A River Runs Through It

This program begins at Massie where participants will gain an orientation of the Savannah River and its importance to the city before departing for the riverfront. A walk along the Savannah River will demonstrate the economic impact of how a major river influences the growth and development of a city, as well as the changes in shipping and trade seen throughout Georgia’s history. By utilizing history, economic, and geography Georgia Standards of Excellence for the 8th Grade, “A River Runs Through It” provides an interdisciplinary approach to Social Studies education using a community-as-the-classroom model. 

Georgia Standards of Excellence for 8th Grade


SS8H2: Students will analyze the colonial period of Georgia’s history

  • Explain the importance of James Oglethorpe, the Charter of 1732, reasons for settlement (charity, economics, and defense), Tomochichi, Mary Musgrove and the city of Savannah.

SS8H5: Students will explain significant factors that affected the development of Georgia as part of the growth of the United States between 1789 and 1840.

  • Explain how technological developments, include the cotton gin/ railroads, had impact on Georgia’s growth.


SS8E1: Students will give examples of the kinds of goods and services produced in Georgia in different historical periods.

SS8E2: Students will explain the benefits of free trade.

  • Describe how Georgians have engaged in trade in different historical time periods.
  • Explain how the four transportation systems from SS8G2 contribute to Georgia’s role in trade.

SS8E3: Students will evaluate the influence of Georgia’s economic growth and development.

  • Define profit and describe how profit is an incentive for entrepreneurs.
  • Explain how entrepreneurs take risks to develop new goods and services to start a business.


S8G1: Students will describe Georgia with regard to physical features and location.

  • Locate Georgia in relation to region, nation, continent, and hemispheres
  • Describe the five geographic regions of Georgia; include the Blue Ridge Mountains, Valley and Ridge, Appalachian Plateau, Piedmont, and Coastal Plain.
  • Locate and evaluate the importance of key physical features on the development of Georgia; include the Fall Line, Okefenokee Swamp, Appalachian Mountains, Chattahoochee, Savannah River, and barrier islands.

SS8G2: Students will explain how the Interstate Highway System, Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport, and Georgia’s deepwater ports, and the railroads help drive the state’s economy.  

  • Explain how the four transportation systems interact to provide domestic & international goods to the people of Georgia.
  • Explain how the four transportation systems interact to provide producers and service providers in Georgia with national and international markets.
  • Explain how the four transportation systems provide jobs for Georgians