Lesson Plan

Traveling the Natchez Trace

Visitors walking and getting exercise on the multiuse trail along the Natchez Trace Parkway.
NPS Photo


The students will engage in several physical exercises while using map skills. The students will engage in a number of different basic physical exercises such as jumping jacks, push-ups, jogging, skipping, crunches, etc.


Enduring Understanding: It is important to stay active and do exercises every day.

Essential Question: How can you exercise and learn about a National Park at the same time?

The students will be able to:

1. Participate in various exercises

2. Review basic map geography.


The teacher should know how to execute the variety of exercises that are listed: jumping jacks, push-ups, jog, skip, crunches, lunges, crab crawl, arm swings. The teacher should label the poster-boards as indicated on the "Teacher Information" sheet.


1.) Teacher Examples

2.) Natchez Trace Parkway Map

3.) 10 poster boards

4.) 10 orange cones


Student Task: By using the map of the Natchez Trace Parkway, the students will help the teacher construct a proportional model of the map on the football field or floor of the gymnasium. They will then use this map as a type of obstacle course for physical activity.(see diagram)

Student Instructions:

1.) The students will help the teacher make a proportional model of the Natchez Trace Parkway and use the orange cones to mark off the correct locations for the sites along the Natchez Trace given to them by the teacher.

2.) The teacher will then take the labeled poster-boards and place them down at the appropriate locations on the model that has been created.

3.) The teacher will inform the students that the end-zone is Natchez, MS and past the 50 yard-line, if a football field is being used, is Nashville, TN.

4.) The students should be informed that their goal is to "travel the Natchez Trace" from Natchez to Nashville while performing the task displayed on each poster-board.

Teacher Closure: The teacher can inform the students about the importance of routine exercise and explain that the exercises they just completed can be done at their own home. Challenge the students to exercise everyday and live a healthy active lifestyle.


The students will be evaluated on their participation in the construction of the model as well as participation in the physical activity.

Park Connections

Informs the students of the history of the Natchez Trace Parkway.


1.) The teacher may decide to use a map other than the Natchez Trace Parkway. It could be done with a map of the United States and the stations be different cities in the U.S.

2.) The teacher may want to time the students as they go through the course and award prizes to the students who "travel the Natchez Trace the fastest".