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Project Based Learning

Why are Rivers so Important? - What are Rivers used for? 


Hello Year 3, last week, we continued to learn about the importance of rivers by exploring the different features of a river. We learnt that a river has 3 different parts: the upper course, the middle course and the lower course, all of which contain a range of features which make rivers some of the most impressive physical features of geography.


This week we are going to be thinking about the different uses that a river has.


Rivers are used for a variety of different activities across the world. They are used for survival, for habitats of wild animals, for farming, for transport, for energy and even for relaxation and recreation


This week, we are going to be completing a range of different activities which will help us to understand the different uses that a river has in modern societies.

Monday - WALT: understand the use of a river by explaining the different uses of water


Rivers are an important aspect in the survival of many different creatures and organisms that inhabit the earth. This is due to the fact that rivers contain water which can be used for a variety of different purposes. 


In fact, all running water across every household in the United Kingdom originated in a river. This water is then filtered and purified so that it is safe for people to use within their homes.


For todays lesson, I would like you to think about different appliances within your household that require water to work.


Can you list each of these items? Do you know how water is used for each appliance?


Your task is to look around your household. I want you to list each appliance that uses water within your house, can you then explain what this water is used for?



Tuesday - WALT: explore the different creatures that inhabit the riverbanks by sketching an image


Rivers are also an important part of the physical geography of the world as they are the homes of many different creatures throughout the United Kingdom. Many animals inhabit rivers and the riverbanks as it is the perfect eco-system for their growth and survival.


Rivers often have plenty of foods and plenty of water that animals need in order to survive.


Throughout the rivers in the United Kingdom you may witness the following creatures:



Many different fish live in the rivers such as carp, roach, minnow, eels and brown trout.



Some furry friends that can be found are otters, dormice, badgers, polecats, water voles, stoats and mink.

Insects & amphibians

Will you be quick enough to spot butterflies, newts, frogs, damselflies, dragonflies, grasshoppers, frogs or toads?


Foxgloves, kingcups, yellow iris, bluebells and waterlilies will make for beautiful photographs. 


Birdwatchers will love looking out for mallard ducks, swans, Canada geese, kingfishers, grey herons and osprey.


Your task for todays session is to create a drawing that shows the diverse wildlife that inhabits rivers and riverbanks. You can draw as many different animals as you would like but make sure that you draw the animals in their natural habitats!

Wednesday - WALT: develop understanding of the rivers use in farming by creating a story board


Rivers are also an important aspect of most agriculture communities. 


Rivers allow for the soil to become more fertile which in turn leads to more crops being planted and successfully grown.


River valleys and plains provide fertile soils. Farmers in dry regions irrigate their cropland using water carried by irrigation ditches from nearby rivers. This means that they dig channels through their farmland from nearby rivers so that they are able to provide their soil with water and nutrients to promote plant growth.


Soil can also become fertilised when a river floods and bursts its banks. Floodwater covers fields and over time is soaked into the soil. This fertilises the soil which in turn promotes strong growth throughout farmers crops.


Your task for todays lesson is to create a story board which details the rivers role in farming and agriculture.


You will need to focus on the following points:


  1. Farmers plant seeds in rich and fertile soil
  2. Seeds grow into plants which are continuously fed through the rich soil.
  3. The farmer will eventually harvest the plants which are grown in order to provide food or materials for trade.
  4. Rain falls continuously into a nearby river.
  5. The river eventually bursts its banks and floods the nearby fields.
  6. Over time this floodwater soaks into the soil which makes it fertile and ready for crops to be planted again.


You can use the worksheet below in order to complete your work.


Thursday - WALT: explore the use of rivers in creating renewable energy


Rivers are also important in providing communities with a renewable energy source. This is able to happen due to the invention of Dams. 


For a dam to be able to work; a reservoir is built to store water and water is released from that reservoir. This water flows through the dam and continues to flow downstream in order to maintain the river and ensure that it does not dry up. The high flow of water makes turbines within the dam rotate which generates electricity. There is energy conversion from mechanical energy to electrical energy here. This electrical energy can then be used to provide electricity to nearby communities. 


Your task for today is to design a Dam. Below is an image of what a typical dam would look like. Can you design a damn that would be able to provide electricity to our local area?


Once you have done this, I would like you to answer the following question on the second worksheet provided: Why is it important to have renewable energy sources?

Friday - WALT: explore how humans use rivers for recreation and relaxation


Rivers are also important in the lives of many different people as they provide the opportunity for people to participate in many different activities. 


Along the rivers 3 main courses many different activities can be observed such as:


  1. Fishing 
  2. Bird Watching
  3. River Walking
  4. Canoeing 
  5. Sailing and 
  6. Windsurfing


It is important that people are careful when participating in different water based activities and that they only enter the water when it is safe to do so in order to protect themselves and the people that they could potentially be with.


Your task for todays lesson is to create your own water-based activity for people to enjoy. It can be any kind of activity you would like it to be. Can you explain what your activity is? What is the aim of the activity? How can people enjoy the activity? Are there any rules?

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