Lesson Plan


The Postman Rider logo is a symbol of the Natchez Trace Parkway

NPS Photo

Overall Rating

Add your review
Grade Level:
Social Studies
45 minutes
Group Size:
Up to 36
National/State Standards:
MS Objectives
Social Studies: 2, 2c, 5, 5a
National Park, trail, represent, Symbol, coloring page, symbols, post rider, postrider


The students will learn the symbols of the Natchez Trace Parkway and the National Scenic Trail and then color the symbols correctly while looking at an example. The students will learn about the Natchez Trace Parkway and the National Scenic Trail symbols. They will learn what each symbol represents. After the students have heard the background, they will color the two coloring sheets. The sheets must be colored using the correct colors in the correct places.


Enduring Understanding: Symbols can be a representation of history or ideas.

Essential Question: What symbols do the National Park Service and Natchez Trace Parkway have and what do they stand for?

The students will be able to recognize the National Park Service, the Natchez Trace Parkway and the National Scenic Trail signs when they are traveling with their parents.


To make sure no one forgets the history, the federal government has named it part of the National Park System. The arrowhead is the national sign for the National Park Service. The Natchez Trace was a postal road a long time ago. When the boatmen would travel the trace, they would send mail by the post riders. Post riders were always riding their horses up and down the Natchez Trace. Because of this, the post rider is the symbol for the Natchez Trace Parkway.

The Natchez Trace was formed many years ago by animals and subsequently by American Indians who hunted those animals. After the Europeans began to explore the land, they also used the established trails. Later the Natchez Trace was used by traders, later called Kaintucks, who had floated flat boats carrying goods to the then territorial capital of Natchez on the Mississippi River. They sold their flatboats and walked back to the northeast, Tennessee and Ohio River areas. The Natchez Trace was also used a Postal Road. The Trace was the quickest way to get from Nashville, Tennessee to Natchez, Mississippi. The Natchez Trace we travel today is not the same as the one the Kaintucks had to travel many years ago. Now, the Trace follows closely to the original network of trails, but because of some of the old Trace is on private land, the contractors in the 1930s improvised and built the road where they could acquire the land nearby. Parts of the Old Trace can still be found along the Parkway and are still available for visitors to walk.

The Natchez Trace Parkway is cared for by the National Park Service an agency of the Department of Interior and under the executive branch of the government. Every citizen of the United States holds "ownership" of National Parks and part of the duties of citizens is evaluate the level of care given by government agencies.


1.) Teacher Background

2.) Coloring Sheets

3.) How the Natchez Trace Came to Be

4.) Crayons/marker/colored pencils



The teacher will observe the students while he or she is giving the lesson. The students will be assessed on the ability to follow directions. The coloring pages are to be colored appropriately.

Park Connections

The students will learn the symbols of the Natchez Trace Parkway as well as the National Park Service.


1.) The teacher can ask the students to make sure to take a camera the next time they are traveling the Natchez Trace Parkway. Tell the students to ask their parents to stop and take a picture with one of the symbols along the Natchez Trace Parkway. If the students bring pictures in, the teacher will hang the pictures with the colored symbol of the child.

2.) Occasionally rangers are available for classroom programs. The teacher may call the Natchez Trace Parkway Visitor Center to set up a time for a ranger led program. A ranger will come to a school or the school is welcome to come to the visitor center.

Additional Resources

Mississippi state symbols

Colors, animals and other items as symbols


National Scenic Trail, National Park Service

Last updated: April 14, 2015