. . . . Continued
Web Site Resources
Procedures for Participation
- Classes wishing to participate must register.
- Once accepted for the project, each class selects a location in one of the six southeastern states.
The class should divide into teams to gather information for their selected location. Information can be gathered for any or all of three areas:
- Flora and Fauna,
More than one team may research the same area. However, for each area selected, information about DeSoto's time "Then" and present day "Now" must be obtained.
Classes should use the websites listed above and other available resources to complete a fact sheet on their location. The fact sheet is to include the following:
- Longitude and latitude of the selected site location.
- Average seasonal temperaturesSpring, Summer, Fall, & Winter
- Approximate altitude above sea level
- Nearest geographical landmarks to the location that DeSoto might have seen. For example, a river, swamp, mountain, lake, harbor, etc.
- Existing name"Then" and "Now."
- Approximate distance (in miles) from DeSoto's starting point in Florida to the location.
Class groups research the location to determine the following about their assigned area:
- Flora and FaunaWhat are at least three plants (flora) and three fauna (animals) that DeSoto would have seen then or would see now? Do the plants and animals from DeSoto's time still exist in this location? Name two flora and/or fauna that did not exist in the 1500s but do now, and discuss their introduction to the location.
- CivilizationsDescribe the signs of civilization that DeSoto would have seen then or would see now. Do the descendants of the inhabitants of the 1500s location still live in the area? Trace the major changes in the location's development... settlements, growth in population, change in way of life, etc.
- Navigational Trails What were the primary means of transportation during DeSoto's 1500 visit? What are the primary means of transportation now? What has happened to the natural trails (river, Native American paths, shipping routes, etc.) the inhabitants of the location might have used in DeSoto's time?
- Each group locates pictures (and provides appropriate credit) or creates digital artwork to represent their selected area.
Classes create a report on their location. This report should contain the following:
- A text file (750 words or less) for each selected area. It should consist of information from their research, including paragraphs comparing of the then and the now for each area. The file should have a title "Name of location, State and Its "Then" and "Now"
Example: Mobile, Alabama and Its Civilizations"Then" and "Now"
- Two digital photographs or drawings for each area in each time period discussed for the location (a total of four picture files). The files should be saved in JPEG or GIF format (100K maximum).
- A Word file of the fact sheet information described in #4 above.
- E-mail the files to the project coordinator.
- The text files of researched information and the comparisons and the digital pictures will be linked from a map of DeSoto's trail through the six southeastern states. The fact sheet information on the location will also appear as a link from the map as well as in a state chart of locations along the trail.
- You will be notified when the site is complete and ready for viewing.
How To Register
To register, send an e-mail to the Project Coordinator, Kevin Oliver, at Please include the following information in your e-mail.
- Teacher name
- School name
- School address
- Grade level of participating class
- E-mail address (preferably the teacher's)
- URL of your school's website (if applicable)
- Geographical setting of your school (urban, rural, or suburban)
Back to Trailing Desoto - Then & Now Project page