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.
Students will use GPS coordinates to plot a National Scenic Trail on a topography map. This lesson assumes that students already know how to plot GPS coordinates. However, if they have never plotted GPS, if they can plot points on a graph, they can plot GPS coordinates with a short explanation. GPS units are available in a traveling kit.
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.
The students will strengthen the concept of the importance of preservation of the past. They will make two lists represent things important to them. The students will also participate in a discussion about history and nature quotes made by various famous people. Unknown to the students, at the end of the lesson they will destroy one of the lists that represents themselves. This will drive home the point that preservation and history are important.
The students will learn that spotted salamanders live in our neighborhoods and along the Natchez Trace Parkway. They are very pretty but taste terrible if another animal tries to eat them. Explain to the students that scientists study the salamanders to learn all about their lives. Students will read the attached student reading and correctly sequence the chronological or mixed up life stages sheet.