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Teacher Guide

Environmental Concerns in the Community

By Mary Howland, Beth Fensterwald, Steven Caringella
Meet the Authors

"How do we become aware of local environmental concerns and what can we do to make a difference?"

and Standards



 Student Guide

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Let's Write Some Poetry about Rivers

Instructional Time: 2 hours

By the end of this activity students will have written one poem where a river is the main image. The activity begins by the teacher reading aloud a poem about a river. The students then will look at about 15 pictures of rivers. They will be asked to write 15 adjectives describing a river. They will also be asked to write 1) what a river is like; 2) how a river is like the student; 3) how the river is like a parent, a sister or brother, a friend, etc.; 4) what are ten activities that come to mind when the student thinks of a river; 5) list 10 animals that live near a river (the students should be specific, giving a kind of bird not just birds); 6) what activities does the student imagine one or two of the animals doing near the river; 7) how would the student feel if he or she was sitting next to the river; and 8) the student should describe four or five plants that he or she might see near the river. After the students have completed their lists, they should look through them, circling the most powerful images. They should then use these images to write a poem. After the poem is written, they should reread it, edit it, and revise it. When they are finished, they should write it on a PowerPoint slide, including a graphic of their choice. The PowerPoint slide can then be shared with students in the other classrooms and with their classmates.

California Content Standards
English and Language Arts
Grade Five
ELA.5.1.0. Word Analysis, Fluency, and Systematic Vocabulary Development
Vocabulary and Concept Development
ELA.5.1.5. Understand and explain the figurative and metaphorical use of words in context.
ELA.5.1.0. Writing Strategies
Evaluation and Revision
ELA.5.1.6. Edit and revise manuscripts to improve the meaning and focus of writing by adding, deleting, consolidating, clarifying, and rearranging words and sentences.
Grade Eight
Written and Oral English Language Conventions
ELA.8.1.0. Written and Oral English Language Conventions
ELA.8.1.4. Edit written manuscripts to ensure that correct grammar is used.
Punctuation and Capitalization
ELA.8.1.5. Use correct punctuation and capitalization.
ELA.8.1.6. Use correct spelling conventions.

1.River PicturesWeb SiteHardware:
Internet Access
2.River of Words Poetry ContestWeb SiteHardware:
Internet Access
3.Rubric for evaluation of poetry activityHandoutHardware:

Microsoft Office
4.River Poem to ReadHandoutHardware:

Microsoft Office

Method of Checking for Understanding:
Observations, Student Work