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.

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  • Natchez Trace Parkway

    Where is Martha the Passenger Pigeon?

    Where is Martha the Passenger Pigeon?

    This lesson looks at the extinction of the Passenger Pigeon, as well as possible modern alternatives to extinction. This can be used as a traditional lesson, flipped classroom, or facilitated dialogue.

    Type:
    Curriculum Units
    Grade level:
    Fourth Grade - Twelfth Grade
    Subjects:
    Agriculture, Art, Biodiversity, Biology: Animals, Conservation, Ecology, Environment, Museum Studies, Philosophy, Recreation Ecology, Science History, Wildlife Biology, Wildlife Management
    National/State Standards:
    LS2A Interdependent Relationships in Ecosystems LS2C Ecosystems Dynamics Functioning and Resilience LS4D Biodiversity and Humans Asking Questions and Defining Problems Cause and Effect
  • Natchez Trace Parkway

    Through Our Own Eyes: A Chickasaw Perspective on Removal

    Through Our Own Eyes: A Chickasaw Perspective on Removal

    This lesson was developed by the Chickasaw Nation Department of Culture and Humanities. Students whose ancestors had been removed to Oklahoma returned to their ancestral homelands in Mississippi to create educational resources for the Natchez Trace Parkway. This is one of those resources.

    Type:
    Curriculum Units
    Grade level:
    Ninth Grade - Twelfth Grade
    Subjects:
    American Indian History and Culture, Anthropology, Civil Rights Movement, Pioneer America, Social Studies, Sociology, Westward Expansion
    National/State Standards:
    (1) Oklahoma History and Government Content Standard 2.3: (2) Oklahoma History and Government Content Standard 2.4A: (3) U.S. History Content Standard 1.2A: (4) U.S. History Content Standard 1.2B:
  • 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.

    Type:
    Lesson Plans
    Grade level:
    Eighth Grade - Twelfth Grade
    Subjects:
    African American History and Culture, Civil Rights Movement, Civil War, History, Social Studies
  • 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.

    Type:
    Lesson Plans
    Grade level:
    Sixth Grade - Twelfth Grade
    Subjects:
    African American History and Culture, Agriculture, American Indian History and Culture, Anthropology, Aquatic Studies, Archaeology, Biodiversity, Biology: Animals, Biology: Plants, Botany, Civic Engagement, Civil Rights Movement, Civil War, Climate Change, Community, Conservation, Constitutional Amendments, Constitutional Law, Earth Science, Ecological Engineering, Ecology, Education, Environment, Environmental Law, Family Life, Fire Ecology, Geography, Geology, Government, Health, Historic Preservation, History, Hydrology, Immigration, International Relations, Journalism, Language Arts, Media Studies, Planning/Development, Recreation / Leisure / Tourism, Recreation Ecology, Science and Technology, Social Studies, War of 1812, Westward Expansion, Wildlife Biology, Wildlife Management, Women's History, Writing
    National/State Standards:
    Variable depending on assignment Social Studies: 6th: 2,3 8th 4,5,6,7,8 MS Studies: 1,2,3,4,5 US Hist 1877 to Present: 2,4,5,6 US Government: 2,4,5,6 Economics: 3,4,5,6 Geography: 5 Local Resource Studies: 1,2,3,4,5
  • Natchez Trace Parkway

    Classified: Bears (and more) on the Trace

    Classified: Bears (and more) on the Trace

    Students will examine the system of classification developed by Carlos Linnaeus in the 1750’s. Students will develop a poster illustrating the Linnaean Classification System.

    Type:
    Lesson Plans
    Grade level:
    Ninth Grade - Twelfth Grade
    Subjects:
    Biology: Animals
    National/State Standards:
    Biology I: 6a.
  • 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.

    Type:
    Lesson Plans
    Grade level:
    Fourth Grade - Eighth Grade
    Subjects:
    Agriculture, Biology: Animals, Ecology, Environment, Recreation Ecology, Wildlife Biology, Wildlife Management
    National/State Standards:
    Environmental Science 2. Develop an understanding of the relationship of ecological factors that effect an ecosystem. e. Explain the causes and effects of changes in population dynamics to carrying capacity and limiting factors.
  • Natchez Trace Parkway

    Cop a Gig for the Trace

    Cop a Gig for the Trace

    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.

    Type:
    Lesson Plans
    Grade level:
    First Grade - Graduate Level (Masters, PhD)
    Subjects:
    Art, Community, Language Arts, Leadership, Museum Studies, Service Learning
    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.
  • Natchez Trace Parkway

    Discovering Diversity

    Discovering Diversity

    The students will visit a National Scenic Trail and investigate the diversity and adaptations of biological organisms along the trail. They will collect data on the trail and create and compare representative grafts in the classroom.

    Type:
    Lesson Plans
    Grade level:
    Fifth Grade - Fifth Grade
    Subjects:
    Biology: Plants
    National/State Standards:
    Life Sciences: 3a, 3b,3e
  • Natchez Trace Parkway

    Fire Safety Review (and Good Fires)

    Fire Safety Review (and Good Fires)

    Students will review fire safety, be introduced to the concept that not all fire is bad, and engage in a physical activity that integrates fitness and fire safety knowledge. A guest speaker from the Fire Management Division at the Natchez Trace Parkway could be requested. The activity involves teamwork, body fitness, and space awareness, as well as fire safety knowledge.

    Type:
    Lesson Plans
    Grade level:
    Kindergarten - Second Grade
    Subjects:
    Fire Safety, Health, Physical Education, Physical Fitness
    National/State Standards:
    Kindergarten- 1a, 1c, 2a, 2b, 4a, 5a, 5b. 1st Grade- 1a, 2a, 2b,4b, 5c,5d. 2nd Grade- 1a, 2b, 5a, 5c, 6a.
  • Natchez Trace Parkway

    Wetland Habitat on the Trace

    Wetland Habitat on the Trace

    The students will be visiting a National Scenic Trail and identifying the plants and animals found in wetlands. In the classroom, students will become familiar with the term wetlands and discuss the role that each organism plays in a wetland ecosystem.

    Type:
    Lesson Plans
    Grade level:
    Ninth Grade - Twelfth Grade
    Subjects:
    Aquatic Studies, Biodiversity, Biology: Animals, Biology: Plants, Botany, Earth Science, Ecology, Environment, Landscapes, Recreation Ecology, Science and Technology, Wildlife Biology, Wildlife Management
    National/State Standards:
    Core Standards: MS Biology I Competency/Obj 3b