Mississippi River Stamp

The Mighty Mississippi: It’s a Mighty Big River…

No wonder they call it, “The Mighty Mississippi.” The Mississippi River is America’s largest river by far. It’s about 2,320 miles long. It passes by 10 states. And, water from 31 states drains into it.

It is also one of the world’s most important commercial (business) waterways in the world and one of North America’s great migration routes for both birds and fish.

The Mississippi River begins at Lake Itasca, a small lake in Minnesota. From there, the river gathers more and more water as it flows south toward the Gulf of Mexico. Along the way, big rivers, small rivers, and streams flow into the Mississippi, adding more and more water. By the time all that water reaches New Orleans, Louisiana, over 4 millions gallons are flowing past the city every second! That’s why the Mississippi is America’s mightiest river.

Bright Ideas

Quotes by Mark Twain, Riverboat Captain

“Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear, not the absence of fear.”

“Kindness is the language the deaf can hear and the blind can see.”

“The secret of getting ahead is getting started.”

“Give every day the chance to be the most beautiful day of your life.”

“Continuous improvement is better than delayed perfection.”

“Courage is the foundation of integrity.”

Nifty Fifty

About the Mississippi River

It’s a Fact: The name Mississippi comes from the Ojibway Indian tribe. Mississippi means “big river” in their language.

It’s a Fact: 10 states border the Mississippi River. They are: Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa, Illinois, Missouri, Kentucky, Tennessee, Arkansas, Mississippi, and Louisiana.

It’s a Fact: The Mississippi River flows through several major cities, including Minneapolis, St. Paul, St. Louis, Memphis, and New Orleans.

It’s a Fact: A single drop of water takes about 90 days to flow from Lake Itasca, where the Mississippi River begins, to the Gulf of Mexico, where the river ends.

It’s a Fact: The famous American author Mark Twain (1835-1910) was a Mississippi riverboat pilot before he became a writer.

More Fun Facts
Fun Fact: The mighty Mississippi River is the biggest river in America, but it’s not the longest. The longest river in the U. S. is the Missouri River, which is about 20 miles longer than the Mississippi.

Fun Fact: The Great River Road National Scenic Byway follows the course of the Mississippi River for 3,000 miles from northern Minnesota to the Gulf of Mexico. The scenic route passes through 10 states and hundreds of river towns.

Fun Fact: At its widest point, the Mississippi River is about 7 miles wide.

Fun Fact: At its deepest point, the Mississippi River is about 200 feet deep.

Fun Fact: More than 170 bridges (automobile, foot, and railroad) span the Mississippi River. The first bridge that crossed the river was built in 1855. The first railroad bridge was completed a year later in 1856.

Fun Fact: It takes about three months (90 days) for water that leaves Lake Itasca, the river’s source, to reach the Gulf of Mexico. For most of that journey, the water in the Mississippi River is traveling about as fast as an average person usually walks.

Questions and Answers
Just for fun,
see if you can answer these questions.
Does the Mississippi River empty into the Atlantic Ocean, the Pacific Ocean, or the Gulf of Mexico?
It empties into the Gulf of Mexico, which is the large body of water that boarders Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Florida, and Mexico.
About how long does it take water to flow from the beginning of the Mississippi River to the Gulf of Mexico? Is it approximately 10 days, 30 days, or 90 days?
It takes about 90 days for water to flow from Lake Itasca (the beginning of the river) to the Gulf of Mexico.
Did the word "Mississippi" come from an American Indian name or was it the name of a famous European explorer?
The word “Mississippi” comes from the Ojibway Indian tribe. Mississippi means “big river” in their language.
Before he became a world-famous writer, what did Mark Twain do on the Mississippi River? Was he a riverboat pilot, a tour guide, a boat-builder, or a bridge designer?
Mark Twain was a riverboat pilot before he became famous as a writer.
Write Your Own Story

If you have time, you can write a story of your own.

Here are a couple of story ideas to help you get started.

Story Idea #1: Write a story about some of the amazing things you learned about the Mississippi River.


Story Idea #2: Imagine you owned a big boat and could go up and down the Mississippi River. What would your trips be like? Who would you ike to take with you on your boat trips?

To help you write a great story, here are a few helpful hints and timely tips.

Today's Ryder Riddle
Here's a riddle for you:
Why does the Mississippi River see better than the Ohio River?
Because the Mississippi has 4 eyes and the Ohio only has 1.
The Mystery Ryders

For fun-to-read books about a girl detective who homeschools on a train... check out The Mystery Ryders, a series from the creators of the Homeschool Express.

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