(A family or group Choral Reading)

For 5 persons. 4 individuals [Readers] stand in a row, each holding one end of a 5-foot-long strand
of blue rug yarn. (One length of yarn for each person.)

The 5th person -- the "Network winder" -- stands opposite the others, and holds all 4 of the other
ends of the 4 Readers' yarn strands. The "Network winder" slowly twists the yarn into a "rope" as
Readers speak.)

Readers may step forward to speak, then step back into line.

(For the child playing alone: set up dolls or teddy bears in a line to take the place of Readers 1,
2, 3, 4. Tie yarn to each toy's arm or body. Stand close enough to pull each toy forward as you
speak its part. Then push the toy back into line. Hold and twist the loose ends of yarn. You are
the "network winder." You also read each part.)

"Props" needed by the "Network Winder", are described in the text.


READER 1: The *source* of a river is its birthplace. That's where it starts out.
READER 2: Water flows down from a tiny creek in the hills.
READER 3: Yes, water flows down from many tiny creeks.
READER 4: The creeks run downhill. As they run downhill, they start flowing together.

ALL: Ho! for the river! The river flows down to the sea.
(Network winder starts twisting or "plaiting" the four strands of yarn together.)

READER 1: The creeks are called *tributaries*.
READER 2: Many tributaries run together to make a river.
When creeks run together to make a river....
READER 3: ..The river may be called a *course*, or a
READER 4: A river follows the ground it flows over. It rises and falls, it twists and turns...

ALL: Ho! For the river! It flows down to the sea.
(Network winder continues twisting yarn.)

NETWORK WINDER: A river has a *source* -- its birthplace. A river has *tributaries* and a *course*.
But every river also has a *mouth*.

ALL: Ho! for the river! The *mouth* of a river is the place where a river flows out into the sea.
(Network winder keeps winding strands.)

READER 1: An *outlet* is a river mouth!

ALL: Ho! for the river! Yes, the mouth of the river empties into the sea.
(Network winder holds up "sea," a piece of blue stiff paper, or a blue styrofoam meat-tray. Lays yarn
ends over "sea." Then sets aside paper "sea" but keeps holding the twisted yarn.)
READER 2: Some rivers in the world have very narrow mouths.....
READER 3: Because the land sticks out on both sides.....
READER 4: So the mouth of the river goes through a narrow place.....

ALL: ...As the river empties into the sea.
(Network winder holds up notched brown or green stiff paper or cardboard "land," laying twisted yarn
into notch. Then puts down cardboard "land" but holds twisted yarn.)

NETWORK WINDER: Tell me, oh tell me, the name of one river with a mouth that goes through a narrow
READER 1: The Siuslaw River, in the state of Oregon, U.S.A.....
READER 2: ...Has a narrow outlet, a little mouth.

ALL: Rocks stick out on each side of the outlet.
(Network winder holds up notched cardboard "land" again, laying yarn through notch. Then puts aside
"land" but keeps holding yarn.)

READER 3: And those rocks at the edges may be called a *river bar*.
READER 4: A river bar sticks out so far into the river channel that the water, on its way out to the
sea, has to squeeze its way through!
NETWORK WINDER: A river bar with a small opening keeps the river water from spreading out over a
wide area as it goes past the river mouth.

ALL: Ho! for the river! Still it flows out to the sea!
(Network winder holds up cardboard "bar", laying twisted yarn through notch. Then puts aside "bar"
but holds twisted yarn.)

READER 1: Now, some river bars are natural.....
READER 2: And some river bars are made by humans, using great earth-moving machines.
READER 3: A manmade bar is built out of boulders hauled into place -- boulders are heavy rocks.

ALL: A manmade bar is called a *jetty*.

READER 4: A safe, quiet estuary, or bay, can form behind a jetty. So behind the jetty, there is a
safe harbor for boats.

ALL: Yes, jetties are built out of huge rocks to keep waves from crashing ashore!

NETWORK WINDER: But other rivers have wide mouths.
(Network winder holds up a cardboard to represent "flat ground." Spreads out ends of strands across
the "ground.")
NETWORK WINDER: Tell me, oh tell me, the name of a river that has a wide mouth.]

READER 1: The Mississippi River, in the U.S.A., one of the mightiest rivers in the world....
READER 2: ...Has a wide mouth.

ALL: The Mississippi River still flows out to the sea.

READER 3: But it doesn't flow through rocks on both sides of the river.
READER 4: The ground at the mouth of the river is low, flat, and muddy.

ALL: The river doesn't flow to the sea in one *course*. The water divides into many small rivers --
small rivers called channels*.

NETWORK WINDER: The *channels* cut through low, flattish, muddy ground in many places.

ALL: And that's how the Mississippi River flows out to the sea!

READER 1: Plenty of mud washes down in the waters of the Mississippi.
READER 2: The mud settles at the river mouth.
READER 3: More *channels* may cut through the new mud.
READER 4: The mud at the mouth of a river, where many channels flow, is called a *delta*.

NETWORK WINDER: And the river channels flow out over the delta, and the river water gets out to sea.
(All let go of their yarn ends. Readers spread out their arms, wiggling fingers like water spreading
out over flat round, then making wave-motions for the sea.)

ALL: Ho! for the river! Ho! for the river, hurray!

copyright 1982-2004 by Marilee Miller. Copying is limited to user's personal enjoyment; other copying by consent of author only.