Lesson Plan

American Indian Mound CSI

Emerald Mound, milepost 10.3
Emerald Mound, milepost 10.3

Photo NPS/© Marc Muench

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Grade Level:
Fourth Grade-Eighth Grade
American Indian History and Culture, Geography, Social Studies
1 class period
Group Size:
Up to 36
National/State Standards:
Social Studies: 1, 3, 5
Mounds, Mound, Emerald Mound, Native American culture, Native American history, Mississippian period, woodland period, Chickasaw, Choctaw, artifacts, mound artifact, American Indians


By pretending they are investigating a theft, the students will compare and contrast Native American mounds from two time periods. They will use deductive reasoning to determine which objects belong to which mounds in either of the two time periods. The lesson can be used with photos provided in the plan or teachers may check out imitation artifact kits by calling 662-680-4015.


Enduring Understanding: Prior to the arrival of the Europeans, American Indians (first Americans) were dispersed across different environments in North and South America.

Essential Question: What do we know about American Indian mounds in the Southeast? 

The students will be able to:

1) Name 5 Native American mounds in Mississippi

2) Describe characteristics of mounds in two different time periods

3) Explain the difference between mounds in two time periods

4) Locate specific mounds on a map

5) Use deductive reasoning skills

The lesson can be used as either a cursory introduction or a review of prior student learning.


Natchez Trace Parkway has several Native American Indian Mounds. For more information on these mounds, please click here: MOUNDS


1. Booklet: Indian Mounds of Mississippi (or other reference information about Native American mounds on the Natchez Trace Parkway

2. Map indicating location of the lesson mounds

3. Various pictures of artifacts found in the mounds

4. Mound grid Worksheet

5. Mound grid answer sheet

6. Historian's Notes

7. Thief's Notes and Picture page



Participation in the activity and follow-up discussion

Park Connections

Examines the history of the Native American Indian Mounds on the Natchez Trace Parkway.


Have the students draw pictures of and label the parts of the two main types of mounds on the Natchez Trace. Have students do report on a specific Native American mound.

Additional Resources

Copy of the portion of a map of the Natchez Trace Parkway that includes the mounds in the lesson. Excellent resources are found at https://www.nps.gov/history/seac/deltapro.htm and https://www.cr.nps.gov/seac/outline/index.htm


Illegal, law, daub, artifact, mound, Woodland Period,  Mississippian Period