Welcome to Santa Fe National Historic Trail Education webpage! Here, you will find a variety of lessons and activities for grades 4-12. The historic trail lessons are an essential lens to understanding the perspectives, pathways and intersections of emigrants, American Indians, white settlers, soldiers and traders throughout the early to late 19th century. We encourage you to incorporate these lessons into your classroom as you deem fit.
We highly recommend that you familiarize yourself with the National Park Service’s Teachers Portal: https://www.nps.gov/teachers/index.htm. Through the portal, you will have full access to NPS recommended lessons and activities that align with Common Core and State Standards. Simply use the search engine and type in "Santa Fe National Historic Trail." Some of these lessons are credited to teachers in local communities, while others link to partner websites and associated trail sites along the Santa Fe Trail. Learn more about how these were chosen below in the sections about Teacher to Ranger to Teacher.
National Historic Trails Lesson Plan
View the Pathways and Perspectives Lesson Plan.
This 3-5 day lesson focuses on the skills of collaboration and presentation in an effort to teach students about the content and concepts along nine of the national historic trails. The purpose of this is to have them not only research and understand, but also think critically about the pathways and perspectives of trail travelers. This multiday lesson plan was created by a Colorado teacher for national historic trails (see below).
Through the National Park Service’s Teacher to Ranger to Teacher Program, in coordination with Colorado University - Denver, an educator joined National Trails Intermountain Region to evaluate existing curriculum for national historic trails, including the Santa Fe Trail, for placement on a Teachers website. This is a work in progress. The curriculum examples were chosen by our 2017 Teacher to Ranger to Teacher Program educator Caleb, a Colorado high school teacher.
Search through the Teachers portal: https://www.nps.gov/teachers/index.htm
Teacher Ranger Teacher Program
More about Caleb and his work as a Teacher Ranger Teacher
About the Teacher Ranger Teacher program and opportunities for teachers