Lesson Plan

Lost on the Trace

Trail sign

Trail sign on Natchez Trace Scenic Trail

NPS Photo

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Grade Level:
Fourth Grade
Subject:
Geography, Social Studies
Duration:
15 minutes or more
Group Size:
Up to 36
Setting:
outdoors
National/State Standards:
1,3e, 3h social studies, mapping
Keywords:
cardinal direction, compass, map

Overview

The students will be divided into pairs and they will pretend they are “Lost on the Trace”. They will be racing against each other to reach their destination by following the directions on a card.

Objective(s)

Enduring Understanding: Geographers use tolls like globes, maps and compasses to gather and analyze data. 

Essential Question: How do you find North on a compass?

The students will be able to:

1) Identify cardinal and intermediate directions

2) give directions using cardinal and intermediate directions so that students end up at a predetermined location

3) follow directions using cardinal and intermediate directions so that students end up at a predetermined location

Background

Early travelers on the Natchez Trace may get off the trail and find themselves lost. A compass would help travelers to keep moving in the right direction and reach their final destinations.

Materials

1.) 5 laminated pictures of locations on the Natchez Trace

2.) Direction cards

3.) Answer Key

4.) Marker to indicate starting point

Procedure

Assessment

Participation in the activity and success in following directions to the correct location.

Park Connections

Will teach students how to navigate parks using a compass.

Extensions

Have the students participate in a similar activity on the school grounds or classroom. One student can give directions and the other student can follow them.

Vocabulary

Natchez Trace, Kaintuck, Boatman