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 42

  • Natchez Trace Parkway

    Safety First!

    Safety tips for the Natchez Trace Parkway

    This is a pre-visit safety lesson. It is highly recommended that this lesson be reviewed before students visit the Natchez Trace Parkway. Students will learn about safety concerns and how to prepare for a visit to the Natchez Trace Parkway through class discussion and checklist. Discuss the safety sheet and hazards students may encounter in the park.

    Type:
    Lesson Plan
    Grade level:
    General
    Subjects:
    Social Studies
    Keywords:
    hiking safety, field trips, field trip, school children, field trip preparation, field trip safety
  • Natchez Trace Parkway

    Alien Invasions (6th Grade)

    Chinese Privet (Ligustrum sinense), a non-native invasive plant species

    On a National Scenic Trail, students will investigate how privet, a non-native plant species, out-competes and affects native plant species diversity.

    Type:
    Lesson Plan
    Grade level:
    Sixth Grade
    Subjects:
    Biology: Plants, Science and Technology
    Keywords:
    exotic plants, plants, botany, biology, national scenic trail, plant diversity, Invasive Plant, invasive species, privet
  • Alligator in the Cypress Swamp

    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 Plan
    Grade level:
    First Grade-Graduate Level (Masters, PhD)
    Subjects:
    Art, Community, Language Arts, Leadership, Museum Studies, Service Learning
    Keywords:
    public relations, communications, community service, service learning, media team, podcast, Photography, music, filming, multimedia
  • North American Beaver (Castor canadensis) at Rock Springs, milepost 330.2

    On a National Scenic Trail students will observe how a keystone species can create an ecosystem used by a variety of different species, leading to an overall increase in biodiversity.
    The students will be visiting a National Scenic Trail and observing an ecosystem created by a keystone species (beavers).

    Type:
    Lesson Plan
    Grade level:
    Ninth Grade-Twelfth Grade
    Subjects:
    Biology: Animals
    Keywords:
    keystone species, biology, Beaver, animals, animal population
  • Natchez Trace Parkway

    Spotted Salamanders

    Spotted Salamanders

    The students will learn that scientists have learned that spotted salamanders protect themselves by having bright spots. The students will learn that spotted salamanders live in our neighborhoods (see teacher fact sheet) and along the Natchez Trace Parkway. They are very pretty but they taste terrible if another animal tries to eat them. Explain to the students that scientists study the salamanders to learn all about their lives.

    Type:
    Lesson Plan
    Grade level:
    Kindergarten
    Subjects:
    Biology: Animals, Ecology, Science and Technology
    Keywords:
    salamander, metamorphosis, Amphibian, spotted salamander, adaptations, poisonous, animal, life science, science, scientist, Young Scientist
  • 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 Plan
    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
    Keywords:
    current events, journalism, communication, communications, service learning, stewardship, community involvement
  • Planning the Trek

    Students will use maps to locate specific points and measure the distances between those points. Students they will pretend they are mapping out a trip along the Natchez Trace. They will determine how long it would take to drive (easy), walk (hard), bike, and ride the Natchez Trace Parkway today. They will compare their answers to the average time it took historic boatmen to travel the Trace.

    Type:
    Lesson Plan
    Grade level:
    Fourth Grade-Eighth Grade
    Subjects:
    Civic Engagement, Design, Family Life, Geography, Health, History, Mathematics, Physical Education, Physical Fitness, Recreation / Leisure / Tourism, Social Studies, Transportation
    Keywords:
    legend, Map Key, boatman, Kaintuck, math, trip planning, mapping, measuring, distance, map skills
  • 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
  • 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
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