Lesson Plan

What’s Its Name?

A sign along the Natchez Trace Parkway

NPS Photo

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Grade Level:
Fourth Grade
Language Arts, Social Studies
1 hour 30 minutes
Group Size:
Up to 36
National/State Standards:
MS Objectives: 1, 1a, 1b, 1c, 1d, 1e, 3, 3a, 3b, 3c, 3d, 3f, 3g, 3h, 5, 5a
Language Arts: 1, 2, 3


Students will read a short narrative about the history of the Natchez Trace and then complete a matching worksheet. The teacher will help the students locate the Natchez Trace Parkway on a map. The teacher will help the students locate the periods addressed in a narrative on a timeline. The teacher will read, or assist in reading a narrative about the history of the Natchez Trace. The teacher will explain that the narrative is a mix of fact and historical fiction.


Enduring Understanding: There is a history and a reason to the naming of things and important places.

Essential Question: Why was the Natchez Trace Parkway given its name?

The students will:

1) locate the Natchez Trace on a map

2) locate the historic placement of the Natchez Trace on a timeline

3) become familiar with the various historical names for the Natchez Trace in chronological order

4) use listening skills to obtain information to complete a worksheet.


The Natchez Trace has had many names over time. The attached classroom narrative reading is a summary of many of those names. See that reading for background information. Student Instruction: The students will learn about different historical names along the Natchez Trace Parkway as they read and listen to the story and then complete a worksheet.


1.) Classroom Reading

2.) Worksheet

3.) Worksheet Answer Sheet

4.) A map of the Natchez Trace Parkway and Historic timeline posters may be obtained free of charge by calling: 1-800-305-7417



Participation in the activity and follow up worksheet.

Park Connections

Discusses the history of the Natchez Trace Parkway and the way things were names along the Trace.


1.) Field trip to the Natchez Trace Parkway.

2.) Provide the students a list of names of people and places on the Natchez Trace. Have them choose a person and write a report about that person and how they were associated with the Old Natchez Trace.

3.) Alternatively, if the student knows a family member or friend who has a name associated with the Natchez Trace, have them investigate that family's role on the Old Natchez Trace.


(see various names for the Natchez Trace), Boatmen