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The Mississippi River: Draining a Majority of the United States
In this activity students use a map of the Mississippi Watershed to label and count rivers and the states associated with them in a particular watershed. Students "build" the watershed in a pan using modeling clay or soil. They use small objects to represent things such as pollutants, litter, fertilizers, sediments, etc., that could be transported by water flowing in the drainage system. Students place the objects around the rivers and use a watering can to produce rainfall and floods that will transport the materials to the Gulf of Mexico. This activity will establish the role of the Mississippi River in the formation of the coastal wetlands and increase awareness of the problems created by nature (flooding) and those from other sources (pollution) associated with the presence of the Mississippi River.
Intended for grade levels:
  • Intermediate (3-5)
  • Middle (6-8)
  • High (9-12)
Type of resource:
  • For the classroom:
    • Classroom activity
Subject:
  • Environmental science
  • Geographical Sciences:
    • Physical geography
  • Hydrology
  • Natural hazards
Technical requirements:
No specific technical requirements, just a browser required
Cost / Copyright:
No cost
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DLESE Catalog ID: DLESE-000-000-008-111
Educational standards:
  • National Science Education Standards (NSES):
    • K-4:
      • Unifying concepts and processes:
        • Evidence, models, and explanation
      • A - Science as inquiry:
        • Abilities necessary to do scientific inquiry
      • F - Science in personal / social perspectives:
        • Changes in environments
        • Types of resources
    • 5-8:
      • Unifying concepts and processes:
        • Evidence, models, and explanation
      • A - Science as inquiry:
        • Abilities necessary to do scientific inquiry
      • F - Science in personal / social perspectives:
        • Natural hazards
        • Populations, resources, environments
    • 9-12:
      • Unifying concepts and processes:
        • Evidence, models, and explanation
      • A - Science as inquiry:
        • Abilities necessary to do scientific inquiry
      • F - Science in personal / social perspectives:
        • Environmental quality
        • Natural and human-induced hazards
        • Natural resources
Related resources:
This resource is referenced by 'The Fragile Fringe: A Guide for Teaching About Coastal Wetlands'
Resource contact / Creator / Publisher:
Publisher: Organization: United States Geological Survey, National Wetlands Research Center


Contact: Mary Anne Townson
Louisiana Department of Natural Resources