Lesson Plan Title : Mississippi River

Age Range: Grade 6 through Grade 8 (Middle School)

Overview and Purpose: Explorers, traders, merchants, and farmers have followed and/or travelled it. Grain, lumber, ore, cotton and other products were (and are) transported on it. Riverboats give tours of it. Yes, we are talking about the Mighty Mississippi River! Students will be amazed at how important this river was (and is) to our country's commerce.

Objective: The student will be able to give a report on an occupation associated with the Mississippi River now or in the past.


Internet access for students

Teacher-created worksheet

Poster board



Talk with students about why the Mississippi River is so important. Ask them to brainstorm about some of the jobs that have been associated with the river. Divide them into groups of three and have them research on of the occupations. They can use the worksheet to help guide their choice.

When they have done the research, have them create a help wanted poster for their job. They can take turns presenting their jobs to the class.

Sample questions for the worksheet:

1. What job did you choose?

2. What sites did you find that discuss that job?

3. What were the main duties of the job?

4. Where along the Mississippi was the work done?

Wrap Up:

Field Trip opportunity! Students may enjoy seeing a river, up-close and personal on a riverboat tour. A local canal museum would also be an interesting place to show students some of the jobs associated with living near a river or canal.