Hudson River Lesson Plans
Place-based study of the Hudson can help students meet state learning standards in engaging fashion. To this end, the Hudson River Estuary Program has created interdisciplinary lessons that use the river as context to build understandings and skills required by state standards and tests. Teachers may use the lessons to create a stand-alone Hudson River unit or pick and choose from among them to support study of English language arts, mathematics, science and social studies. Since teachers are pressed for time both in the classroom and in preparation, the lessons are easy to set up and implement.
The lessons on this site are intended for kindergarten through grade 7. Those for older students are grouped by discipline; lessons for younger children are grouped separately (lessons useful for third graders can be found in both places). A given lesson will often incorporate learning in several subject areas. In addition, content covered in a lesson focused on one set of skills is often reinforced in another lesson aimed at a different skill set. For example, students can read about the blue crab's life cycle in an English language arts lesson, and then do a math worksheet about the crab's movements in the estuary.
The links below lead to descriptions of the lessons and downloadable teachers' guides and student worksheets. Except for a few labeled as drafts, the lessons have been reviewed by classroom teachers and field tested in Hudson Valley schools. Bookmark this page and check back on a regular basis, as more will be added in months to come.
Links to Hudson River Lessons:
- English Language Arts - This collection of lesson plans facilitates integration of river studies with instruction in English Language Arts.
- Mathematics - These lessons use actual data from river research to construct word problems that require math skills for their solution.
- Science - These explore physical and life science topics related to the Hudson.
- Social Studies - These lessons look at the Hudson Valley's history, geography and economics through the lens of the region's natural resources.
- Kindergarten Through Third Grade - Students practice English language arts skills by listening to or reading short articles, and then engage in activities that reinforce content and build other skills.
Hudson River Lesson Plan Questionnaire
To help the Estuary Program know where these lessons are being used and whether they are meeting teacher needs, please take a few minutes to answer a brief lesson plan questionnaire. Teachers who fill out the questionnaire and provide their name and address will receive a free 20" x 36" map of the Hudson's watershed. You may also use the contact information below to inform us of successes, problems, and suggestions for improvement, along with ideas for other lessons you would like to see.
Other On-Line Sources of Hudson River Lessons
The Estuary Program partners with other groups to develop a full range of curriculum for K-12 study of the Hudson. The Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies' Changing Hudson Project features web-based curriculum designed by teachers and scientists to engage high school students in exciting, innovative science connecting them with current research about the river. Teaching the Hudson Valley offers a growing online collection of K-12 lesson plans that connect visits to sites of environmental, historical and cultural interest with classroom study of math, science, history, art and other subjects. And the Hudson River National Estuarine Research Reserve reaches out to classrooms with distance learning via web-based video conferencing as well as lessons on site at its Norrie Point facility on the Hudson in Staatsburgh [Dutchess County]. Links to these resources can be found in the right hand column of this page.
Estuary Education Coordinator
Hudson River Estuary Program/NYS Water Resources Institute, Cornell University
NYS DEC Region 3
21 South Putt Corners Road
New Paltz, NY 12561