Trails Across America
- Grade Level:
- Fifth Grade
- Social Studies
- 2 class periods
- Group Size:
- Up to 36
- National/State Standards:
- 1, 3, 7
National Scenic Trail, National Historic Trail, Terrain
OverviewStudents will research National Historic and Scenic Trails, answer questions about the trail, generate a map showing the locations of the trails, and report orally. The students may work alone or in pairs. They will research an assigned trail (see list) on the internet www.nps.gov/nts or through maps pre-ordered or downloaded by the teacher. They will answer the questions on the worksheet. They will map their trail on a blank US map. When the students are finished, they will share what they have
Enduring Understanding: The United States Government provides services that preserve and protect our cultural and natural resources for people to enjoy.
Essential Question: What can we learn from, and enjoy about our National Scenic Trails and National Historic Trails?The students will:
1) research National Trails System
2) research answers questions about National Trails
3) Make a map of historic trails in the United States
4) report orally
The National Trails System was legislated in 1968. These trails provide for outdoor recreation needs, promote the enjoyment, appreciation, and preservation of open-air, outdoor areas and historic resources, and encourage public access and citizen involvement.
There are four trail designations in the National Trail System, National Historic Trails (NHT) and National Scenic Trails (NST) are established by Congress. National Recreation Trails (NRT) and connecting/side trails are recognized by the Secretary of the Interior or the Secretary of Agriculture. The trail designations are not necessarily mutually exclusive. National Scenic Trails are continuous protected scenic corridors that offer superlative recreational experiences. National Historic Trails commemorate prominent routes of exploration, migration, trade, communication, or military action. Today they generally consist of remnant sites, trail segments, or associated structures. Most are linked together by auto tour routes. National recreation trails recognize existing trails that connect people to local resources and improve their quality of life.
These trails are legislated by the federal government and managed by the National Park Service under the executive branch of the United States government.
2.) US Map (blank copy)
3.) "National Trails System Map and Guide" (found at http://www.nps.gov/hfc/carto/nps-trails.htm or call 1800-305-7417 to check hard-copy availability)
4.) Information about the National Trail System (on the back of the map or online at www.nps.gov/nts or available upon request from each trail management unit
5.) Materials to produce a short report
6.) Option: One large map of the United States
Student Task: Students will research trails, answer questions on a worksheet, map a trail on map and report orally.
Option: write a report from their answers
Option: all will map their trail on one large map.
1.) Locate your assigned trail on a map.
2.) Look up information on the internet (or from map) about your trail.
3.) Read the information and answer the questions on the worksheet.
4.) Draw your trail on the blank map of the United States.
5.) When you are finished, you will tell the rest of the class about what you have learned.
Teacher Closure: The teacher should explain that these trails are preserved and protected as they are important to the formation and preservation of our country. If we paved over every historic place, our country would not have a physical connection to those important icons of our past. Preserving scenic trails provides places for people to experience the beauty and the environmental framework of our land. Our National Trails connect the concrete with the aesthetic, our physical with our intellect and our history with our future.
AssessmentStudents will be graded on the completeness and quality of their reports.
Park ConnectionsThe Natchez Trace Parkway has the Natchez Trace National Scenic Trail.
1.) Visit the Natchez Trace Parkway and if possible walk on sections of the National Scenic Trails and the historic Old Trace.
2.) Have the students develop a hypothetical plan to make a "historic" or "scenic trail" or "recreational trail" on their school grounds or neighborhood.
The mock- plan should include:
1. Trail designation
2. Justification for choosing the trail
3. Who would use the trail?
4. What changes in the environment need to be made to build the trail?
5. The length of the trail.
6. A map showing the location of the trail.
7. Who would need to be contacted for permission to make the trail?
8. Option: How much would it cost to build this trail?
List of National Scenic Trails:
Appalachian National Scenic Trail
Continental Divide National Scenic Trail
Florida National Scenic Trail
Ice Age National Scenic Trail
Natchez Trace National Scenic Trail
New England National Scenic Trail
North Country National Scenic Trail
Pacific Crest National Scenic Trail
Pacific Northwest National Scenic Trail
Potomac Heritage National Scenic Trail
List of National Historic Trails:
Ala Kahakai National Historic Trail
California National Historic Trail
Captain John Smith Chesapeake National Historic Trail
El Camino Real de los Tejas National Historic Trail
El Camino Real de Tierra Adentro National Historic Trail
Iditarod National Historic Trail
Juan Bautista de Anza National Historic Trail
Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail
Mormon Pioneer National Historic Trail
Nez Perce National Historic Trail
Old Spanish National Historic Trail
Oregon National Trail
Overmountain Victory National Historic Trail
Pony Express National Historic Trail
Selma to Montgomery National Historic Trail
Star-Spangled Banner National Historic Trail
Trail of Tears National Historic Trail
Washington-Rochambeau Revolutionary Route National Historic Trail