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United States Map - Lesson 10 (K-3)

Objectives The students will locate important rivers on a map of the United States.
Vocabulary river, river source, river mouth
Materials Needed United States Map, map marker



Write the word river on the board. Ask the students to describe a river they have seen. Ask them what type of human activities did they see taking place on the river. (Examples might be boating, swimming, fishing, barges using th rive to transport goods.) Ask them to name any rivers they may know of or have seen.


Tell the students that a river is a large stream of water that flows through the land. There are many rivers in the United States. The largest river can be found on a map of the United States.


Pull down the map of the Unites States. Explain to the students that a symbol is used to show the location of a river. The symbol is an arrow blue line drawn on the map. The blue line symbol shows the river flow from its beginning to it end.


The place where a river begins is the river source. The place where a river empties into another body of water is the river mouth.


The Mississippi River is the longest in the United States. Show the students the symbol for the Mississippi River. Using the map-marking pen, trace the Mississippi River from its source in Minnesota to it mouth near the Gulf of Mexico. Label river source and river mouth. Underline the words Mississippi River on the map. (The words Mississippi River follow the course of the river and can be hard for students to find. Many features labeled on a map or globe cannot use left to right reading progression. This makes map reading difficult for your students. Point this out to the students.)


Ask students to come to the map and locate other rivers. Let them trace the river on the map and locate the name of the river. After the river has been identified have another student write the name of the river on the board.


Continue this procedure for any other rivers the students have time to locate.

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