ALEX Lesson Plan


Alabama, The River State

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  This lesson provided by:  
Author:Linda Hardee
System: Huntsville City
School: Highlands Elementary School
  General Lesson Information  
Lesson Plan ID: 33038


Alabama, The River State


This lesson is an introduction to the abundant water resources in Alabama. Concepts include: water is essential for life and water is a natural resource we must preserve and protect. 

This is a College- and Career-Ready Standards showcase lesson plan.

 Associated Standards and Objectives 
Content Standard(s):
SC (4)
7. Describe geological features of Earth, including bodies of water, beaches, ocean ridges, continental shelves, plateaus, faults, canyons, sand dunes, and ice caps.
MA2015 (4)
17. Use decimal notation for fractions with denominators 10 or 100. [4-NF6]
Example: Rewrite 0.62 as 62/100; describe a length as 0.62 meters; locate 0.62 on a number line diagram.
SS2010 (3) Geographic and Historical Studies: People, Places, and Regions
8. Identify geographic links of land regions, river systems, and interstate highways between Alabama and other states. (Alabama)
Examples: Appalachian Mountains, Tennessee-Tombigbee Waterway, Interstate Highway 65 (I-65), Natchez Trace Parkway (Alabama)
  • Locating the five geographic regions of Alabama (Alabama)
  • Locating state and national parks on a map or globe (Alabama)
  • SS2010 (4) Alabama Studies
    1. Compare historical and current economic, political, and geographic information about Alabama on thematic maps, including weather and climate, physical-relief, waterway, transportation, political, economic development, land-use, and population maps.
  • Describing types of migrations as they affect the environment, agriculture, economic development, and population changes in Alabama
  • SC2015 (2)
    9. Create models to identify physical features of Earth (e.g., mountains, valleys, plains, deserts, lakes, rivers, oceans).
    SC2015 (2)
    10. Collect and evaluate data to identify water found on Earth and determine whether it is a solid or a liquid (e.g., glaciers as solid forms of water; oceans, lakes, rivers, streams as liquid forms of water).

    Local/National Standards:


    Primary Learning Objective(s):

    The students will analyze a map of the Rivers of Alabama and a globe of the world, observing all the blue color. (Map keys)

    Important vocabulary terms will include watershed and pollution.  

    The students will make a written plan to implement changes in their personal water use. 

    Additional Learning Objective(s):

     Preparation Information 

    Total Duration:

    61 to 90 Minutes

    Materials and Resources:

    Plastic blow-up globe 


    Technology Resources Needed:

    Computer with Internet access


    The teacher might find the background material on this website helpful.  

    1. The teacher will have a beachball style globe and toss it to a student. The student must catch it with open fingers. The student will count the fingers touching water. The numbers will be recorded so the entire class can see. This will continue until five to ten students have had a turn. When totaled, the percentage should fall between 65 and 80. This is the water that covers the earth.
    2. The students will access the maps 
    3. They will find their location and watershed (the area where water drains). They will also follow the path that the water body follows. Most of Alabama water drains south, but the Tennessee River drains north.
    4. Students will use the interactive map to show the smaller tributaries.
    5. The student will then complete the survey for homework.
    6. Trends--what are the causes and effects of this situation and are there any factors or trends that influence this issue?


    Assessment Strategies

    The student will summarize their (and family's) water use. They will develop strategies to take better care of our water quality. They can address ways to stop pollution of our waterways.

    The student may chart/graph and write about the data they collected.  




    Using a straw and a crooked line on a piece of paper, the student will blow a drop of water through the path.

    This can help make the connection of the many directions water can follow - just like a river in Alabama.

    Each area below is a direct link to general teaching strategies/classroom accommodations for students with identified learning and/or behavior problems such as: reading or math performance below grade level; test or classroom assignments/quizzes at a failing level; failure to complete assignments independently; difficulty with short-term memory, abstract concepts, staying on task, or following directions; poor peer interaction or temper tantrums, and other learning or behavior problems.

    Presentation of Material Environment
    Time Demands Materials
    Attention Using Groups and Peers
    Assisting the Reluctant Starter Dealing with Inappropriate Behavior
    Be sure to check the student's IEP for specific accommodations.