Students should experience different open water current simulations. Rip currents at the beach can move along the beach or out past the breaking waves. Students should learn to identify landmarks when they first enter the water. Currents around beaches, harbours and estuaries are exacerbated by tidal flow and wind. River currents flow downstream and may be extremely dangerous in flood conditions after rainfall. The flow of the current changes with the presence of rocks and obstacles.

Teaching Tips and Class Management

Floating and propulsion with, and against, a current.

  1. Creating currents in line formation
  • Form two lines of students facing each other creating a current (with hands or kick boards).
  • Children push the water in one direction to create a current (push, lift arms out of the water, bring hands back to body, and push again).
  • Students (2-3 at a time) float (back float and river float feet first), and swim (survival and non-survival strokes) with and against the current.
  • Include opportunities to experience river float and swimming wearing a lifejacket.

2. Creating currents in a circle to make a whirlpool

  • With a large group/class, form a circle.
  • Run in formation (no overtaking), in the same direction to create a whirlpool.
  • On signal students stop running and float on back.
  • Repeat above to experience swimming (survival and non-survival strokes) with and against the current.