Adventure Curriculum

How to Get Your Class Involved

Teaching Youth the Art of Adventure

John Kuntz will be paddling, in the name of teaching kids about adventure, the 1,243 miles from the source (start) to the sea (Pacific Ocean). Here is a map outlining his paddle.

John's Paddling Schedule (click here to download)

Three-color map of the Columbia River watershed. The watershed is shaped roughly like a funnel with its wide end to the east and its narrow end along the border between Washington and Oregon as it nears the Pacific Ocean. The watershed extends into the western US states of Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Nevada, Utah, Wyoming, and Montana, and the western Canadian province of British Columbia as far east as its border with Alberta. The river itself makes a hairpin turn from north-west to south in British Columbia and another sharp turn from south to west as it nears Oregon.

Satellite image of the Columbia River (source to sea)

By DanMS at the English language Wikipedia, CC BY-SA 3.0,

Location, Location, Location

Learn all about the geography of British Columbia and Washington State by following John on his adventure. Track his progress each day by using the satellite tracker he is carrying with him.

Where is John Now? Starting August 1st, 2018. Locate John on Tracking Map

Track John’s Progress:

Communicate with John

Be a part of the action! Have your students write John and ask him questions about the Columbia River, the Pacific Northwest, outdoor adventure, and paddling.

Send mail to John during the trip. You can communicate with John during the 2 1/2 month adventure. John will be receiving food caches along the way that are mailed from the address below. Please send photos, words of encouragement, and letters that will be included in the shipment. Since this is mostly a solo trip, the communication is greatly appreciated and will fill those lonely nights, and you will get a postcard in return thanking you. Get your postcard to commemorate the trip.

John Kuntz STS

PO Box 236

Port Gamble, WA 98364

To get your correspondence in the packages please have your mail to the above address several days before the following ship dates below:

August 6th, 2018 (Monday) Delivered to Revelstoke BC Canada (click to see location in Google Maps)

August 15th, 2018 (Wednesday) Delivered to Castlegar, BC Canada

August 22, 2018 (Wednesday) Delivered to Kettle Falls, WA USA

August 31, 2018 (Friday) Delivered to Grand Coulee, WA USA

September 7, 2018 (Friday) Delivered to Wenatchee, WA USA

September 21, 2018 (Friday) Delivered to Hood River, WA USA

October 1, 2018 (Monday) Delivered to John at the FINISH in Astoria, WA USA

You can also contact John via Facebook, text, or by email (but know that he will have limited access during the trip to all of these).

Phone/Text 1 (360) 471-0836


ERI's AdventurePals

Diane Conmy's third grade class from Lincoln School in Oak Park, Illinois will be following John's journey from beginning to end. Click here if you'd like to be an AdventurePal with her class throughout this journey. Her class will be sharing research projects, artwork, poetry, and local paddling experiences with their AdventurePals.

Diane Conmy (mother of Eri)

Matthew Kuntz (gifted teacher)

Great Article! Enhance a Student's Ability to Interact with Nature (Naturalist Intelligence)

Have you ever been kayaking?

*The History of Kayaks

*Basic Safety TIPS for Kayaking (Safety FIRST!)

*An Illustrated History of Canoes and Kayaks

*Different Types of Kayaks

*What materials do they use to make kayaks? (video)

*Kayaking 101

*Kayak Safety

*Getting Started Advice

*Top 10 Tips for Canoeing & Kayaking Safely

*Kayaking in Illinois: Paddle the waterways of Illinois. Discover the best places to kayak in Illinois with this guide to kayaking tours, kayaking trails and kayaking rentals.

*All the Best Kayaking Spots in Chicago: Chi-town is overflowing with ways to get fit, and we mean that quite literally. Here in the Windy City, we don’t just Instagram the views of Lake Michigan, our rivers, and lagoons—we interact with them. And even though the water can be chilly, there are plenty of kayaking spots throughout the city that allow you to get in the perfect scenic workout, without ever getting wet. Whether you’re a newbie or experienced, grab a paddle and keep reading for the 10 best spots in Chicago to get your kayak on.

*The Forest Preserve of Cook County: Enjoy recreational boating on lakes and rivers throughout the Forest Preserves.

*Des Plaines River Water Trails: Interactive Map

Curricular Connections: Ways to Connect Across the Curriculum

Literary Connections

*Come Back Salmon: A group of dedicated students from the Jackson Elementary School in Everett, Washington, clean and restock a local stream to bring back the salmon that once spawned there.

*Read Aloud Guide

*Curriculum and Activities about Salmon (LOTS of great resources!)

*FREE the Rhine for Salmon: Read about the great salmon comeback on the Rhine River.

*Pacific Salmon in the Aquatic Biome (Lesson Plan)

*Something Fishy: Life Cycle of a Salmon Lesson Plan

*Salmon Homecoming (Activity Book for Kids)

*Columbia River Inter-Tribal Fish Commission(Yakama · Umatilla · Warm Springs · Nez Perce) Salmon Activity Book

*Salmon Activity: Hooks and Ladders

*Salmon Lessons: Salmonids in the Classroom, Salmonids in Troubled Waters, Salmon Links, Coloring Book, and Life Cycle of Salmon.

*The Magnificent Journey — this is a great online story of the life cycle of the salmon with a beautiful layout and illustrations.

*Salmon and the Ecosystem: A Curriculum for Grades Five through Eight

Diane's Literary Connections (some really awesome books!)

American Writing (Sun Tracks). Andrea Lerner, ed. 1996.

This collection of contemporary Native American Writers from the Pacific northwest includes the prose and poems of 34 writers. This collection is unique and could be used as a reference book for those teaching about Northwest Native American culture.

“The best overview of Native history for younger children that I have ever seen. Ortiz, the author, is Acoma, and a poet, and it shows. This is an epic story of Native American People from the creation to the present day, and it speaks in the rhythms of traditional oral narration.

Ecosystems and Landforms of the Pacific Northwest

*Estuaries and Tidal Pools

*The Estuary Guide (High School)

*Tidal Pools Ecosystem

*Lower Estuary of the Columbia

*What is a Landform? Resources for Kids and Teachers

*Landforms and Bodies of Water

*Student-Conducted Lab on Landforms

*Landforms Word List

*The Hand Game: The Hand Game (also called The Stick Game): The people of the Plateau loved games of all sorts. They loved competitions. And they loved to gamble. So it’s no surprise that they loved a game they invented called the Hand Game, which is sometimes called The Stick Game.

Lewis and Clark Expedition

*Lewis and Clark Through Nez Perce Eyes: As Told by Otis Halfmoon Of the Nez Perce Tribe

*Lewis and Clark Activities (Scholastic) Experience westward expansion with explorers Lewis & Clark and start your own adventures!

*Up the Columbia: Homeward bound in April 1806, the Lewis and Clark Expedition traveled through the Columbia Gorge and pitched camps on its north side, today's Washington.

*Where did Lewis and Clark go?

*Discovering Lewis and Clark from the Air

*Day by Day with Lewis and Clark: Re-enacted Audio Recordings (very cool!).

*Trail Graffiti: Graffiti—properly sgraffiti: an Italian word meaning "to scribble."

*Soundscapes: By "listening" to the journals of Lewis and Clark, we can hear the stew simmering. We can perceive—if but faintly through the crescendo of two centuries of noise pollution—some of the more resonant facets of the expedition's sonic qualities.

*Lewis and Clark Expedition (National Geographic Kids)

*Discoveries Made Along the Way

*What else can be learned about the Lewis and Clark Expedition?

Environmental Issues and Concerns

Orcas of the Pacific Northwest are Starving and Disappearing

*World's Biggest Dam Removal Project (Removal of the Elwha and Glines Canyon hydroelectric dams)

*Why Do We Build Dams? (Grades 4-6)

*Climate Impacts of the Northwest

*The environmental impact of damming the Columbia River. One school explores the problem and possible solutions.

Tribes in Columbia River Gorge hit by White House decision.

*Down the Mighty Columbia, Where a Power Struggle Looms (newspaper article). Nearly half of the nation’s hydropower electricity comes from more than 250 hydropower dams that were built on the Columbia and its tributaries — a vast and complex arc of industry and technology that touches tens of millions of lives across the West every day.

*Chemicals of Emerging Concern in the Columbia River (Environmental Protection Agency Research)

*Tribal Fish Consumption:Learn about EPA's work to help document tribal fish consumption rates and potential health risks from chemical pollution in certain species of fish.

*Cold Water Refuges Project:EPA is helping protect and restore vital cold water habitat to support current and future salmon populations. Learn more about these cold water refuges in the Columbia River.

*10 Big Issues for Columbia River Salmon (article)

*Columbia River Treaty (viewpoint/opinion piece) (newspaper article)

Learning Links

Learn All About the Columbia River (research the history, physical features, climate, plant and animal life, and economy)

The Columbia River: Description, Creation, and Discovery

Fish of the Columbia River: The Columbia River offers premiere opportunities to fish for salmon, steelhead, sturgeon, shad and a variety of warm water species. Management of the river and its fisheries is a responsibility shared by state, federal and tribal agencies.

Columbia River FUN FACTS and Research Opportunities

Websites with LOTS of FUN FACTS