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Lesson: Human Activities and River Health

Diane Pathy © Canadian Museum of Nature


The Rideau River in Ottawa, Ontario.

Recommended for

  • grades 7 to 10
  • secondary cycles 1 and 2.

In this lesson plan, students will learn about sources of river pollution and their impacts on biodiversity.


  • Students will learn about sources of pollution in rivers.
  • They will complete a written report on one source and its impact on biodiversity.
  • They will present their findings in class using slides, photos, video, audio, posters or some other teacher-approved media.

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Student Worksheet



  • Familiarize yourself with the content and the resources of the lesson plan.
  • If the students will do their work at school, make sure that the school's computers can access all the online resources.
  • If you want, print the resources for your students.


The student worksheet contains the instructions for the activity.

This activity can be done by students on their own, as long as they have an Internet connection and Windows Media Player or QuickTime software (to play the videos).

You can also modify the activity so that you can do it with your students in the classroom, as long as you have access to a computer connected to the Internet and a projector, as well as the software to play the videos.


There is an answer sheet for use by the teacher.

Access the answer sheet.


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