Lesson Plan

What’s Its Name?

A sign along the Natchez Trace Parkway
NPS Photo

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Grade Level:
Fourth Grade
Subject:
Language Arts, Social Studies
Duration:
1 hour 30 minutes
Group Size:
Up to 36
Setting:
classroom
National/State Standards:
MS Objectives: 1, 1a, 1b, 1c, 1d, 1e, 3, 3a, 3b, 3c, 3d, 3f, 3g, 3h, 5, 5a
Language Arts: 1, 2, 3

Overview

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.

Objective(s)

Enduring Understanding: There is a history and a reason to the naming of things and important places.

Essential Question: Why was the Natchez Trace Parkway given its name?

The students will:

1) locate the Natchez Trace on a map

2) locate the historic placement of the Natchez Trace on a timeline

3) become familiar with the various historical names for the Natchez Trace in chronological order

4) use listening skills to obtain information to complete a worksheet.



Background

The Natchez Trace has had many names over time. The attached classroom narrative reading is a summary of many of those names. See that reading for background information. Student Instruction: The students will learn about different historical names along the Natchez Trace Parkway as they read and listen to the story and then complete a worksheet.

Materials

1.) Classroom Reading

2.) Worksheet

3.) Worksheet Answer Sheet

4.) A map of the Natchez Trace Parkway and Historic timeline posters may be obtained free of charge by calling: 1-800-305-7417



Procedure

Student Task: Students should listen to the story and complete the matching worksheet as the story is read. Two students will read the story, one will read the "facts" written in plain text and the other will read historical fiction, written in italics.

Student Instruction:

1.) The students will collectively locate the Natchez Trace on a map.

2.) The students will collectively locate the time periods referred to in the narrative on a timeline. This may work best if the teacher stops after each section of narrative and allows the students to locate the time period.

3.) The students will take turns reading the narrative.

4.) The students may take notes if desired.

5.) The students will listen to the story, participate in a class discussion and then complete a matching worksheet.

Classroom Discussion Suggestions:

1. How did the Natchez Trace get started? (animals and then American Indians)

2. Where is the Natchez Trace? (Runs between Natchez, MS and Nashville, TN, cuts through Alabama.)

3. What do you think it was like to travel on the trail when only animals used it?

4. Who were some of the people who have used the Natchez Trace? (Indians, pioneers, boatmen, Kaintucks, post riders, military, recreationalist)

5. What are some of the changes the trail has gone through? (game trail, Indian trail, pioneer trail, postal road, paved road, etc)

6. Why did the trail go through so many changes? (Technology was developed to make traveling easier. )

7. Why did it stay in about the same place? (It was easier to improve a trail/road than to start from scratch.)

8. Who now takes care of the Natchez Trace Parkway? (National Park Service, US Government (Executive Branch))

9. If you could use a time machine and travel on the Trace during any time period, which one would you choose? Why? (various answers)

Teacher Closure: Review in the activity and follow up worksheet.

Assessment

Participation in the activity and follow up worksheet.

Park Connections

Discusses the history of the Natchez Trace Parkway and the way things were names along the Trace.

Extensions

1.) Field trip to the Natchez Trace Parkway.

2.) Provide the students a list of names of people and places on the Natchez Trace. Have them choose a person and write a report about that person and how they were associated with the Old Natchez Trace.

3.) Alternatively, if the student knows a family member or friend who has a name associated with the Natchez Trace, have them investigate that family's role on the Old Natchez Trace.



Vocabulary

(see various names for the Natchez Trace), Boatmen