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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Showing results 11-20 of 55

  • Spotted Salamander Population Estimation: Capture, Mark, and Recapture Method

    Students will learn how to estimate an animal population and evaluate the results when an unnatural event affects that population. Discuss the necessity for researchers to know how many animals are in a population, and various events that might affect an animal population. They will start with a “spotted salamander population” represented by white beans. They will then “mark” salamanders by replacing spotted beans with white beans. They will estimate the number of individuals in their population

    Type:
    Lesson Plan
    Grade level:
    Ninth Grade-Twelfth Grade
    Subjects:
    Biology: Animals, Community, Ecology, Environment, Mathematics, Science and Technology
    Keywords:
    salamander, metamorphosis, Amphibian, spotted salamander, adaptations, animal population, ecology, population dynamics, wildlife, wildlife biology
  • Trails Across America (secondary 8th-12th)

    Students will work in pairs to research National Historic and Scenic Trails and develop a compare and contrast report of two trails.  Students will work in pairs to research and compare two scenic trails or two historic trails (see list). They will present their reports orally to the rest of the class. Visual aids are to be encouraged. If display boards are used as part of the assignment, the teacher should obtain permission to display them in the school or at a public library.

    Type:
    Lesson Plan
    Grade level:
    Eighth Grade-Twelfth Grade
    Subjects:
    Colonial History, Commerce and Industry, Community, Design, Entrepreneurs, Geography, Government, Health, Hispanic or Latino American History and Culture, Historic Preservation, History, Immigration, Landscapes, Mexican War, Military and Wartime History, Physical Education, Physical Fitness, Pioneer America, Planning/Development, Recreation / Leisure / Tourism, Recreation Ecology, Social Studies, Sociology, Westward Expansion
    Keywords:
    trails, historic trail, scenic trail, human migration, recreation, outdoor recreation, Healthy Parks, healthy parks healthy living
  • Natchez Trace Parkway

    Scavenger Hunt (Fourth Grade)

    Owens Creek habitat

    The teacher will review the components of habitat; food, water, shelter and space.  The teacher will take the students on an easy hike on a section of the Natchez Trace National Scenic Trail. The teacher will direct the students in tallying observations. The teacher will lead the students in the analysis and charting of the results of student observation.

    Type:
    Lesson Plan
    Grade level:
    Fourth Grade
    Subjects:
    Mathematics, Science and Technology
    Keywords:
    habitat, habitats, instinct, Scavenger hunt, field trip, Nature Trail, observation, prediction, data collecting, data recording, graphing, graph
  • A worn path at Dogwood Valley

    "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.

    Type:
    Lesson Plan
    Grade level:
    Seventh Grade-Eighth Grade
    Subjects:
    Language Arts
    Keywords:
    metaphor, simile, allusion, allegory, short story, Literature, Eudora Welty, a worn path
  • Blackland Prairie

    The students will investigate an ecoregion of the NATR and fill out a worksheet with ecoregions characteristics. They will then collect the information into a class scrapbook. If necessary, the teacher will review with the class, the words; biotic, abiotic, biome and landform. The teacher will assign pairs or small groups of students to research the various ecoregions found along the Natchez Trace Parkway. The teacher will assist the students in compiling a scrapbook containing their research.

    Type:
    Lesson Plan
    Grade level:
    Seventh Grade-Eighth Grade
    Subjects:
    Ecology, Environment, Science and Technology
    Keywords:
    biome, abiotic, biotic, ecoregion, ecosystem, landform, ecology, environment, Science and Technology
  • The Kaintucks

    Students will play a game that integrates a lesson about some of the first pioneer travelers of the Natchez Trace. The students will learn about travelers of the Natchez Trace called “Kaintucks” and play a game incorporating what they learned.

    Type:
    Lesson Plan
    Grade level:
    Third Grade-Fifth Grade
    Subjects:
    Physical Education, Social Studies
    Keywords:
    Kaintucks, Kaintuck, boatmen, cooperation, fitness, Physical Fitness, pioneers, pioneer trails, pioneer
  • Natchez Trace Parkway

    Salamanders Crossing: Look Out!

    Salamanders Crossing: Look Out!

    The students will learn about the life stages of the Spotted Salamander. The students will study a map and discuss the plight of the salamanders. The students will create posters to advertise the problem and present possible solutions. They may work in groups to make large posters or individually to create small posters. This lesson will help students learn that they can use scientific information to help improve human interactions with the environment.

    Type:
    Lesson Plan
    Grade level:
    Third Grade-Fourth Grade
    Subjects:
    Biology: Animals, Social Studies
    Keywords:
    salamander, metamorphosis, Amphibian, spotted salamander, adaptations, community service, natchez trace parkway, resource protection, animal protection, animal population, vernal pool, instinct
  • Bear Track found at Rocky Springs, Milepost 54.8

    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 Plan
    Grade level:
    Ninth Grade-Twelfth Grade
    Subjects:
    Biology: Animals
    Keywords:
    black bear, bear, taxonomy, biology, classification
  • Red Fox on the Natchez Trace

    The students will create a scrapbook of the plants and animals of the Natchez Trace Parkway. Each student will be assigned a plant or animal that lives on the Trace.  The students will perform research to find interesting facts about it.  As the students are researching, they should also find a picture of the species.  When all of the assignments have been turned in, the teacher will bind the pages together to make a classroom scrapbook of the animals and plants that live on the Natchez Trace.

    Type:
    Lesson Plan
    Grade level:
    Fifth Grade
    Subjects:
    Biology: Animals, Biology: Plants
    Keywords:
    essay, scrapbook, language arts, biology, botany, animal, research
  • Meriwether Lewis Site Trail Map

    Explain to students that they will be mapping a trail in the forest using a map grid and compass.  Hand out the map grid worksheet.

    Type:
    Lesson Plan
    Grade level:
    Fourth Grade-Sixth Grade
    Subjects:
    Geography, Health, History, Recreation / Leisure / Tourism, Social Studies
    Keywords:
    geography, Trail map, measuring, mapping, Natchez Trace, Roads, boatmen, Kaintucks, natchez trace parkway, cartography, compass, cartographer, trail, trails
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