Take 5 On The River
From source to sea the On The River Team created 5 minute videos to highlight the changing river and introduce different science concepts. Every video comes with supplemental work to expand the conversation and link curriculum standards.
This week we complete our source to sea canoe adventure. We reflect on the 3,351 mile trip and thank everyone that made the trip possible. We are so grateful to the river angels, schools, students, and sponsors that were part of our adventure.
- Write us a letter (email us at ontheriverteam at gmail.com to get our address) telling us your favorite part of our trip and what trip you want to complete one day.
This week on the river we explore not just habitats but microhabitats as well, and since we are in the Atchafalaya Delta, the last habitat of our trip, we learn how and why it is growing.
- Draw your favorite habitat, then draw microhabitats found in your broader habitat type. Which organisms use the microhabitats?
- What habitats can be found near you. Label all the habitat types in your state on a map.
This week on the river, we stop at a confluence very special to my heart: the confluence of the Mississippi River and the White River. Here we learn how Glacier National Park and the Ozark Natural Science Center are connected and what the rivers in between look like.
- Plot a few of your favorite places on a map and figure out a route by water to connect them. Is it possible?
- Trace where you life from the source to the sea
This week on the river, we took a break in Cape Girardeau, MO to go out on a boat with Seth and Nick, two fisheries biologists that study paddlefish in the Mississippi River. We had a blast learning about their job.
- Find and write to a professional in a field you are interested in, to ask them questions about their jobs and how they became what they are.
- Make a comic strip showing the steps to studying paddlefish.
- Draw a paddlefish, include its rostrum and lip tag. What are other things you should add?
During our trip we have teamed up with Adventurers and Scientists for Conservation (http://www.adventurescience.org/microplastics) to collect samples of water to be tested for microplastics. This week on the river we learn what microplastics are and how we study them.
- MS-ESS3.C: Human Impacts on Earth Systems
- Look at the map at www.adventurescience.org/microplastics and see if a sample has been taken near your home. Did it have plastic? What does that mean to you?
- Organize a trash pick-up. Share with your community how you helped and why it is important.
- Write a protocol and see if others can follow it.
This week we take a break from canoeing to hang out with Sara's mom in Kansas City and learn about water footprints. Luckily, Sara's mom, Marjie, is a fresh water fairy and she taught us what water footprints are and how to keep them small.
- 2-ESS2.C: The Roles of Water in Earth’s Surface Processes
- 5-ESS2.C: The Roles of Water in Earth’s Surface Processes
- 5- ESS3.C: Human Impacts on Earth System
This week on the river we look at how animals adapt to cold weather. Trees, mammals, snakes, birds, butterflies, AND us paddlers are all preparing for winter!
- 3-LS4-C: Adaptation
- MS-LS4-C: Adaptation
- MS-LS4-B: Natural Selection
- HS-LS4- C: Adaptation
- Draw your favorite animal and lists its adaptations. How does it deal with extreme weather.
- Pick an animal near your school and determine if it migrates. If it does map its route.
- Imagine a strange world and then invent ways organisms in your world might adapt to these new conditions. (ie the ground is lava so all the trees have thick rubber roots so that they don't burn up)
- Draw or write 5 ways humans keep warm in the winter. Do all humans keep warm in the same ways?
This week we explore a day in the life of an adventurer on the river. Hang out with us from sun up to sun down and check out the routines that guide us through our days.
- Keep a detailed record of a day in your life. Figure out what percentage of your day you spend doing different activities such as sleeping, excising, watching TV, or doing schoolwork.
- Compare a day in your life to a day on the river. What are three similarities? What are three differences?
- We paddle 10,000 strokes in a day. Figure out how far you would travel if you took 10,000 steps in one day.
This week we learn about Sara's FAVORITE animals: herpetafauna. We will learn about the similarities and differences between reptiles and amphibians and about the herpetologists that study them. WARNING: this video contains CUTE animals.
- 3-LS3.B: Variation of Traits
MS-LS4.A: Evidence of Common Ancestry and Diversity
- Pick your favorite reptile or amphibian, draw it and label the features that make it a reptile or an amphibian.
- Think about all the reasons people are scared of snakes (In Harry Potter the "bad" guys are represented by snakes, in books snakes are always scary, our parents are scared of snakes). Write a first person narrative from the perspective of a snake explaining its behavior and how to best deal with snakes so no one gets hurt.
- Write a letter to the On The River crew telling them about your positive experiences with herpetafauna.
This week On The River we explore who eats who and how energy and matter is passed between plants and animals in the food cycle. We'll cover the roles of producers, primary consumers, secondary consumers and decomposers.
- 5 LS2.A: Interdependent Relationships in Ecosystems
- 5 LS2.B: Cycles of Matter and Energy Transfer in Ecosystems
- Make a list of everything you eat in a day and use your list to make your own food web.
- Write a story from the perspective of one carbon or nitrogen molecule that is cycling through the food cycle..
- Play the food web game with your class - stand in a circle, have one student be the sun and assign each one of the remaining students to be a producer, consumer or decomposer. Using a long piece of string have the students connect all of the organisms in the food web using the string (i.e. sun -> cottonwood -> caterpillar -> frog -> mushroom). Once the food web is complete, remove one or more organisms which have been poisoned by pesticides, these students must drop the string. Any of the remaining students who feel the string slacken (i.e. are connect to the dead organisms) must also drop their string. This continues until the entire food web has collapsed demonstrating the far reaching consequences of our actions humans.
This week On The River we explore how dams effect wildlife and humans while we paddle across Lake Sakakawea, a reservoir formed by a dam on the Missouri River. Do you think wildlife or humans benefit more from dams, and what are those benefits?
- 4-ESS3.A: Natural Resources
- MS-ESS3.C: Human Impacts on Earth Systems
- HS-LS4.D: Biodiversity and Humans
- Speak for the wildlife like Ann did. Pick an animal that lives along the river. Research how dams effect your animals and then write a letter to one of your representatives with your animal's perspective.
- Make a list of all the pros and cons of dams we didn't cover in our video.
- Draw the river before and after dams are created.
Join On The River as we explore the water cycle, covering precipitation, condensation, evaporation, infiltration, and runoff.
- MS.ESS2.C: The roles of water in earth's surface processes.
- Make your own stop motion of the water cycle.
- Write a first person narrative of a water droplet. Remember that the same water that dinosaurs drank or was trapped in glaciers is the same water we drink today.
- Send in your stop motion projects and stories and we will post them on our website.
This week On The River travels down the Missouri River on the part most unchanged since the time of Lewis and Clark. Here we explore the similarities and differences between our adventure and the adventure of Lewis and Clark.
- MO State Standard 3a: Knowledge of continuity and change in the history of Missouri and the United States
- B. Knowledge of the ways Missourians have interacted, survived and progressed from the distant past to present times
- F.Westward Expansion and settlement in the US
- H. Reform movements
- Make a map and keep a journal like Lewis and Clark did. Pick two points in or around your school. Have students explore a route while making a map and keeping a journal to document what they found.
- Read more about Lewis and Clark, then watch our video again to find even more differences and similarities.
- Use a Venn Diagram to chart similarities and differences between the two adventures (or another adventure).
Join the On The River team to explore the tall banks around Cut Bank Creek. We will discuss erosion, glaciers, and how water is always working to change the landscape of our planet.
- 4-ESS2-1.Make observations and/or measurements to provide evidence of the effects of weathering or the rate of erosion by water, ice, wind, or vegetation.
- MS-ESS2.C: The Roles of Water in Earth's Surface Processes.
- Try using sand to create the effects of erosion and glaciers.
- Walk around your school and find all the places where water has changed the landscape. Document with pictures and words what you have found. Send us your examples and we will post them here!
Join the On The River team from Triple Divide Peak in MT, where their trip starts as do three oceans: the Pacific, the Atlantic, and the Arctic. Here we will discuss the Continental Divide, watersheds and an introduction to the On The River project and the canoers.
Standards: ESS2.A: Earth Materials and Systems
- As a class brainstorm what On The River will need to do to be successful, then brainstorm what the class needs to do to be successful.
- Have students calculate the distance of the On The River trip from source to sea. If the canoers plan on the trip taking five months, how many miles per day will they need to average to complete the trip on time.
- As a class use maps to determine which watershed you live in and which ocean the water goes to.