Lesson Plan

History of the Natchez Trace

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Grade Level:
Third Grade
Subject:
Social Studies, Writing
Duration:
2-3 class periods
Group Size:
Up to 36
Setting:
classroom
National/State Standards:
Language Arts: 2, 2c, 3, 3a, 3c, 3d, 4, 4a, 4b, 4c.
Social Studies: 1, 1a,1b, 1c, 1d, 1e, 1f, 2, 2a, 2c, 2d, 2e, 2f, 2g, 3, 3a, 5, 5a

Overview

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.

Objective(s)

Enduring Understanding: Human migration impacts cultural development of societies.

Essential Question: What was the purpose of the Old Natchez Trace?

The students will:

1.) Listen to and retell a non-fiction story.

2.) Compose a text relating to the story while using proper writing grammar and mechanics

3.) Determine their location in relation to the Natchez Trace Parkway.

4.) Learn about the different people who have used the Natchez Trace over a period of time

5.) Learn about their civic responsibilities in relation to a National Parkway.

Background

The Natchez Trace was formed many years ago by animals and subsequently, by the American Indians who followed game. In the 1700s, traders nicknamed Kaintucks floated down rivers that emptied into the Mississippi. They were on their way to sell their goods in the thriving port city of Natchez, the capital of the old southwest. Useless for travel back upriver, the flatboats were sold and the Kaintucks walked home hundreds of miles on the Old Trace. Winding through Mississippi, Alabama, and Tennessee, the historic Natchez Trace Parkway was established in 1938 to commemorate this historic travel route. The roadway was completed in 2005.

The Old Trace was a critical element in the founding of the southeastern United States. Prior to Hernando deSoto's arrival on the Trace, it was a long-used travel route for American Indian tribes such as the Chickasaw, Choctaw, and Natchez. Later during the Indian removal, it was crossed by the Trail of Tears. It was a federal postal route and was used by military giants such as Andrew Jackson and U.S. Grant. It is where Meriwether Lewis took his final steps on this earth.

• Vocabulary

• Kaintucks- a person who traveled the Natchez Trace Parkway back home to the Ohio River Valley

• National Park Service- part of the Department of Interior that is responsible for nationals parks, monument, and historical sites

Materials

1.) Class Discussion

2.) Board Examples

3.) Notes Taking Sheet

4.) How the Trace Came to Be (Can be printed as a book or a powerpoint)

5.) Official map of Natchez Trace Parkway (Call 1-800-305-7417 or visit www.nps.gov/natr)

Procedure

Assessment

The students will be graded on the report. The teacher will grade the reports on grammar, mechanics, and punctuation.

Park Connections

Explains the history of the Natchez Trace Parkway.

Extensions

1.) The students will write a narrative story about someone or something traveling the Natchez Trace. In the story, the students may write about what the traveler saw on his journey down the Natchez Trace. The story can take place during any time-period. The story should let the student's imagination run wild about the Natchez Trace Parkway. This may be done collectively, as a class with the teacher writing the story on the board or overhead and the students copying what the teacher writes.

2.) Book a trip for the class to the Natchez Trace Parkway where they can have a ranger led program about the history of the Natchez Trace Parkway. Occasionally rangers are also available to visit classrooms.

3.) The teacher may want to show a video. One is available on line called "Exploring Natchez Trace" from the link http://www.vehix.com/video/vehix-adventures/exploring-natchez-trace/. This short video shows footage and audio about some of the sites along the Natchez Trace Parkway. CAUTION! This is a privately owned site and commercials accompanying the video may not be suitable for the classroom.

4.) Learn about other National Scenic Trails that are historic. Visit http://www.nps.gov/nts

Additional Resources

The teacher may want to show a video. One is available on line called "Exploring Natchez Trace" from the link http://www.vehix.com/video/vehix-adventures/exploring-natchez-trace/. This short video shows footage and audio about some of the sites along the Natchez Trace Parkway. CAUTION! This is a privately owned site and commercials accompanying the video may not be suitable for the classroom. You may also call the Natchez Trace Parkway to checkout a DVD. (ask for educator at 662-680-4027)

Vocabulary

Kaintucks, National Park Service