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The Saint Lawrence River is a large river in the middle latitudes of North America. The Saint Lawrence River flows in a roughly north-easterly direction, connecting the Great Lakes with the Atlantic Ocean and forming the primary drainage outflow of the Great Lakes Basin.
See the fact file below for more information on the Saint Lawrence River or alternatively, you can download our 21-page Saint Lawrence River worksheet pack to utilise within the classroom or home environment.
Key Facts & Information
QUICK FACTS ABOUT THE ST. LAWRENCE RIVER
- The St. Lawrence River is located in North America, beginning at Lake Ontario and flowing north-east through the Canadian provinces of Quebec and Ontario, and parts of the US states of Illinois, Indiana, Minnesota, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Vermont, Wisconsin, and Michigan.
- The St. Lawrence River links Lake Ontario with the Atlantic Ocean.
- It provides the primary drainage outflow of the Great Lakes Basin.
- The St. Lawrence River acts as a natural border between Ontario (Canada) and New York (United States).
- The length of the St. Lawrence River is approximately 310 miles long, with a basin size of 519,000 square miles.
- There are about 83 different land and aquatic mammals that live in and around the river.
- The St. Lawrence River is a hotspot for more than 400 species of birds.
- The St. Lawrence River passes by Montreal and Quebec City, as well as near the Canadian city of Kingston.
- The river’s greatest tributary is the Ottawa River, although the Saguenay River, Manicouagan River, St-Maurice River, and the Richelieu River all drain the St. Lawrence.
- Geologically speaking, the St. Lawrence River is very young.
- The St. Lawrence River forms much of the southwestern outline of the Canadian Shield (the exposed portion of continental crust that lays under much of North America).
HISTORY OF THE ST. LAWRENCE RIVER
- The Gulf of St. Lawrence was first explored by the Norse people in the 11th century.
- By the 15th and 16th centuries, European explorers began crossing the Atlantic to search for a route to the Orient through a northwest passage and to also explore the new world.
- The first European documented to have sailed up the St. Lawrence River was Jacques Cartier in 1535.
- Another European to navigate the area was John Cabot, an Italian explorer and navigator who discovered the coast of North America.
- When Jacques Cartier sailed up the St. Lawrence, he was stopped by rapids, so he needed to take a look around to find a route.
- At the time, the land surrounding his route along the St. Lawrence was inhabited by the St. Lawrence Iroquoians, an Indigenous people who lived along the river’s shores in Ontario, Quebec, and New York.
- In 1543, Cartier mapped the route of the St. Lawrence River (pictured to the right) and its surrounding tributaries and his perceived points of interest.
- Commercial fishing in the St. Lawrence became a popular way to make money during the 16th century.
- The St. Lawrence River became the main route for all European exploration of the North American interior.
- Controlling the river became a priority for the British and French, who were struggling to control the region.
- It was crucial for the British as they attempted to capture New France during the Seven Years’ War (from 1756 to 1763).
- The British again relied on the river in 1760 to defeat the French siege of Quebec.
- In 1809, John Molson built and operated the first steamboat along the St. Lawrence, and it made several trips up and downstream by the end of the year. Within 10 years, daily service was available.
- By 1825, the Lachine Canal was built in order to get boats through the harsh rapids of the river and beyond Montreal.
- The St. Lawrence Seaway was opened on June 26, 1959 to permit oceangoing vessels to travel from the Atlantic Ocean to the Great Lakes. It is comprised of several locks, canals, and channels.
GEOGRAPHY OF THE ST. LAWRENCE RIVER
- The St. Lawrence system as a whole covers several climate zones, passing through both subarctic and temperate zones, which have an effect on the volume, flow, and evaporation of the river.
- Several animals can be found in and around the St. Lawrence River, including several bird species, mollusks, beluga whales, and many different kinds of fish.
- The vegetation surrounding the river is comprised of a mix of deciduous forest, mixed forest, coniferous forest, and open taiga.
St. Lawrence River Worksheets
This is a fantastic bundle which includes everything you need to know about St. Lawrence River across 21 in-depth pages. These are ready-to-use St. Lawrence River worksheets that are perfect for teaching students about the Saint Lawrence River which is a large river in the middle latitudes of North America. The Saint Lawrence River flows in a roughly north-easterly direction, connecting the Great Lakes with the Atlantic Ocean and forming the primary drainage outflow of the Great Lakes Basin.
Complete List Of Included Worksheets
- Indigenous Iroquoians
- Famous Names
- The Lachine Rapids
- St. Lawrence River Crossword
- The French-Indian War
- Seaway Timeline
- Mapping the River’s Route
- St. Lawrence River Wordsearch
- Anti-Rapid Boat
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Link will appear as St. Lawrence River Facts & Worksheets: https://kidskonnect.com - KidsKonnect, February 5, 2019
Use With Any Curriculum
These worksheets have been specifically designed for use with any international curriculum. You can use these worksheets as-is, or edit them using Google Slides to make them more specific to your own student ability levels and curriculum standards.