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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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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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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Turning the Tide on Trash: A Learning Guide on Marine Debris

Educators, parents, students, and researchers can use NOAA's “Turning the Tide on Trash” as they explore the serious impacts marine debris can have on wildlife, the environment, our well being, and our economy. This interdisciplinary guide can be used as a stand-alone teaching tool, or individual activities within the guide may be used to supplement work in other subject areas. Students searching for science fair projects can also adapt some of these lessons into research projects.

Subject(s): Art, Language Arts, Mathematics, Science, Social Studies
Type(s): Curriculum Guide
Level(s): Elementary School, Middle School, High School
Keywords: litter, trash and recycling, restoration, water quality, wildlife, tides

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Love Your Stream Poster

The "Love Your Stream" poster features illustrations of the top ten clean water practices for kids. Scroll to bottom of the page.

Subject(s): Art, Science
Type(s): Posters and Maps
Level(s): Early Learning, High School
Keywords: water and energy conservation, green development, restoration, stream study, water quality

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Dead Zones: What Can You Do Lesson

Students will discuss how future changes in land use and climate may affect dead zones and exploring the trade-offs associated with human activities and their consequences. Students will then summarize what they have learned about the dead zones and create a public service announcement about what people can do to help decrease the size and duration of dead zones.

Subject(s): Science
Type(s): Lessons and Activities
Level(s): High School
Keywords: climate change, development, habitat and niche, restoration, dissolved oxygen

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Check Up Maryland Teacher's Guide

Check Up is a teacher's guide for grades 6-12 that provides teachers and students with information to enable them to identify and implement natural resources planning and management strategies that are both environmentally sensitive and economically sound. Students conduct natural resource assessments at their school and learn first hand how to better live in harmony with the natural environment by conserving energy and water, and reducing waste.

Subject(s): Science, Social Studies
Type(s): Curriculum Guide
Level(s): Middle School, High School
Aligned with the following standard(s): Maryland
Keywords: water and energy conservation, litter, trash and recycling, renewable resource, restoration, schoolyard habitat

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Bay Buffer Lesson

In this activity, students are introduced to the role of wetlands in the Chesapeake Bay as natural filters for sediment and nutrients that can negatively affect our waterways. Students use what they learn about land cover and human actions to predict where pollution might occur.

Subject(s): Science
Type(s): Lessons and Activities
Level(s): Middle School
Keywords: erosion, forest, restoration, sediment, soil and rocks, student action

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Baby Owl's Rescue Book

This book is a realistic fiction based on the remarkable work of regional expert Kathy Woods. The tale features a brother and sister duo and their wildlife rehabilitator mom who know just what to do when they find that a baby owl has fallen out of its nest.

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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Schoolyard Habitat Project Guide, Second Edition

This “how-to” guide provides the basic steps needed to restore or create wildlife habitat on school grounds. It will take you and your students through each step of the process: planning, installing and sustaining a project. This is not a book about why schoolyard projects are important; this is a guide about how to make the best one for your site. It is also designed to engage students the completion of several tasks that will lead to establishing a schoolyard woodland, meadow or wetland.

Subject(s): Science, Technology
Type(s): Curriculum Guide
Level(s): Early Learning, Elementary School, Middle School, High School
Keywords: biodiversity, habitat and niche, restoration, schoolyard habitat, water quality, wildlife, student action

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Riverworks Discovery: Wheel House Log Book

The Hudson, Delaware, Susquehanna, Potomac, and James Rivers are some of the most important in the Mid-Atlantic region. These historic rivers contribute to our nation’s economy, history, and culture. This information and activity packet provides content on watersheds, early exploration of the region, the history of water travel and trade, and more.

Subject(s): Language Arts, Mathematics, Science, Social Studies
Type(s): Lessons and Activities
Level(s): Elementary School
Keywords: boats, canoes and kayaks, development, air pollution and fossil fuels, culture and watermen, John Smith and colonial times, litter, trash and recycling, Native American, restoration, transportation

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Virginia's Natural Resource Education Guide: Open Space & Public Lands

In 1607, when the first European settlers landed on the coast of what would become the Commonwealth of Virginia, the natural resources they encountered appeared to be inexhaustible. In fact, it was almost 300 years before we realized that the natural treasures that made the New World so appealing were not limitless and had been carelessly used. This resource provides information related to the history, current status, and future of land conservation efforts in Virginia. A lesson plan on Invasive Species is also included.

Subject(s): Science, Social Studies
Type(s): Lessons and Activities
Level(s): Elementary School, Middle School
Aligned with the following standard(s): Virginia
Keywords: invasive species, population growth, land use, restoration

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Virginia Oyster Gardening Guide

This guide shows you how to start and maintain an oyster garden.

Subject(s): Science
Type(s): Books and Publications
Level(s): Elementary School, Middle School, High School
Aligned with the following standard(s): Virginia
Keywords: oyster, restoration

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Trout In the Classroom Activity Guide

This activity guide and reference list gives teachers the background necessary to raise trout in their classroom.

Subject(s): Science, Technology
Type(s): Curriculum Guide
Level(s): Elementary School, Middle School, High School
Keywords: restoration, stream study, wildlife, fish

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Gateways to Conservation II Curriculum Guide (Grades 6-8)

Pickering Creek published this guide with the help of the National Park Service's Chesapeake Bay Gateways. Explore 134 pages full of hands-on learning activities and background information to help students and teachers explore the outdoors in conjunction with a nearby nature center, while gaining an understanding of their relationship with the Chesapeake Bay.

Subject(s): Science, Social Studies
Type(s): Curriculum Guide
Level(s): Middle School
Aligned with the following standard(s): Maryland
Keywords: pollution, wetland, adaptation, watershed, biodiversity, ecosystem and biomes, erosion, experiments and investigations, habitat and niche, restoration, sediment, soil and rocks, water quality, water testing, wildlife

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EPA Speakers Bureau

The EPA Speakers Bureau recruits regional employees to speak to academic institutions and professional organizations. The Environmental Education Office assists employees with their presentations by providing the necessary background, ideas, training and materials for their presentations. An effort to accommodate all requests is made. Therefore, please give the Bureau a 4 week lead time to arrange for a speaker. (contact 215-814-5541)

Subject(s): Science, Technology
Type(s): Lessons and Activities
Level(s): Early Learning, Elementary School, Middle School, High School
Keywords: pollution, climate change, water and energy conservation, restoration, water quality

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Chessie: A Chesapeake Bay Story and Coloring Book

In this coloring story book Chessie, a friendly Bay monster, represents all those creatures that depend on the Bay for food and habitat. Chessie delivers a conservation message to children and adults alike, stressing the importance of what YOU can do to help clean up the Chesapeake Bay. Any teacher, school or school district may reproduce this for class use without permission.

Subject(s): Art
Type(s): Lessons and Activities, Books and Publications
Level(s): Early Learning, Elementary School
Keywords: population growth, watershed, litter, trash and recycling, restoration, wildlife

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Chessie Returns: A Chesapeake Story and Coloring Book

Chessie, a friendly Bay monster, returns in this coloring story book to represents all those creatures that depend on the Bay for food and habitat. Chessie delivers a conservation message to children and adults alike, stressing the importance of what YOU can do to help clean up the Chesapeake Bay. This story book also contains information and an A-Mazing-ing Maze on the conservation of Striped Bass, a bay “search and find” puzzle, and instructions for making a “Food Web Mobile.” Any teacher, school or school district may reproduce this for class use without permission.

Subject(s): Art
Type(s): Lessons and Activities, Books and Publications
Level(s): Early Learning, Elementary School
Keywords: population growth, food web, culture and watermen, litter, trash and recycling, restoration, fish

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Build-A-Bed Activity

Students will build a seagrass bed in a small wading pools and populate it with some of the species that inhabit the seagrass bed. Engaging children in this activity helps teach them how seagrass is critical habitat to other marine species.

Subject(s): Science
Type(s): Lessons and Activities
Level(s): Elementary School, Middle School
Aligned with the following standard(s): Virginia
Keywords: aquatic grass SAV, habitat and niche, restoration

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Healthy Water, Healthy People

Healthy Water, Healthy People is an innovative water quality education program sponsored by Project WET and the Hach Scientific Foundation. The goal of Healthy Water, Healthy People is to make complex concepts of water quality relevant and meaningful for you and those you teach. The program offers hands-on activities, an Educator’s Guide, testing kits, training, and much more. The Healthy Water, Healthy People Educator’s Guide, geared at Grades 6-12, contains twenty-five hands-on activities that are ideal for teaching complete water quality units as well as a supplement to existing curriculum.

Subject(s): Language Arts, Mathematics, Science, Social Studies
Type(s): Curriculum Guide, Lessons and Activities, Supplies
Level(s): Middle School, High School
Aligned with the following standard(s): Maryland
Keywords: pollution, watershed, restoration, water quality, water testing

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"Be Part of Something Big!" Curriculum

This curriculum guide, produced by Maryland DNR, is designed for Grades 3-8 and provides educators and students the opportunity to gain hands-on experiences with water quality monitoring. This series of activities is designed to help your class or student group learn more about the Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries. Topics addressed defining and identifying watersheds, the Chesapeake Bay and its tributary streams and rivers, problems associated with excess nutrients, chemical and biological characteristics of stream, and how to assess the health of a local stream. The curriculum guide also includes action strategies students can take to improve water quality in their local streams, and ultimately, the Chesapeake Bay such as trash clean ups, stream buffer plantings, and personal conservation measures.

Subject(s): Science, Social Studies
Type(s): Curriculum Guide, Lessons and Activities
Level(s): Elementary School, Middle School
Aligned with the following standard(s): Maryland
Keywords: point source, non-point source, land use, watershed, water and energy conservation, habitat and niche, litter, trash and recycling, restoration, water quality, water testing, student action

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Green Eggs and Sand

Green Eggs and Sand is a Tri-State Horseshoe Crab/Shorebird Education Program. The curriculum, designed for middle and high schools students, was developed by coastal managers and teachers from Maryland, New Jersey, and Delaware. Teacher workshops are held on the spawning of the horseshoe crab, the interrelationships with other species and how management decisions are made. The first three curricular modules were designed so you can introduce your students to the lives of horseshoe crabs, their extraordinary history, ecological niche, and interrelationships with other species. The fourth and culminating module integrates all this information to prepare students to confront the multi-faceted challenge of managing horseshoe crabs, a natural resource. Parts of this curriculum may be used independently. Optional extension activities are included to increase your flexibility. The curriculum interdisciplinary with lessons that integrate one or more of the following subjects: history, science, language arts, reading, and math.

Subject(s): Language Arts, Mathematics, Science, Social Studies
Type(s): Curriculum Guide, Lessons and Activities
Level(s): Middle School, High School
Aligned with the following standard(s): Maryland, National Science Education
Keywords: food web, habitat and niche, predator prey relationships, restoration, wildlife

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TEAM DNR

TEAM DNR is a volunteer program, organized by the Maryland Department of Natural Resources, that is dedicated to educating elementary and middle school students about the Chesapeake Bay and other natural resource issues in Maryland. TEAM DNR currently offers schools four different classroom programs and one outdoor program. Each program has pre and post visit activities to enhance the experience of your students. These programs are available upon request of the classroom teacher or school administrator.

Subject(s): Science, Social Studies
Type(s): Lessons and Activities
Level(s): Elementary School, Middle School
Aligned with the following standard(s): Maryland
Keywords: pollution, point source, non-point source, population growth, land use, watershed, oyster, culture and watermen, experiments and investigations, habitat and niche, predator prey relationships, restoration, stream study, water quality, water testing, wildlife, fish

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Raising Horseshoe Crabs in the Classroom

The Raising Horseshoe Crabs in the Classroom program was developed and is implemented by MD DNR's Environmental Stewardship Division and Fisheries Service to educate students about horseshoe crabs and the management of this important species. This project provides equipment, Teachers' Guide and horseshoe crab eggs to schools for students to learn the ecological, medical and historical importance of the vanishing species.

Subject(s): Science
Type(s): Curriculum Guide, Lessons and Activities, Supplies
Level(s): Early Learning, Elementary School, Middle School, High School
Aligned with the following standard(s): Maryland
Keywords: watershed, experiments and investigations, predator prey relationships, restoration, wildlife

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Chesapeake Bay - An Introduction to an Ecosystem Guide

A comprehensive overview of the geology and waters of the Chesapeake Bay, biological communities, living resources and more.

Subject(s): Language Arts, Science, Social Studies
Type(s): Lessons and Activities, Books and Publications
Level(s): Middle School, High School
Keywords: pollution, wetland, watershed, ecosystem and biomes, habitat and niche, restoration, water quality, wildlife

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All the Way to the Ocean Book

All the Way to the Ocean is a children's book about two friend's discovery of the harmful effects of ocean pollution. This story deals specifically with storm drain run-off that travels directly into our natural bodies of water. The story will educate readers and inspire them to fight pollution. The book is available for purchase, with companion resources available on this website.

Subject(s): Language Arts, Science
Type(s): Books and Publications
Level(s): Early Learning, Elementary School
Keywords: pollution, non-point source, water cycle and movement, stormwater, restoration

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