After our cave adventure we’ll take the rest of the week (Wednesday – Friday) for a mini-unit on waterfalls (student-requested topic).


How Waterfalls Work from

After reading and discussing the article together we’ll read and color this printout (page 1).

Victoria Falls
A little video of Victoria Falls (Amazon Prime video). Visualizing the scale of Victoria Falls and some gorgeous photos via

Niagara Falls
A couple of fiction books from the library to go along with our unit.

We’ll use the Power of Speech worksheet from this TPT freebie to discuss why authors use certain dialogue for their characters and what character traits we can infer from their speech.

We’ll take a virtual field trip to Niagara Falls and a few local waterfalls via Google Earth.

I found this story paper with a picture of Niagara Falls that we’ll use to write about our virtual field trip.


Another great library book – How Does a Waterfall become Electricity? – will be the basis for our science portion of this unit. We’ll use a portion of the non-fiction text to identify the main idea and supporting details of a passage/chapter.

This YouTube video explains how a hydroelectric power plant works clearly enough for my 1st graders to get a good overview of the process.


Norris Dam State Park  is about 30 minutes north of us. As we were finishing up our lesson on Thursday the news reported that the Dam would be spilling water to lower lake levels. It was such a perfect fit that we took a picnic lunch and headed out the next morning. We stopped at three different observation points and took pictures and got a real feel of the power of the water. The kids saw the size of the powerhouse and the transformers, just like we had read about! While there were quite a few spectators at the dam viewing sites, our picnic area was empty and beautiful! We also visited the Old Grist Mill, watching how the water moved the wheel and then going inside to see the gears moving. The Lenoir Museum was also interesting and educational. The kids enjoyed seeing, touching and even using some the of the tools used “a long, long time ago”, as the kids put it. Here are some pictures from our trip!

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