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River of Words Lesson Plans and Links

Creative Arts about our Watersheds: Lesson Plans and Links


These lesson plans were collected for use in conjunction with the River of Words contest, and may also be used as standalone projects.

Poetry Lessons Art Lessons

Writing Cinquain
For younger students, but adaptable for middle school.

Cinquain Graphic Organizer (PDF) Use this organizer with photos of Ozarks landscapes, animals, or plant life from the Atlas to inspire place based poems.

Cinquain reflection worksheet - for self assessment (PDF)

4th Grade Poetry Process Exercise
by Donita Prock, Mountain Grove 4th grade teacher. Mountain Grove 4th graders were local winners in 2005.

Writing Poetry Like Pros
For older students. Not specifically nature or place based, but uses some environmental examples.

Nature Poetry Process: Slideshow and Handouts
by Wanda Byrd, Education Specialist


Download: Nature Poetry Exercises

sky - river
in the moment
it's enough
Haiku by Mountain View Missouri poet Dale Ernst

How to Write a Haiku
"Haiku teaches the power of observation and the importance of editing." More of a process description than a lesson plan.

Local Poetry Examples

A present day writer's poem about a rainy day on an Ozarks river.


No Place Like Home in the Ozarks
Local links to customize this webquest, with Missouri Standards.

Garden Party
This is a whole set of K-6 lesson plans creating collage/mixed media images of flowers and bugs, based loosely on the work of Eric Carle.

Forests and Treescapes
Using artist Romey Stuckart's painting "The Cedar" as a focal point, students will create paintings while learning about the role that forests play in our environment and our imagination.

Landscape Painting
Using James Palmersheim's silver creek's November II as a starting point, students will create their own landscape paintings.

Photo Resources
You will find many images of Ozarks wildflowers on the Atlas to use as inspiration for these lessons:
Spring Wildflowers
Summer Wildflowers
May Flowers
Early Spring Flowers

Two winter photo stories for seasonal inspiration, art or poetry:
Tracks in the Snow
Frosty Slough

Rubrics for Art and Poetry

Illustrated Poetry rubric
This rubric assumes multiple patterns are being used; adapt for your lesson.

Two rubrics for assessing student artwork:

Art Rubric - an Artwork Assessment Form

Rubric for Grading Art


  Show Me Standards Guide
  Students' completion of entries for the River of Words contest is likely to meet the following Missouri standards and grade level expectations:
Knowledge: FA 4; SC 4,3,6; CA 1,4,7
Process: Goals 1.8, 1.10, 2.5, 2.1
Grade Level Expectations: CA, W, 1, A, 3 - 12
More standards can be met by preparing for the creative work using one of the lesson plans.

 River of Words Contest Entry Form


 Frequently Asked Questions

Acrobat Reader
PDF documents use Adobe Acrobat Reader and are print-ready. Free download.
  Haiku by Dale Ernst first published in Sol Magazine, August 1998, poetry competition. The poem won second place in the haiku category. Used by permission of the poet.