Simulation: River Cruise: Rivers of the World

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Social Studies, Geography

Grade 5- 8


Students will identify major rivers of the world by the location of their sources, their mouths, and/or other significant details of their courses.


River Cruise not only reviews information about rivers, it invites students to tune their listening skills as clues are read aloud only once. You may encourage team members to take notes in order to maintain possession of clues throughout the competition.

On the game board, space is provided for checking off each clue given for a river. When the river is identified, circle the appropriate point value and record the name of the team which first recognized it. When changing levels, leave the circled scores for each river at the previous level of play, noting the team that garnered the points. Erase the clue number notations and team record in order to initiate a different level of play.


  1. Reproduce copies of the clue sheets and cut out the individual river cruise tickets. Keep related cards together but place them in random order.
  2. Prepare an overhead transparency of the River Cruise game board.
  3. Obtain and ready an overhead projector.
  1. Divide the class into heterogeneous cooperative learning teams.
  2. Tell students that they will be playing a game that allows review of the major rivers of the world. You will read a clue about a famous river, and each team in turn will try to identify its name.
  3. There are three levels of play during each game, determined by the degree of difficulty involved in identifying that particular set of rivers by its clues. The levels are 'Still Water' (easy), 'Swift Current' (average), and 'White Water Rapids' (challenging). For each level of play, the teacher presents the overhead transparency of the game board with six unknown rivers labeled A, B, C, D, E, and F, corresponding to the labels on the cruise tickets. There are four clues for each of the six rivers.
  4. Teams orally choose a clue for any of the six rivers by calling out a letter A-F. During the 'Still Water' level of play, a river identified on the first clue given is worth 40 points. Guessing the name of a river correctly on the second clue garners 30 points; on the third clue, 20 points; and on the fourth clue, 10 points. The point values change with each level of play.
  5. Note that tickets for the Still Water Cruise (easy level) have already been provided. You may wish to prepare additional sets of four clues each for Swift Current (average) and White Water Rapids (challenging) levels. (Some teachers may involve student teams in researching and developing the clues.) Simply block out the clues on an existing set of tickets and reproduce blank tickets for the next level of difficulty. The new clues may be written directly onto the blank tickets.
  6. Play continues until all the rivers for a level have been identified, or all clues have been used. (Note: One, two, or all three levels of play may constitute a game.) The team with the greatest number of points is the winner.


  • an overhead projector
  • pages 38-39 (one copy of each page, see link below for activity sheets)
  • overhead transparency of page 40 (see link below for activity sheet)

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