• Mississippi National River and Recreation Area


    National River & Recreation Area Minnesota

Journey to the Falls: Teacher Resources

Journey to the Falls Teacher's Guide (PDF, 7.2mb)

Minnesota Academic Standards: Interface with Journey to the Falls (PDF, 76kb)

Aluminum Boat (PDF)
Students will learn why boats float and why, without buoyancy, river and sea transportation, exploration, and commerce on the Mississippi River would not have been possible. In this activity, students will build aluminum foil boats and evaluate their designs using pennies as cargo.

Bridge Span Activity (PDF)
Students will research bridge types and construction and then try their hand at designing and building a bridge.

Fossils (PDF)
The student will create an imitation fossil that employs at least two elements that define a fossil.

Map the Mississippi River Watershed (PDF)
Students will map the Mississippi watershed from its sources to the Gulf of Mexico to gain a better understanding of watersheds.

Map the River in the Twin Cities (PDF)
Students will map the Mississippi watershed through the Twin Cities using various resources to find historical and geographic landmarks.

Online Learning: Surf the Mississippi at St. Anthony Falls (PDF)
Students will explore the Internet to answer a series of questions about the history, geology, and geography of the Mississippi River in the Twin Cities and early uses of the river system.

Poetry (PDF)
Students will learn about and use one or more forms of poetry to express their understanding of the Mississippi River.

River Theme Activity Ideas (PDF)
This document contains a list of activities from which teachers and students may choose. Activities include exploring the river through the sciences, humanities, and through service learning.

Sedimentary Layers (PDF)
Students will utilize two types of sediment and water to create sedimentary layers as found in sedimentary rocks along the Mississippi River. They will learn that moving water carries and sorts sediments, changes landforms, and creates strata.

Questions for Introducing River Learning (PDF)
Students will explore the Mississippi River through questions about wildlife, transportation, geography, culture, and history.

Lessons from a Landscape (PDF)
Students will explore a local river or neighborhood to find answers to questions about the river, the landscape, and local history.

Lumber & Sawmill Activities
There are 3 activities, some with two sections, that will either prepare students for their
Journey to the Falls or serve as post-trip activities. These activities focus on the historic lumber and sawmill industries of Minneapolis.

-Part 1: Visit to a Sawmill
-Part 2: Minneapolis Lumber
-Part 3: Art of Lumbering
-A Visit to a Sawmill Booklet

Waterfall on the Move
There are three activities related to St. Anthony Falls and Mississippi River geology that will help prepare students for their Journey to the Falls experience; Mississippi River Bluff Strata, St. Anthony Falls from 1680-1876, and Map the River in the Twin Cities.

-Part 1: Mississippi River Bluff Strata
-Part 2: St. Anthony Falls 1680-1876
-Part 3: Map the Mississippi in the Twin Cities


-Explorers of the Mississippi (Powerpoint, 10.5mb) or (PDF, 1.13mb). Download these files to a local computer by clicking on a link and then on "Save."
-Birding Boat Song and Lyrics
-Songs of the Mississippi River
-River Heritage Posters
-Birding Boat Brochure: 2 pages (8.5x14" paper), 3 pages (8.5x11" paper)
-Journey of a Waterfall (recession) (PDF)
-Locking Through Interactive
-River Facts (PDF)
-Books and Resources for St. Anthony Falls Area (PDF)
-Keywords and Concepts (PDF)

Did You Know?

Mussels, One being in a person's hand

Certain freshwater mussels can live to more than 100 years in the right conditions. This lifespan is one of the longest for any creature on earth.