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Learning about Rivers and Ponds through Thematic Units

Updated on July 22, 2013

Children learn by repetition and by doing!

Thematic Unit Rivers and Ponds

Are you a teacher looking for lesson ideas and activities for your elementary grade students regarding rivers and ponds?

In this 80-page soft-cover book filled with lesson ideas, there are four generalized units which will teach concepts about ponds, frogs, and rivers.

The themes are coordinated to other subjects such as language arts, math, science, social studies, art, cooking, and physical education.

Teacher Created Materials

The book was published in 1997 by Teacher Created Materials.

Teacher Created Materials are just that. Materials created by teachers for teachers.

Teachers are successful at creating lessons for their students because it's what they know. In most schools, the books are distributed in the masses. Each book is written by a publisher that caters to a broad audience. Books need to capture the attention of children everywhere.

Teacher Created Materials are excellent resources for teachers and homeschool parents because the lessons are more individuals and planned.

The lessons in thematic unit teaching comes together so that all of the subjects are coordinated to work together instead of scrambling to find innovative teaching tools that students will respond to positively which coincide with a generic school book.

This book contains the following thematic units:
Planning guides
Literature selections
Group Projects
Planning Guides
Writing and language experience ideas
Bulletin board ideas
Curriculum connections
Activity guides
Suggested literature related to ponds and rivers


The book is reproducible. That means the publisher is authorizing permission for the owner to copy and distribute the pages for educational purposes.

In fact, the publisher further states to use the book year-after-year, punch holes in the pages and store them in a three-ring binder.

Another suggestion would be to laminate the pages and keep them organized on a ring for easy access to invidual pages.

In other words, don't write on the pages and you can use them indefinitely.

The book is great for homeschool too!

I find the book easy to use for homeschool. Parents can easily browse through the pages and decide what pages pertain to lesson plans.

Each unit is broken down into plans.

For example, in the thematic unit, All Eyes on the Pond, a sample plan is presented by lessons. There are 5 lessons in all.

Each lesson outlines what to do and what page to use to do them.

There are worksheets located within the book. For example on page 11, Pond Animals, is a worksheet you can take out in the field during an activity at a pond. The page is filled with drawings of animals that the children can track of by checking off as they observe them. Best of all, the worksheets can be used over and over because the book is reproducible.

Have you ever used Teacher Created Materials in your school or home?

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Drama and Theater

The Pond Readers' Theater on pages 20 and 21 set forth a play multiple children can act out or read aloud to each other in class.

Children can incorporate their own drawings and art as backdrops or props for the play!

Book ideas for children

There are book ideas for creating handmade reading material for in-class use.

Using the thematic themes presented, children can create their own books from construction paper.

A little imagination goes a long way!

Book ideas for children to create with construction paper!

Math lessons

I like how the book incorporates math through fun games with a series of questions on a worksheet-style lesson.

You'll love the leapfrog math idea presented on page 57.

Children will learn to read graphs using illustrated questions regarding characters in the book.

Math is incorporated in to each lesson.


The book further creates a section for art projects.

The paper plate frog is one example of the art projects designed for elementary school students.

Each art project specifies the materials needed to complete the project.

Materials needed for making a paper plate frog

Paper Plate Frog Materials Needed
Paper plates
Green paint, crayons or markers
Green construction paper strips
Scraps of black, white and red or pink paper

Easy to use

You'll love how easy it is to follow the directions in this book.

The art projects are simple and inexpensive to do with a class full of eager children awaiting in anticipation to make their own frogs!

Thematic Units

Thematic units come together as a whole to structure a child's learning.

Learning about rivers and ponds is excellent for children and helps establish knowledge about our environment.

The pages in this book are black and white which make it easier to reproduce for years to come.

I hope you've enjoyed this review of Thematic Unit Rivers and Ponds as much as I have enjoyed reading and using the book for my own children.


I recommend Thematic Unit Rivers and Ponds which is an older book but still as useful as ever. While we are teaching our children these days the importance of recycling, they first need to know why recycling is so important to help better understand why we need to keep our ponds and rivers clean for generations to come!

I also like how the book incorporates bulletin board ideas. Children learn by visual stimulation!


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