Materials:
Classroom set of A River Ran Wild by Lynne Cherry
Classroom set of Project Citizen books
Classroom sets of graphic organizers
Posters, rulers, crayons, construction papers, etc. for posters and signs
Objectives:
  • Identify the impact that pollution had on the people and places along the Nashua River;
  • Describe public policy and how it can be used to solve community problems; and
  • Compare and contrast the sequence of events in the story with the steps involved in completing Project Citizen.
Procedures:


Exploration/ Introduction:


Development:


Expansion:
Before the Lesson:
1. Develop a list of words from A River Ran Wild for word study and word wall (quench, pulp, grist, Industrial Revolution, etc.)
2. Choose and prepare some additional activities to do after reading the book.
• Conduct an author/illustrator study of Lynne Cherry.
• Working in pairs, ask students to complete a Sequencing Graphic Organizer for A River Ran Wild.
• Workings in teams of three or four, have students complete a Cause and Effect Graphic Organizer.
• Conduct a class discussion on what is and what is not public policy.
• Using the Library Media Center or a computer, have students conduct research on the Nashua River, the Nashua River
Watershed Association, and the Clean Water Act.
• Present a lesson on persuasive letter writing.
• Students write letters to the paper mills explaining why they should stop dumping waste into the Nashua River.
• Students create posters and signs protesting pollution of the Nashua River
Lesson Procedures:
1. Review the vocabulary you selected for your class.
2. Conduct a shared reading of A River Ran Wild. (Be sure to read the Author’s Notes.)
3. Discussion questions • What would daily life be like along the Nashua River if concerned citizens had not taken action to clean up the river?
• How did the Native Americans treat the land and the Nashua River?
• What impact did the Industrial Revolution have on the Nashua River?
• Who were Marion Stoddard and Oweana and why are they important to the Nashua River?
• What role did citizens participation play in the history of the Nashua River?
4. Working as whole group and teams, have the class conduct a mini Project Citizen based on the problems, events, and community activities in A River Ran Wild. (Use the Project Citizen book as a guide through the process.)
• Identify the problem and write a problem statement.
• Identify any existing policies that were in place to deal with the problem.
• Did the citizens in the book propose a specific public policy to deal with the problem?
• Identify the steps taken by the citizens to influence government. What was their action plan?
-Assessment:
Sample persuasive letter writing rubric http://teacher.scholastic.com/LessonPlans/LtrWritg_Rubric.pdf
Sample research rubric for middle school students http://download.intel.com/education/Common/en/Resources/AP/library/research_process_middle.pdf
Student reflection on the lesson and activities using pages 53–55 in the Project Citizen book.