Planning the Trek
- Grade Level:
- Fourth Grade
- Civic Engagement, Geography, Mathematics, Social Studies
- 30 minutes or more
- Group Size:
- Up to 36
- National/State Standards:
- MS Objectives:
3, 3a, 3b, 3c, 3d, 3f, 3h, 5, 5c
Legend, map key, boatmen
OverviewStudents will use maps to locate specific points and measure the distances between the points and then answer a few questions. Students they will pretend they are mapping out a hike along the Natchez Trace. They will determine how long it would take to drive (easy), walk (hard), bike, ride the Natchez Trace Parkway today. They will compare their answers to the average time it took historic boatmen to travel the Trace. Students may be given different assignments according to their skill levels.
Enduring Understanding: Math can help us to better understand our relationship with the world around us.
Essential Question: What factors make it quicker to hike the Natchez Trace today rather than in the early 1800's.
The students will be able to:
1) locate various places on Natchez Trace Parkway
2) Identify landmarks on a map
3) measure distances between points on a map.
4) Use personal judgment to plan a successful trip.
BackgroundThe old Natchez Trace was a hard place to walk. A very fast journey would take about two weeks. Most people took much longer; some people died or were murdered before they completed their journey. A healthy person in good shape can walk 15 or 20 miles per day. Today An experienced bicyclist might travel 50 miles per day. The speed limit on the Natchez Trace Parkway is 50 miles per hour. Horses can average 35 miles on good trails.
2.) Natchez Trace Map
3.) Bicycling Tracking Sheet
4.) Car or Motorcycle Tracking Sheet
5.) Hiking Trip Tracking Sheet
6.) Horseback Riding Tracking Sheet
7.) Scissors and tape to put the 4 sections of map in proper sequence
Provides students and teachers with instructions. Download
4 sections of the map of the Natchez Trace. Each student or pair of students should get all four sections, trim the edges, and tape the sections together in the proper sequence to have a full map of the Trace. Download
For students assigned biking the Trace to fill out their trip. Download
For students assigned to use a car or motorcycle on the Trace to fill out their trip. Download
For students assigned hiking the Trace to fill out their trip. Download
For students assigned riding the Trace to fill out their trip. Download
Student Task: The students will determine the number of stops (nights) or the number of hours it takes to travel the Trace. The students may be assigned only the hiking option, or all of the options.
1.) Map a trip along the Natchez Trace.
2.) Depending on the teacher assignment, you will hike, bike, ride or drive.
3.) Hikers may hike no more than 20 miles per day. You may hike less than 20 miles.
4.) Bikers may bike no more than 50 miles but may bike less.
5.) Riders may ride no more than 35 miles but may ride less and drives must travel no more than 50 miles per hour.
6.) You will need to stop and spend the night at a town or campground.
7.) On your tracking sheet, write the name of the stop and the mileage you traveled that day. When you are done, count the number of stops you made. This is how many nights you spent on the Natchez Trace.
Teacher Closure: Lead the students in a discussion about what factors make it quicker to hike the Natchez Trace today rather than in the early 1800's.
AssessmentParticipation in the activity and follow-up discussion.
Park ConnectionsMakes students more familiar with the Natchez Trace Parkway and the ways they can travel the parkway and trails.
1.) Play the Trekking the Trace Classroom Game
2.) Visit the Natchez Trace Parkway and see how long it takes your school bus to travel from one point to the next.