Working with the K’ómoks Nation towards Q’waq’wala7owkw on their unceded territory.

Working with the K’ómoks Nation towards Q’waq’wala7owkw on their unceded territory.


Suggested Grade: 3

Driving Questions

Grade 3

  • What does riparian mean?
  • What is a riparian ecosystem?
  • Why are riparian areas important?
  • What challenges do riparian areas face?
  • How can we restore riparian areas?

Learning Intentions

  • I can describe a riparian ecosystem, some plants and animals that live there and their importance.
  • I can identify where a riparian ecosystem is on a landscape.


Curricular Competencies

Science/Language Arts:

  • Gathering information by viewing
  • Comparing and contrasting
  • Working cooperatively to present information


  1. Review riparian ecosystem information at more information is available at
  2. Review the Riparian Image.
  3. Have students do the Riparian Boxing exercise. Review the Home Tips for Healthy Watershed and Urban Challenges Sections on the Watershed Brochure close to your area.
  4. Watch videos. Pause to notice things like changes in water flow velocity, riparian habitat characteristics – woody debris, overhanging vegetation.  
  5. Divide the class in two and have 1/2 the students draw a picture of a healthy, functioning riparian ecosystem and the other draw a system that has been impacted by human development.
  6. Pair students with healthy riparian ecosystems and impacted ecosystems. Have pairs discuss differences.
  7. Pairs present their drawings and findings to class.

Next Level: Instead of drawing a riparian habitat have your students build one. Using a box lid, rock, twigs etc.. they collect outside such as shown here –

Click here to download a printable version of this lesson

Community Connection

Visit Simms Park and walk around the area, reading the interpretative signage. Compare the riparian area next to the off channel habitat as in this lesson

Contact the stewardship group associated with your watershed for a watershed walk or in class talk. Their contact information is on the brochure.

Layne and Brenda of 40 KNOTS with Caitlin Pierzchalski ~ L.Stewart