In this unit, we follow a river from source to mouth, examining the changes in its characteristics downstream. Students learn how various river features (for example meanders and waterfalls) are formed and how they change over time.
By the end of this unit it is expected that all students will: be able to use a limited range of geographical terminology about rivers (eg. source, mouth, waterfall); know that a river is smaller near its source and bigger near its mouth; have labeled the source and mouth of a river on a map; have annotated a photograph of a waterfall to show its key features.
Most students will: be able to use geographical terminology such as source, mouth, v-shaped valley, waterfall, meander, oxbow lake, floodplain; be able to describe how a river’s characteristics change as you travel downstream; be able to label tributaries and confluences on a river map; be able to explain how a waterfall forms.
Some learners will have progressed further and will: use geographical terminology confidently and without prompting (eg. source, mouth, waterfall, meander, oxbow lake, floodplain, tributary, confluence); be able to explain how and why a river’s characteristics change as you travel downstream; be able to label tributaries, confluences, meanders and floodplains on a river map; be able to explain the formation of a waterfall, and its gorge.
All students complete a classroom test, under exam conditions. This requires them to identify river features and to explain how they form and how they change over time.
How to help your child
Encourage your child to use the new vocabulary that they learn throughout the unit – you could play hangman to help them practice spelling key words.