Rivers: Meanders & Ox-bow Lakes

AQA GCSE Geography lesson for the new specification Unit 1C: In this lesson we look at how both meanders and ox-bow lakes are formed by both erosion and deposition.

The starter is a retrieval practice grid filled in for the rivers work so far, but it’s editable.

We then look at a diagram of the Mississippi flood plain and the pupils answer some questions about the archaic meanders that can be seen plotted on the diagram and how they might be formed. We then watch a short video clip on how river meanders get started. We then look at the cross section of a meander and its various features. The pupils get an outline drawing of a meander for them to colour in by numbers to start with, then label the various features on the cross section. The pupils seem to love this colourful neat diagram. The next thing we consider is riffles and pools, after discussing how they are formed the pupils create a diagram in their books for this one. We then watch a video clip on meander formation and there are some colourful diagrams to help teacher explanation. The pupils have a strip to stick in their books, there is a feint outline of the original meander to help them in their drawings. They then explain the process. We finish with a 6-mark question on the formation of ox-bow lakes with some guidance.

In a nutshell lesson includes:

Retrieval practice grid starter.
Question answer session on old Mississippi meanders diagram.
Colour by numbers cross sectional diagram activity.
Diagram activity on the formation of riffles and pools.
Sequential diagram task on ox-bow lake formation.
6-mark GCSE question with guidance.

Hope this saves you some valuable planning time.


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  • Features-of-a-meander-x-1.pptx
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Created: May 8, 2020

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