Teaching Resources

Teaching environmental issues in your classroom is a critical component of providing your students a Meaningful Watershed Educational Experience. Discover a wealth Chesapeake Bay related books, multimedia, curriculum guides, individual lesson plans and online data sources.

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ClimateChangeLIVE distance learning adventure

U.S. Forest Service, Prince William Network and partners bring climate learning to you through our series of webcasts, webinars, and online climate education resources! This distance learning adventure provides an amazing collection of science-based, climate education resources and programs, aligned to national science education standards, which are gathered from 26 federal agency and NGO partners! The ClimateChangeLIVE electronic field trips are a way to learn about climate change science directly from climate experts and educators and to have the chance to interact with them during the ClimateChangeLIVE webcasts and on social media!

Subject(s): Science
Type(s): Lessons and Activities, Multimedia
Level(s):

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Zero Footprint Youth Calculator

Use EE Week's online carbon footprint calculator to estimate your carbon dioxide emissions resulting from your daily activities, such as household electricity use, food choices and transportation.

Subject(s): Social Studies
Type(s): Multimedia
Level(s): Elementary School, Middle School, High School
Keywords: air pollution and fossil fuels, water and energy conservation

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Waterways

As a result of this lesson, students develop a map that identifies waterways that have been important in the transportation of goods and people in the United States. Students will use color to show how the use of waterways has changed over time, and will diagram the methods of water travel through history.

Subject(s): Language Arts, Social Studies
Type(s): Lessons and Activities
Level(s): Elementary School
Keywords: boats, canoes and kayaks, culture and watermen, John Smith and colonial times, Native American, transportation

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Watershed Puzzle

This can be used as a stand-alone manipulative that doesn’t require a presenter or as a ‘building block’ by a presenter who will expand upon the concepts introduced by this activity. Participants will learn what a watershed is. Participants will observe and manipulate pieces of a ‘watershed map puzzle’ with political boundaries superimposed upon it. Participants will think about how the ‘pieces’ – the counties, states, rivers, the ocean – included in the watershed are connected.

Subject(s): Science, Technology
Type(s): Lessons and Activities
Level(s): Early Learning, Elementary School
Aligned with the following standard(s): National Science Education
Keywords: water cycle and movement, land use, watershed

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Water You Doing About This Lesson

Students estimate water use at home and think about ways they can conserve water.

Subject(s): Science
Type(s): Lessons and Activities
Level(s): High School
Keywords: water and energy conservation

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Where Do the Critters Live Lesson

Students use real-time ocean temperature data to predict the distribution of marine organisms. This web-based activity uses ocean temperatures to determine the distribution of marine organisms. In this exercise, you will investigate the influence of ocean temperature on marine organism distribution.

Subject(s): Science
Type(s): Lessons and Activities
Level(s): High School
Keywords: climate change, weather, experiments and investigations, habitat and niche, fish, Temperature

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What Is a Wood-and-Bark Shelter Lesson

Students learn about how the Powhatan people used wood and bark from nature to create a shelter that would protect them from the outside weather. They then participate in a group activity where they discuss how the American Indians traded corn with the settlers and helped the settlers plant corn for food.

Subject(s): Social Studies
Type(s): Lessons and Activities
Level(s): Elementary School
Aligned with the following standard(s): Virginia
Keywords: John Smith and colonial times, Native American

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What Affects Dead Zones Activity

Students will explore scenarios in real datasets to investigate how physics and biology interact to produce Dead Zones of various sizes and durations. Further questioning will challenge students to apply their new knowledge of Dead Zones to real life questions.

Subject(s): Mathematics, Science
Type(s): Lessons and Activities
Level(s): High School
Aligned with the following standard(s): National Science Education
Keywords: pollution, habitat and niche, water quality, dissolved oxygen

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USA Population Circle Lesson

Students experience the pace of population growth by simulating U.S. growth over our history.

Subject(s): Mathematics, Science, Social Studies
Type(s): Lessons and Activities
Level(s): Middle School, High School
Keywords: population growth

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Turtles in My Sandbox Book

Turtles in My Sandbox teaches kids why turtles might be laying eggs in sandboxes rather than on their usual nesting site—the beach –and what some children are doing to help conserve this reptile. The author Jennifer partnered with the Maryland State Department of Education, University of Maryland Biotechnology Institute, and Department of Natural Resources to create the website that accompanies this book.

Subject(s): Language Arts, Science
Type(s): Books and Publications
Level(s): Early Learning, Elementary School
Keywords: habitat and niche, restoration, wildlife

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Transportation of the Powhatan Indians of the Eastern Woodlands Lesson

Students learn how the Powhatan Indians used canoes to navigate the waterways of Virginia and then create their own paper canoes.

Subject(s): Art, Social Studies
Type(s): Lessons and Activities
Level(s): Elementary School
Aligned with the following standard(s): Virginia
Keywords: Native American, transportation

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The Young Scientist's Introduction to Wetlands

This educational booklet from the US Army Corps of Engineers serves educational needs for Grades K-5. It addresses: What is a wetland?; Wetland plants; Wetland animals; Wetland types (marsh, swamp, floodplain, etc.); Visiting a wetland; and Value of wetlands. The publication measures 8.5X11 in. and 15 pages must be printed to create a master, which can then be copied back to back.

Subject(s): Science
Type(s): Lessons and Activities
Level(s): Elementary School
Keywords: wetland, wildlife

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The Water Sourcebook: Grade Level 3-5

This environmental education program from the US EPA explains the water management cycle using a balanced approach showing how it affects all aspects of the environment.All activities contain hands-on investigations, fact sheets, reference materials, and a glossary of terms. Activities are organized by objectives, materials needed, background information, advance preparation, procedures, and resources. This resource is divided into five chapters: Introduction to Water, Drinking Water and Wastewater Treatment, Surface Water Resources, Ground Water Resources, and Wetlands and Coastal Waters.

Subject(s): Mathematics, Science, Social Studies
Type(s): Curriculum Guide, Lessons and Activities
Level(s): Elementary School
Keywords: pollution, water cycle and movement, acid rain, wetland, land use, watershed, water quality, Drinking Water

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The Good Old Days Lesson

In this lively simulation, U.S. presidents from 1800, 1850, 1900, 1950 and 2006 compare resource use, wealth, health, education and more with some interesting facts and symbols of quality of life. Students participate in a simulation game that illustrates the change in population and wealth in the United States from 1800-2006.

Subject(s): Mathematics, Science, Social Studies
Type(s): Lessons and Activities
Level(s): Middle School, High School
Keywords: population growth, land use, development, erosion

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The Blue Crab Website

This site provides teachers and students with assistance in using web resources to investigate the Chesapeake Bay blue crab.

Subject(s): Science
Type(s): Multimedia
Level(s): Middle School, High School
Keywords: blue crab

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Shelters of the Powhatan Indians of the Eastern Woodlands Lesson

Students learn about Powhatan tribe homes and construct their own wood and bark house.

Subject(s): Art, Social Studies
Type(s): Lessons and Activities
Level(s): Elementary School
Aligned with the following standard(s): Virginia
Keywords: forest, Native American

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Sea Grasses Online Learning Module

Take a Center for Ocean Sciences Education Excellence Modules Tour to learn more about seagrasses, the trends these plants are experiencing, and what kind of seagrass research scientists are working on. Learn how these vast "prairies" of underwater grass form complex ecosystems that are very important, not only to the health of their surrounding marine environment but to people as well.

Subject(s): Science
Type(s): Multimedia
Level(s): High School
Aligned with the following standard(s): National Science Education
Keywords: aquatic grass SAV, habitat and niche

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Sea Grasses - The Importance of Light Lesson

This activity will show students the importance of light availability in seagrass health. Students will learn about the things that can prevent seagrass from receiving light, including suspended sediments and chemicals.

Subject(s): Science
Type(s): Lessons and Activities
Level(s): High School
Aligned with the following standard(s): National Science Education
Keywords: aquatic grass SAV, water quality

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Seasons of a Chesapeake Bay Waterman Activity Guide

An activity guide designed to promote an understanding of the lives of historic and contemporary Chesapeake Bay watermen.

Subject(s): Social Studies
Type(s): Curriculum Guide
Level(s): Elementary School, Middle School
Aligned with the following standard(s): Maryland
Keywords: oyster, blue crab, culture and watermen

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Rain Barrel Math Activity

Students will use math to determine the surface area of there roof, number of rain barrels that could be filled, and the average rainfall that can be collected to water a garden.

Subject(s): Mathematics, Science, Technology
Type(s): Lessons and Activities
Level(s): Elementary School, Middle School
Keywords: development, stormwater, green development

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Population Clock in the USA Lesson

How many people do we add to our population every year? Day? Minute? Students multiply ratios, divide units of time, and subtract death rates from birth rates to calculate population growth rates.

Subject(s): Mathematics, Social Studies
Type(s): Lessons and Activities
Level(s): Middle School, High School
Keywords: population growth

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Photosynthesis and Respiration in Seagrass Activity

Students conduct a hands-on science experiment focusing on how different levels of light affect photosynthesis in seagrass. Students will understand the principles governing experimental design, including formulating a question, developing a hypothesis, and understanding controls and variables; students will understand the fundamental concepts associated with plant photosynthesis.

Subject(s): Science
Type(s): Lessons and Activities
Level(s): High School
Aligned with the following standard(s): National Science Education
Keywords: photosynthesis, aquatic grass SAV, experiments and investigations

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Particulate Matters Lesson

Perform a live filtering experiment and watch how the oyster is able to filter materials from the environment and selectively process them as food or pseudofeces. Requires a live oyster.

Subject(s): Science
Type(s): Lessons and Activities
Level(s): High School
Aligned with the following standard(s): Virginia
Keywords: adaptation, oyster, experiments and investigations

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Osprey Adventure Book

The heartwarming Osprey Adventure relays the way in which a boy and his biologist father save a large bird of prey from certain death. The tale is based on the work of real Bay hero, biologist Pete McGowan, who has studied these fish hawks for years and believes that most osprey nests unfortunately contain human trash that can be hazardous to the birds.

Subject(s): Language Arts, Science
Type(s): Books and Publications
Level(s): Early Learning, Elementary School
Keywords: habitat and niche, litter, trash and recycling, predator prey relationships, restoration, wildlife

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NOAA Estuaries 101 Curriculum - Life Science Module 1: Survival in an Estuary

In this activity, students investigate the range of conditions that selected animal and plant species need tosurvive in an estuary. They examine data for abiotic factors that affect life in estuaries—salinity, dissolved oxygen, temperature, and pH. Students use archived data (trend analysis graphs) and real-time conditions at the Elkhorn Slough National Estuarine Research Reserve (NERR) to predict whether a particular animal or plant species could survive in an estuary.

Subject(s): Mathematics, Science
Type(s): Lessons and Activities
Level(s): High School
Aligned with the following standard(s): National Science Education
Keywords: ecosystem and biomes, water quality, salinity, dissolved oxygen

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