Grade Levels: 3-5, 6-8

*Click to open and customize your own copy of the Rivers Lesson Plan.

This lesson accompanies the BrainPOP topic Rivers, and supports the standard of explaining the role of water in Earth’s surface processes. Students demonstrate understanding through a variety of  projects.

Step 1: ACTIVATE PRIOR KNOWLEDGE

Display an image of a river and its surrounding landscape, like this one:

Ask students: 

  • What do you notice about the shape of the land? 
  • What do you notice about the river? 

Step 2: BUILD KNOWLEDGE

  • Read aloud the description on the Rivers topic page.
  • Play the Movie, pausing to check for understanding. 
  • Have students read one of the following Related Reading articles: “Around the World,” “Language,” or “Trivia.” Partner them with someone who read a different article to share what they learned with each other.

Step 3: APPLY and ASSESS 

Apply: Students complete a Worksheet, applying essential literacy skills while demonstrating what they learned about this topic.

Assess: Wrap up the lesson with the Rivers Quiz.

Step 4: EXTEND and DEEPEN
Students express what they learned about rivers while practicing essential literacy skills with one or more of the following activities. Differentiate by assigning ones that meet individual student needs.  

  • Make-a-Movie: Produce a nature movie that traces the movement of a river’s water through the water cycle.
  • Make-a-Map: Make a concept map that analyzes how rivers and landscapes impact one another.
  • Creative Coding: Code a museum with artifacts representing rivers’ impact on both physical landscapes and people.
  • Primary Source Activity: Analyze the map of the Mississippi River and cite details to answer the accompanying questions. 

Teacher Support Resources:

 

Lesson Plan Common Core State Standards Alignments

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