Lesson Plan

This Land is YOUR Land

Bakers Bluff 1991
Bakers Bluff, Milepost 405.1
NPS Photo
Grade Level:
Fourth Grade-Twelfth Grade
Social Studies
1 class period
Group Size:
Up to 36
National/State Standards:
4th:MS Studies 1 d, e
2a,c,d, 3a,b
5th: SS 2,3,5
6th: 1a, 3d
8th: 4,5,6
MS Studies: 1, 1e, 3,3f, 4, 5
US Government: 4,5,6 6a


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.


Enduring Understanding: Nature and history should be preserved.

Essential Question: Who is/are responsible for preserving nature and history?

The students will be able to:

1) identify significant ideas in the development of Mississippi

2) explain on responsibility of the government

3) explain their role and responsibilities in caring for national treasures

4) explain their role in relationship to national treasures

5) understand their perspective relative to ecological life situations


The Natchez Trace Parkway is part of the National Park Service, "which purpose is to conserve the scenery and the natural and historic objects and the wild life therein and to provide for the enjoyment of the same in such manner and by such means as will leave them unimpaired for the enjoyment of future generations." Legislation to enable the Natchez Trace Parkway passed congress on May 18, 1938. Being part of the federal government, the Natchez Trace Parkway is "owned" by the people of the United States of America. The purpose of the Natchez Trace Parkway is to preserve and protect for the people of the United States of America, areas associated with an ancient Native American pathway which evolved to be a significant roadway in our country's early development.


1.) Object Lists Worksheet

2.) History and Nature Quotes

3.) Pencils or pens


Student Task: Students will think about objects important to them now and in the past. They will fill out the Object Lists. One list will be preserved. Do not tell the students beforehand, but the other list will be destroyed. After filling out the Object Lists, the students will participate in a discussion concerning quotes about nature and history made by various famous people.

Student Instruction:

1. Write down on Objects List 1, two objects which are important to you. The first object should have been important to you five years ago. The other object should be one that is important to you now. Fold that piece of paper in quarters.

2. Now list three objects that you like that represent you as a person. They may or may not include the objects on the folded sheet of paper. Fold that paper in half.

3. Famous Quote activity.

Option 1: Divide the class into groups. Assign each group to pick out their favorite nature quotes and favorite history quote then afterwards orally share with the class why they liked these quote.

Option 2: Give each student a copy of the quotes and ask them to rank their five favorite quotes with the numbers 1 through 5. Or they can pick their favorite quote and write why they chose this particular quote.

4. Have the students tear up Object List 2. (If it is not too disruptive, have the students ceremoniously walk one by one and throw their torn lists in the trash. Or a student or the teacher can walk around the classroom and collect the scraps.)

Ask the students:

1. What would it be like if you knew NOTHING about your own history?

2. What would it be like if you knew NOTHING about your own nature?

3. Does it seem more correct to keep a record of what is and was important or just destroy everything as you "go along"?

The teacher should explain to the students that the Natchez Trace Parkway is part of the National Park Service. The purpose of the National Park Service is to "preserve and protect" the important natural and history features of our country. The National Park Service is run by the government of the United States of America; therefore each park belongs to every citizen of our country. As citizens we are stewards of the national treasures that the NPS protects. It is every citizen's responsibility to be knowledgeable about the National Parks that their tax dollars support.

Show the students the picture of the National Park Service arrowhead and explain that this is the symbol of the National Park Service. Explain what each part of the symbol represents.

Ask the students why is it important that the citizens of the United States support the ideals of the National Park Service?

Suggestions for class discussion about quotes:

• In your own words, explain what the author is saying.

• How does the author feel about history (nature)?

• What do you think would be lost if people knew nothing about nature (history)?

• Why is it important to keep natural areas?

• Why is it important to record and study history?

• How does history help us understand what might happen in the future?

• How does nature help us live?

• Do you feel you have a responsibility in caring for history or nature?

Teacher Closure: Explain that it is important for all US citizens to show concern and learn about all of the wonderful treasures our country embraces. The National Park Service is only part of a complex component of the US government that protects what is important to our country.


Participation in the activities.

Park Connections

This program explains the necessity of preserving nature and shows how the National Park Service does this with the Natchez Trace Parkway.


Have the students create a classroom mini-museum.

Additional Resources

History and Nature Quotes