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River Legends

Subject: Language Arts
Grade: K-2, 3-5, 6-8, 9-12


Brief Description

Students read legends about rivers and write their own river legends.



  • define the word legend
  • discuss some of the features of rivers
  • demonstrate creative-thinking and creative-writing skills to create legends
  • work together in cooperative groups.


creative writing, fable, folk tale, legend, river

Materials Needed


  • teacher-selected library sources of legends about rivers and/or print materials from the Web sites noted in the lesson plan
  • paper
  • pens or pencils
  • computer(s) with Internet access (optional)

Lesson Plan


  • Discuss the meaning of the word legend.
  • Read to the class one or more examples of legends about rivers from teacher-selected library sources or from these suggested sources:
  • Discuss the stories. Discuss some of the attributes of rivers.
  • Organize students into small groups. Print stories from one or more of the suggested sites. Distribute one story to each group.
  • Invite students to read the story aloud to one another. Then challenge students to work together to create a new short legend, using the examples they heard and read as models.
  • Have students read their completed legends to the class.
Extension: Have students illustrate their legends.


  • Idea 1: For younger students: Have students work together as a whole-class group to create one legend about rivers.
  • Idea 2: For older students: Have each student work individually to create a legend about rivers. Compile the legends into book format.
  • Idea 3: Have students research library and/or online sources for other legends about rivers.


Evaluate students' completed legends.

Lesson Plan Source

Education World

Submitted By

Lois Lewis

National Standards

Language Arts:


Originally published 06/11/2001
Links last updated 10/29/2014