace Parkway

    Spotted Salamanders

    Spotted Salamanders

    The students will learn that scientists have learned that spotted salamanders protect themselves by having bright spots. The students will learn that spotted salamanders live in our neighborhoods (see teacher fact sheet) and along the Natchez Trace Parkway. They are very pretty but they taste terrible if another animal tries to eat them. Explain to the students that scientists study the salamanders to learn all about their lives.

  • Natchez Trace Parkway

    Traveling the Natchez Trace

    Traveling the Natchez Trace

    The students will engage in several physical exercises while using map skills. The students will engage in a number of different basic physical exercises such as jumping jacks, push-ups, jogging, skipping, crunches, etc.

  • Natchez Trace Parkway

    Your Target Heart Rate

    Your Target Heart Rate

    Students will be put through a jog on a nature trail of the parkway and learn the importance of stretching and exercising in their target heart rate zone. The students will determine their pulse and maximum heart rate (MHR). The students will then determine their target heart rate (THR) zone by using their MHR and record their data. The students will then be put through a mild stretching exercise. Finally, the students will then participate in a jog along the trail to the end of the trail.

  • Natchez Trace Parkway

    What’s Happenin’ on the Trace?

    What’s Happenin’ on the Trace?

    Students will investigate current events associated with the Natchez Trace Parkway. They will write a journalism type report and/or develop a visual presentation. Subject areas may include: community events or issues, plants, animals, invasive species, boundary issues, social issues and environmental issues. The students should pretend they are reporters. They will develop a written or visual project, depending on the teacher assignment.

  • Natchez Trace Parkway

    What’s Its Name?

    What’s Its Name?

    Students will read a short narrative about the history of the Natchez Trace and then complete a matching worksheet. The teacher will help the students locate the Natchez Trace Parkway on a map. The teacher will help the students locate the periods addressed in a narrative on a timeline. The teacher will read, or assist in reading a narrative about the history of the Natchez Trace. The teacher will explain that the narrative is a mix of fact and historical fiction.

  • Natchez Trace Parkway

    Who, what, and why is a National Park?

    Who, what, and why is a National Park?

    Students will research a National Park online or from printed materials and answer relevant questions on a worksheet. They will develop an advertisement for the park they researched. The Natchez Trace Parkway and the Natchez Trace National Scenic Trail should both be assigned. The students will use the information to develop an advertisement in the form of a poster, a song, a skit (a commercial or some other creative form). Student groups will present their ads to the rest of the class.

  • Natchez Trace Parkway

    Animal Populations Up and Down

    Animal Populations Up and Down

    Animal populations have natural cycles. Those cycles are frequently influenced by human pressures. Students will see animal populations grow and decline, and learn more about predator prey adaptations that classify animals. This lesson introduces the basic population dynamic concepts with simplified fluctuations.

  • Natchez Trace Parkway

    Tracing the Civil War

    Tracing the Civil War

    Students will examine the sites and events near the Natchez Trace Parkway in northeastern Mississippi. In these lessons, we will focus on the Civil War sites found near the modern Natchez Trace Parkway in northeastern Mississippi: Okolona, Brice’s Crossroads, and Tupelo. Teachers can choose any of 5 classroom activities regarding these battles and the Civil War Railroad network. Teachers can also bring their classes on field trips for many battlefield and event sites.

Did You Know?

Dogwood tree along the Natchez Trace Parkway

Over 100 different species of trees, including the Dogwood and Redbud, grow along the Natchez Trace Parkway.