Encourage the students to relate their own experiences with rivers and develop a readiness to begin to study the Lamprey River through discussion, pictures of rivers, etc.. Bring in appropriate information that you have from other sources. Help the students organize their information and questions. In the second lesson, begin to develop knowledge of the Lamprey through map-reading activities. The three maps used in this section: a blank map of New Hampshire, a detailed map showing the rivers, and a map of the Lamprey River watershed, are at the end of this lesson.

Focus: What is interesting about a river?

Learning Objectives: The students will

  • recall and discuss knowledge of rivers from their own experience;
  • connect previous knowledge with new information and ideas about rivers.

Duration:  2 hours


__"A River Ran Wild" by Lynne Cherry

__6 sheets of large chart paper


__materials to make student journals (some may prefer to use folders)


  1. Ask students to share what they know about rivers. Prompt the discus­sion
    with questions such as:

            Do any rivers run through your town?

            Are there any rivers near your school or your home?

            Have you ever visited a river? What did you do there?

            How did most people use rivers in the past?

            Are rivers as important to us now as they were in the past? Why?

            How are rivers important to other living things?

2. Record students' ideas on charts under the following topics: What do we know about rivers? What would we like to learn? How are rivers used today? How did people use them in the past? How are rivers important to other living things?

3. Read "A River Ran Wild" aloud. Ask students to make connections with information in the book to the previous discussion. As they share their thoughts, add more ideas to the different categories.

4. Have students create and label their “The River: The Lamprey Through History” journals. Then have them write about their memories of rivers. (You might want them to share any memories they have of rivers before beginning to write.) When everyone is finished writing, have the children read aloud or share portions of their memories.



by Chelsea

Preaceful and gentle is the sparkling stream.

Soft music glides over the river bed,

While white water crashes through the canyon.

Twisting and turning with booming thunder from beginning to end,

And somewhere in the middle, splashing and dashing, castles of foam,

The sapphire stream goes on forever.  



The Lamprey River stretches 47.3 miles from its headwaters in the Saddleback Mountains at Betty's Meadows in Northwood to the shores of Great Bay in Newmarket. It is the fourth largest river in the state of New Hampshire and its watershed covers 212 square miles. It drops 600 feet in elevation on its way to Great Bay and discharges 278 cubic feet of water per second on average. Its major tributaries are Hartford Brook, North Branch River, Onway/Governors Lakes tributaries, Pawtuckaway River, North River, Piscassic River, and Little River. Towns in the watershed include Northwood, Barrington, Brentwood, Candia, Raymond, Nottingham, Fremont, Deerfield, Epping, Lee, Durham, Newfields, Exeter, and Newmarket.
Focus: Locating the Lamprey River in the state.
Learning Objectives:

Students will demonstrate the ability to gain a variety of information from several maps.


                  __blank outline maps of New Hampshire

                  __detailed maps of New Hampshire showing the Lamprey (1 for 2 children)

                  __maps of the Lamprey River watershed

                  __crayons or colored pencils

                  __charts to record class discussion items.

Go to: http://www.netstate.com/states/maps/nh_maps.htm for both a blank outline map and a map showing lakes and rivers, including the Lamprey River.

Go to: http://www.lrwa-nh.org/about-the-watershed/   for a map of the watershed. (Click on print preview, then select landscape, 6 page view, all frames individual, and 85%)


Ask students to share their ideas about the location of the Lamprey River. Where can they see the river in your town? Does it flow through any other towns? Which ones? What else do they know about the river's location? Where do your students think the river is in the state?

Give students a copy of the blank New Hampshire map and ask them to draw the location and extent of the Lamprey River. (They can also try to place the river on a map at the end of the project for evaluation.)

Distribute detailed maps of New Hampshire that show the location of the Lamprey River. Ask students to work in pairs and find the river on these maps, trace it with crayons, and then compare their drawings of the river on the blank map with its true location. Have them rank their drawings: close, some­what close, not close.

4. Hand out maps of the Lamprey River watershed, then have students trace the length of the river with crayons. Introduce the concept of a watershed as the entire land surface that drains into a river, lake, bay, etc. Have the students study the watershed map, and then ask them to decide what they can learn about the river by looking at it. Generate a list of topics. Write the topics on chart paper or on the board.

5. Discuss the term "data" with the students and have them label the next page in their journals "Map Data."

6. Ask them to write the topics that were generated in #4, leaving several lines after each topic, in their journals. Encourage them to record the information they gathered from the maps. Topics can include: length, direction, tributaries, towns in the watershed, where it crosses their town, beginning and end of the river, etc..

7. Point out the map’s scale. Ask them what a map scale is. Ask them how they could determine the length of the river using the scale. Record their suggestions. Different groups may use different methods or the same method, but hopefully someone will suggest string, strips of paper, tape measures, etc.. Provide them with string, measuring tape, strips of paper, flexible rulers, etc. to measure the river. They can be quite accurate if they work together to hold the string (paper, tape, etc.) all along the path of the river from beginning to end and then measure the length of the string. Using the scale and the length of the string, they can make an estimate of the length of the river in miles. Ask them why their calculations for the length of the river are only estimates.

8. Give students time to gather as much information as they can from the maps.

9. As a whole class, compare what was discovered about the river using the watershed maps. Students can fill in information they missed. During the dis­cussion, add information to the charts begun earlier in Part 1.1.


by Greg

From Northwood to Great Bay,

The Lamprey flows.

From places far away,

Past houses and roads it goes.

The creatures in the Lamprey

They swim or crawl or fly.

They depend upon the river

Until the time they die.


student's name______________________________ date_______________

How long is the river? ___________miles

What general direction does it flow?__________________________________

Does it change direction? ______ Describe how._________________________ _______________________________________________________________

Where does the river start? _________________________________________

Where does it end? _______________________________________________

Where is the river located in the state? ________________________________


Does the river have tributaries? If so, name some. ________________________


What other things did you learn from the map? ___________________________





By Sam H.

The current is swift with castles of foam,

Sparkling, splashing, twisting, and raging.

But some of the river isn't in motion.

It's not splashing or rolling or tumbling or thrashing.

It sits in the pond, not moving at all,

Waiting to move south the next waterfall.

Near where it sits were the mills and the falls,

Producing food for the villages all.

After the water flows over the obstacles

And through the towns, it ends up in the sea.