A River Ran Wild: An Environmental History
Grade 5
Strand: Geography
Topic: Human Resources
Content Statement: 7. Variations among physical environments within the Western Hemisphere influence human activities. Human activities also after the physical environment

Objective: Students will be able to explain negative and positive effects of changes in rivers.

Materials: Paper, Markers, Pens, push pins

Allotted Time: 50 minutes

Instruct students to get out a notebook and a pencil. Ask the students to divide their piece into two sections by drawing a line lengthwise down the paper. Then, have them split the paper into seven horizontally, so that there are fourteen boxes on their paper. Tell students while you read the story to them they should take notes on the changes that occurs to the river throughout the story. With each shift of time, students should move to a new box on their notes. The table should look like the following:

Notes on the event
Event Title

Next, begin lesson by reading A River Ran Wild: An Environmental History aloud to the class. Then, as a class, discuss the changes which occurred to the river in Massachusetts. Ask the students if they were able to divide the river’s history into 6 different events what would the title of these events be? Their event titles will go in the remaining six boxes on their page. Answers should resemble:

1) Indian Settlement Nash-Away
2) Nashau
3) Industrial Revolution
4) Pulp Clogged River
5) Protest
6) River With the Pebbled Bottom

Teacher will then pass out materials needed for activity.
Materials (per student): 1 large circle, 1 medium circle with 1/6 piece of pie cut out, 1 paper clip (see example of visual below) markers/crayons

Instruct the students to divide the large circle into 6 equal parts and name each section with the title of the 6 main events which the class decided occurred to the river. Students should draw a picture of each event under its given title.

Attach the small circle to the center of the large circle with the paper clip. Students should then be able to spin the top circle around and see the effect humans have had on the physical environment of the Nashau River.

Prompt the students to discuss the reasons why the river changed. Answer: The negative effects from human settlement and development of civilization/ positive effect of human intervention and movement to clean up the river