For Teachers

A park ranger points and students are looking through binoculars.
Ranger Brian leads a group of students during an activity on the Big River Journey field trip.

NPS/Kyle Just


The Mississippi River offers teachers a perfect opportunity to link subject matter across the entire curriculum - science, history, cultures, geography, reading, writing, art, music, computer learning, and more.

NOTICE: All in-person field trip programs are currently on hold due to COVID-19. Field trips will resume when safe to do them. Please explore our distance learning programs identified below at our partnership Online Learning Center.

Distance Learning Opportunites

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    Live Online Classroom Visits

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      A ranger instructs students.


      Big River Journey

      (grades 3-5)

      The Big River Journey is a great way for students to learn more about the Mississippi River. The award-winning program offers an integration of river and classroom experiences that connect 3rd-5th grade students with the science and heritage of the Mississippi River and promote stewardship. View a short video (6 mins) that introduces one to this program.

      Journey to the Falls

      (grades 4-6)

      Journey to the Falls (JTF) is an integration of river and classroom experiences featuring history, technology and literacy activities. JTF connects 4th-6th grade students with the history and resources of St. Anthony Falls and the Mississippi River in the Minneapolis area. JTF culminates with a field trip to the historic milling district and lock and dam at Saint Anthony Falls featuring hands-on learning activities, journaling, and an optional riverside hike to Bohemian Flats Park.

      Canoemobile Mississippi River

      The Canoemobile Mississippi River (CMR) is an outdoor canoe program focused on getting Twin Cities youth on the Mississippi River. Each CMR trip provides students an opportunity to experience a different, special section of the Mississippi National River and Recreation Area. CMR is a partner program between Wilderness Inquiry, Mississippi Park Connection, and the National Park Service. Learn more about the innovative Canoemobile program.

      Working River, Winter River, Living River Programs

      (Grade 4)

      Working River, Winter River, and Living River are specifically geared towards fourth graders and Title I schools with the goal of creating emotional and positive connections to the park. Covering the seasons, these standards-based programs encompass a year-long journey using different themes. The programs are led by experienced park rangers and our River Educator team who help guide student explorations. Field trips are 1.5 – 2.5 hours in length.
      Learn more about these fun and engaging programs.

      Climate Change Field Trips

      (grades 5-8)

      Explore how climate affects the Mississippi River and the life around it during a free, 3-1/4 hour field trip at Fort Snelling State Park for grades 5-8. Activities include phenology study (seasonal changes), weather data collection, and a service project. Emphasis is on climate literacy and what people can do to help our changing climate. Visit our climate change pages for field trip information and additional resources about climate change and our park.

      Big River Art Contest

      (grades 3-6)

      The annual Big River Art Contest engages students, grades 3-6, in the science, heritage and stewardship of the Mississippi River through the practice of art. Due to the COVID 19 pandemic, the Big River Art Contest is cancelled for 2021. The contest will resume when field trips resume. In the meantime, we encourage students to create Big River Artwork on their own. During contest years, prizes are awarded to both the winning students and their teachers. Winning artwork is displayed at the Mississippi River Visitor Center, Mill City Museum, Fort Snelling State Park, and in galleries on our website!


      We offer an assortment of teacher resources including science and thematic classroom activities, posters, booklets, River Heritage Posters, and more!

      Contact the Park

      Mailing Address:

      111 E. Kellogg Blvd., Suite 105
      Saint Paul , MN 55101


      651 293-0200
      This is the general phone line at the Mississippi River Visitor Center.

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