Lesson Plan

The Kaintucks

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Grade Level:
Third Grade-Fifth Grade
Physical Education, Social Studies
60 minutes
Group Size:
Up to 36
National/State Standards:
MS Objectives:
3rd Grade- 1c, 2a, 3a, 5a, 5b, 5c, 5d, 6b.
4th Grade- 5a, 5b, 6a, 6b, 6c.
5th Grade- 1c, 5a,. 5b, 5d, 5e, 6b, 6c
Kaintucks, Kaintuck, boatmen, cooperation, fitness, Physical Fitness, pioneers, pioneer trails, pioneer


Students will play a game that integrates a lesson about some of the first pioneer travelers of the Natchez Trace. The students will learn about travelers of the Natchez Trace called “Kaintucks” and play a game incorporating what they learned.


Enduring Understanding: The best choices for you fit who you are and what you need.

Essential Question: Who were the Kaintucks?

The students will be able to:

1. Use teamwork, cooperation, strategy, communication, and body strength to achieve a common goal.


Although they were known as "Kaintucks," these boatmen floated merchandise down the Ohio and Mississippi rivers from states throughout the Ohio River valley. Agricultural goods, coal, and livestock were among the many products that were floated to markets in Natchez and New Orleans. Once the goods on the boats were sold, the boats were often dismantled and sold as lumber. Before the age of the steamboat, Kaintucks had little use for these flatboats once they reached their destinations.

From Natchez, the boatmen would begin the long walk home, carrying with them everything they would need for survival. They slept in tents and hunted for their food all while stories and tales of robbers and Indian attacks floated in their minds. However, these tales occurred fewer times than what that was believed. They traveled the Natchez Trace to Nashville, Tennessee. From there, they used more established roads to take them to their homes further north and east. Research indicates that more than 10,000 Kaintucks traveled the Old Trace in the year 1810 alone. The 500 mile trip on foot typically took about 35 days. Lucky travelers that rode horses could expect to cover it in 20 to 25 days.


1.) Diagram of Game Setup

2.) Two Orange Cones

3.) Tape measure (must reach 30 feet)



The students will be evaluated on participation in the lesson and physical activity.

Park Connections

Explains the history of the Natchez Trace Parkway.


1.) The teacher could review the lesson and information again when they are all back in the classroom.

2.) If you have a small class you may want to change the number of "free passes" from three to two to make it a challenge for the kids. The game can be modified to accommodate different lessons. Example: The Natchez Trace was also used as a postal route. The students could be the postmen and their loads of mail.

3.) For additional Information on the Kaintucks and the Natchez Trace call 1-800-305-7417.