Distance Learning

Ever-Changing Currents Mini-Lesson

Grade Level:
High School: Ninth Grade through Twelfth Grade
Literacy and Language Arts

Ever Changing Currents Mini-Lesson Plan

Exploratory River Writing
Niobrara Scenic River & Nebraska Writing Project

  • Students will be able to compose a poem about a river and how it reflects them using self-referencing language. 

  • Students will gain knowledge of the Niobrara National Scenic River 

  • Students will examine self-referencing language 

Lesson Outline


10 minutes 

  • Introduction to the Niobrara National Scenic River 

  • Introduction to Ever Changing Currents Lesson Series 

  • Langston Hughes and River Writing 

  • Guided Writing about Rivers Exercise 

  • Conclusion and Thank you to Partners 


1 Minute 

  • Introduction to the Niobrara National Scenic River 

  • 76 miles of river 

  • 6 Ecosystems 

  • Outstanding Resources of Value: scenery, recreation, geology, paleontology, wildlife 

  • Introduction to the Ever Changing Current’s Series 

  • Native Americans 

  • Homesteaders/Ranchers 

  • Outfitters 

Langston Hughes 


3 minutes 

  • Introduce Langston Hughes and Self-referencing Language 

  • Examine the choice to reference self as “Negro” 

Guided Writing 


5 minutes 

  • Guided River Reflection 

  • What effects do rivers have on you? 

  • How do they reflect you? 

  • Guided River Writing – 5 minutes 

  • Compose a poem about a river that reflects you. 



30 seconds 

Notes from the Creators: 

To access the full playlist of Ever-Changing Currents Lessons, please visit our YouTube page, “Niobrara National Scenic River NPS,” and see our “Lesson Plans” playlist https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCyHbU2YEJH9WA_owDStTa1Q/playlists 

Lesson outlines and materials are available on the Niobrara National Scenic River Website, www.nps.gov/niob/learn, or through the Nebraska Writing Project, www.unl.edu/newp

With these resources you are allowed to: 

  • Print as many copies as needed for your classroom and for the students under your immediate instruction. 

  • Use in conjunction within a secure and closed online environment, such as Google Classroom or Schoology. 

  • Share with partnering teachers/organizations. 


  • Post this resource on any class/personal website or blog. 

  • Edit, redistribute, sell, or post this resource as your own. 


For Closed Captions, please view this video on YouTube at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vHwgJKtEuxs

Download Every-Changing Currents Mini-Lesson Video

Last updated: March 23, 2021