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 21-30 of 43

  • 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
  • Cypress Swamp on the NTP

    The students may do this as a part of an extended field trip to the Natchez Trace Parkway. The students will walk on a short trail like the Cypress Swamp. The students will write about and illustrate an element of their experience using the attached prompt sheet.

    Type:
    Lesson Plan
    Grade level:
    Third Grade
    Subjects:
    Biology: Animals, Biology: Plants
    Keywords:
    creative writing, nature, trails
  • Natchez Trace Parkway

    Scavenger Hunt (First Grade)

    Old Natchez Trace Trail, photo taken by Doug Schmidt

    The students will walk on a trail that is a portion of the Natchez Trace Parkway National Scenic Trail and try to find examples of habitat that are pictured on a scavenger hunt sheet. The students will learn the various requirements that plants and animals have and how those requirements differ.

    Type:
    Lesson Plan
    Grade level:
    First Grade
    Subjects:
    Science and Technology
    Keywords:
    habitat, habitats, instinct, Scavenger hunt, field trip, Nature Trail
  • Emerald Mound, milepost 10.3

    By pretending they are investigating a theft, the students will compare and contrast Native American mounds from two time periods. They will use deductive reasoning to determine which objects belong to which mounds in either of the two time periods. The lesson can be used with photos provided in the plan or teachers may check out imitation artifact kits by calling 662-680-4015.

    Type:
    Lesson Plan
    Grade level:
    Fourth Grade-Eighth Grade
    Subjects:
    American Indian History and Culture, Geography, Social Studies
    Keywords:
    Mounds, Mound, Emerald Mound, Native American culture, Native American history, Mississippian period, woodland period, Chickasaw, Choctaw, artifacts, mound artifact, American Indians
  • Natchez Trace Parkway

    History of the Natchez Trace

    History of the Natchez Trace

    The teacher will read How the Natchez Trace Came to Be to the students and the students will write a summary report of the book with help from the teacher. The teacher will show the students an official map of the Natchez Trace Parkway and have the students determine where they live in relation to the Parkway. The teacher will lead a reinforcing class discussion. Alternatively, the teacher may write the notes on the board after the story is read and then have the students copy the notes.

    Type:
    Lesson Plan
    Grade level:
    Third Grade
    Subjects:
    Social Studies, Writing
  • 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 Plan
    Grade level:
    Kindergarten-Second Grade
    Subjects:
    Fire Safety, Health, Physical Education, Physical Fitness
    Keywords:
    fire safety, Physical Fitness, safety, game, physical education, Prescribed Fire, prescribed burning, Prescribed Burn, controlled burn
  • Natchez Trace Parkway

    History of the Natchez Trace

    Slide of travelers on the Natchez Trace

    The teacher will show the students a map of the Natchez Trace Parkway and show the students where they live in relation to the Parkway. The teacher will read "How the Natchez Trace Came to Be" (downloadable)  to the students.  The teacher has the option for several activities. The students can take notes during the reading of the story, help to retell the story, write sentences, fll out a cloze activity, and/or draw a picture of the Natchez Trace Parkway.

    Type:
    Lesson Plan
    Grade level:
    Second Grade
    Subjects:
    Social Studies
    Keywords:
    human migration, early settlers, settlers, Old Trace, Natchez Trace, Old Southwest, Roads, Mississippi History, Alabama History, Tennessee History, boatmen, Kaintucks, natchez trace parkway
  • 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 Plan
    Grade level:
    Fourth Grade-Eighth Grade
    Subjects:
    Agriculture, Biology: Animals, Ecology, Environment, Recreation Ecology, Wildlife Biology, Wildlife Management
    Keywords:
    environment, ecology, animal population, animal, ecosystem, population dynamics
  • 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:
    Curricula
    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
    Keywords:
    Extinct, extinction, passenger pigeon, biodiversity, diversity
  • Birdsong Hollow Bridge

    A historical narrative and four independent lesson activities including mapping, persuasive letter writing, research, and “bridge building” are provided to teach students about the physical evolution of the Natchez Trace. This lesson will teach about the history of the building of the road now known as the Natchez Trace Parkway. Four separate activities are provided, including plotting the Trace on a blank map, writing a letter, learning about engineering, and building a bridge with cards.

    Type:
    Lesson Plan
    Grade level:
    Eighth Grade-Twelfth Grade
    Subjects:
    History
    Keywords:
    human migration, early settlers, settlers, Old Trace, Natchez Trace, Old Southwest, Roads
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