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Below we provide a collection of activities and preliminary lesson plans to help teachers integrate information about the Cahaba River or other rivers into their curriculum.  We are eager to have teachers share with us lesson plans and resources that they find useful in teaching about the river - we would then post those resources here.

The lesson plans posted here are in development.  Future postings will include peer-reviewed lesson plans presented in a standardized format and information on how the plans meet State and Federal standards.  

Each lesson plan fits within a specific curriculum area, and is specific to one aspect of river ecology or conservation. Areas introduced include fish and invertebrate life, pollution and its impact, rivers as sources of  transportation and recreation, and activities to promote awareness of environmental issues. 

Upper Elementary Lesson Plans

Lower Elementary Lesson Plans

Lesson Plans on the Web

Technology in the Classroom

Additional Resources


Upper Elementary

Language Arts:

Take Action - Students write a letter to express their concerns about the Cahaba River.

Extra! Extra! - Students choose an endangered species from the Cahaba River and write about it for the classroom news bulletin board or newsletter.

Wildlife Research - In groups, students will do research on some form of wildlife and share their findings with the class.


Social Studies:

Current Events - Students find current events articles related to the environment and share them with the class.

Map It! - Students learn about the Cahaba River and map skills by drawing the river on a blank map and including symbols.

Environmental Signs - Students divide up into groups and design environmental awareness posters to display.



Polluted Water - Students observe the contents of a cup of tap water and polluted water and discuss the types of pollution found in the Cahaba.


The Arts:

River Drama - Students act out the ecosystem. 



Lower Elementary

Language Arts:

Parts of a River - Students describe and then act out the different parts of a river.


Social Studies:

Making Flyers - Students brainstorm ways that they can conserve water and make flyers to post in appropriate areas. 



Class Fish - Students learn to take care of a pet fish in the classroom. 

Animal Adaptations - Students discuss animal adaptations and create their own animal with a certain adaptation to water.


The Arts:

A Sea of Colors - Students use markers and a paintbrush to color a picture of a fish. 


Lower Elementary

National Geographic Xpeditions 


National Geographic provides a variety of lesson plans, including this one on rivers. It is designed for students grades 6th-8th. Internet access for students is needed.

 Education World: Rivers and Water Fascinating Facts Hunt


From Education World's website: "Students use online or library sources to complete a work sheet about rivers and water fascinating facts." This language arts lesson plan is designed for a variety of age groups.

 Education World: A River of Lessons


From Education World's webpage: "Lessons in which students create maps showing famous rivers, study legends about rivers and then write their own river legends, and more!"

 Education World: A River of Lessons


 From Education World's webpage: "Students create a class book about aquatic life in or near local river(s)."  It has elements of art, language arts, and science. 

 Education World: A River Full of Fun!


From Education World's webpage: "Students complete hands-on activities and experiments with a river theme."  This is a science lesson plan that can be used for any age from kindergarten through 8th grade. There are games linked to this lesson for students to play on computers.

 LessonPlansPage.com: Lovely Rivers


This website contains a list of songs that could be played during a lesson based on rivers and streams.

 LessonPlansPage.com: Rivers and Lakes in your state


 This is a social studies lesson for third grade students.  It will help teach students map skills.

Lower Elementary

The Mussels of the Cahaba Slide Show - PowerPoint Presentation of mussels found in The Cahaba and several from other rivers in Alabama. This is a fun activity for students: they will explore the variety, texture and unique and interesting names the mussels were given.

Virtual Field Trips - PowerPoint slide show featuring annotated pictures from Village Creek, Oak Mountain State Park, Buck Creek, and the Cahaba River.  Information provided with slides will reinforce ecological concepts.

Fish of the Cahaba - Hyperstudio interactive activities where students can practice identifying fish from the Cahaba and learn about river ecology.  Choose either the 'Multiple Choice Questions' about river ecology, or the 'Fish Facts' to see images of fish, learn their names, and facts about their ecology.


Lower Elementary

Glossary - terms defined. 

Fascinating Facts - A print out of fascinating facts on the Cahaba River