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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Resources > non-point source  
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NOAA Estuaries 101 Curriculum - Life Science Module 2: Nutrients in an Estuary

In this activity, students model estuaries, artificially enriching both fresh and salt water samples with different amounts of nutrients and observing the growth of algae over a several weeks. They relate their results to the phenomenon of algae blooms in estuaries. They then analyze data for different sites at the Guana Tolomato Matanzas National Estuarine Research Reserve(GTMNERR) in Florida to discover the relationships between nitrogen, chlorophyll, and dissolved oxygen. Finally, they study how nutrients cycle through an estuary and suggest recommendations for reducing nutrient inputs to estuary waters.

Subject(s): Mathematics, Science
Type(s): Lessons and Activities
Level(s): High School
Aligned with the following standard(s): National Science Education
Keywords: nitrogen and carbon cycle, pollution, point source, non-point source, photosynthesis, development, stormwater, water quality, dissolved oxygen, Nutrients and Eutorphication

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Youth Action Guide for the Study and Stewardship of Community Riparian Areas

Holding onto the GREEN Zone is an Earth Science and life science curriculum with a focus on science inquiry and experiential learning. Using questioning, analysis,observation, and investigation,learners will enhance their knowledge of science, boost their critical thinking skills, learn the importance of preserving and restoring vital riparian ecosystems, and have fun. When young people become involved in investigating the GREEN Zone, they are better prepared to take action on local watershed issues now and in the future. They also gain the opportunity to exercise their rights and responsibilities as citizens and community members. Both a leader guide and a student action guide are provided. Correlations are provided to National Science Education Content Standards, NAAEE Excellence in Environmental Education—Guidelines for Learning, and 4-H Youth Development Guidelines.

Subject(s): Mathematics, Science
Type(s): Curriculum Guide, Lessons and Activities
Level(s): Elementary School, Middle School, High School
Aligned with the following standard(s): National Science Education
Keywords: pollution, point source, non-point source, water cycle and movement, photosynthesis, wetland, land use, food web, adaptation, watershed, agriculture, development, stormwater, air pollution and fossil fuels, aquatic grass SAV, ecosystem and biomes, erosion, experiments and investigations, forest, habitat and niche, identification, sediment, soil and rocks, water quality, student action

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Stream Cleaner

Use different BMP practices to reduce the amount of pollution coming from farms and urban areas into the local stream. (Just click visitor when the site opens). An associated lesson plan and West Virginia standards correlations are available here: http://www.cacaponinstitute.org/PDF/Pollution%20Curriculum%20Lesson%20Plan.pdf

Subject(s): Mathematics, Science, Technology
Type(s): Lessons and Activities, Multimedia
Level(s): Middle School
Aligned with the following standard(s): West Virginia
Keywords: pollution, non-point source, watershed, agriculture, development, forest, water quality

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In Your Watershed

How do people impact a community's watershed and its freshwater supplies? In this activity, students learn the components of a watershed, identify examples of point and nonpoint source pollution, and then build a 3-D watershed model.

Subject(s): Science
Type(s): Lessons and Activities
Level(s): Middle School
Aligned with the following standard(s): National Science Education
Keywords: pollution, point source, non-point source, watershed

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Virginia's Natural Resource Education Guide: Virginia's Soil Resources

The information provided in this packet helps students learn about what soil is, what soil horizons are, and some of the problems associated with soil (erosion, water clarity, etc). A lesson plan on how soil can filter water and another on how non-point source pollution can be prevented are included.

Subject(s): Science
Type(s): Lessons and Activities
Level(s): Elementary School, Middle School
Aligned with the following standard(s): Virginia
Keywords: non-point source, land use, development, erosion, sediment, soil and rocks, water quality

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Ways of a Watershed

What in the world are watersheds? This interactive online lesson defines what a watershed is, and follows a single raindrop on its journey from the sky to the ocean.

Subject(s): Science
Type(s): Lessons and Activities
Level(s): Elementary School, Middle School
Keywords: point source, non-point source, water cycle and movement, watershed

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Pennsylvania Land Choices - An Educational Guide

Pennsylvania Land Choices is a national recognized award winning educational program developed by the DCNR State Parks to provide professional development for teachers, conservation and community leaders to understand the role of the citizen and local communities in making decisions that benefit conservation and sustainable community character. The program connects social studies and science in the 6 – 12 grades through place-based service learning, conservation and local government. The activities provide inquiry-based opportunities and hand-on activities that encourage service learning for the benefit of students and their community. Lessons are aligned to the Pennsylvania state academic standards and feature SAS protocols.

Subject(s): Science, Social Studies
Type(s): Curriculum Guide, Lessons and Activities
Level(s): Middle School, High School
Aligned with the following standard(s): Pennsylvania
Keywords: nitrogen and carbon cycle, pollution, non-point source, water cycle and movement, population growth, wetland, land use, watershed, agriculture, development, stormwater, air pollution and fossil fuels, water and energy conservation, erosion, green development, transportation, water quality, wildlife, economics, student action

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Exploring Our Watershed System Lesson

In this lesson students develop an of how watershed systems are made up and explore a part of the Susquehanna watershed system and map out the system. Then they will learn how water enters a watershed system and explain the concept of stream order.

Subject(s): Science
Type(s): Lessons and Activities
Level(s): High School
Aligned with the following standard(s): Pennsylvania
Keywords: pollution, non-point source, water cycle and movement, wetland, watershed, stormwater

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Cow In and Out Game

In this fun and informative activity, students learn the "ins" and "outs" of cattle. The "Cow In and Out Game" requires students to decide what goes into the cows, and what comes from them by sorting a variety of items. Recommended as a preparation activity for any of the agriculture courses offered at Hard Bargain Farm, especially for younger students.

Subject(s): Science
Type(s): Lessons and Activities
Level(s): Elementary School
Keywords: non-point source

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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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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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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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Nonpoint Source Pollution Awareness: What's Wrong with This Picture?

The people in this picture are taking care of their home and car, but they are doing many things that can damage the environment, especially our water. Can your students identify all of the things they are doing incorrectly?

Subject(s): Science
Type(s): Posters and Maps
Level(s): Early Learning, Elementary School, Middle School
Keywords: non-point source, watershed, water quality

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Clean Water - It's the Law

In this lesson, students learn about local and national laws that regulate pollution created by individuals and businesses.

Subject(s): Language Arts, Social Studies
Type(s): Lessons and Activities
Level(s): Elementary School
Keywords: pollution, non-point source, water quality, student action, Drinking Water

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The Chesapeake Bay and Me

Students will be able to distinguish between point and non point source pollutants, predict the outcome on the bay of continued unchecked use of non point source pollutants, generate a list of common sources of pollutants from their home, generate a list of alternatives to these pollutants, and write a proposal to their parents stating the benefits to themselves and the community on using these alternatives.

Subject(s): Language Arts, Science
Type(s): Lessons and Activities
Level(s): High School
Aligned with the following standard(s): Pennsylvania
Keywords: pollution, point source, non-point source, student action

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Nutrients and the Bay

In this activity, students will be introduced to the Bay's watershed and related vocabulary, and then watch a series of five videos that show how these nutrients end up in the Bay and what people are proactively doing to reduce the amount of pollutants entering the Bay's water system.

Subject(s): Language Arts, Science
Type(s): Lessons and Activities
Level(s): Middle School
Aligned with the following standard(s): Maryland
Keywords: pollution, point source, non-point source, wetland, land use, agriculture, stormwater, erosion, litter, trash and recycling, restoration, stream study, water quality, student action

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Types of Pollution Lesson

Students will examine different types of water pollution and their effect on the estuarine ecosystem. Students will classify examples of pollution, using a Venn diagram, and graph the number of examples of each type. They will learn why there are rules and laws regulating the release of pollution into water and devise alternatives and solutions to pollution problems.

Subject(s): Language Arts, Mathematics, Science, Social Studies
Type(s): Lessons and Activities
Level(s): Elementary School, Middle School
Aligned with the following standard(s): Virginia
Keywords: pollution, point source, non-point source, litter, trash and recycling

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Journey of a Raindrop to the Chesapeake Bay Lesson

Students will use political and topographic maps to learn path a raindrop takes when traveling from the schoolyard to the Chesapeake Bay. Students will observe schoolyard surfaces and direction of water flow and infer the polluting or non-polluting effects of those surfaces on rain runoff.

Subject(s): Language Arts, Mathematics, Science, Social Studies
Type(s): Lessons and Activities
Level(s): Elementary School, Middle School
Aligned with the following standard(s): Virginia
Keywords: pollution, non-point source, watershed

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How To: Build a Watershed Model

This is a good project for talking with school children about water pollution and what they can do to prevent it. It’s also a great indoor conservation project and travels well to expos and county fairs.

Subject(s): Science
Type(s): Lessons and Activities
Level(s): Elementary School, Middle School
Keywords: pollution, point source, non-point source, watershed, water quality

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What's in your river?

By assembling a “river” from puzzle pieces, students will develop awareness of how people and wildlife use and depend on rivers; how actions within a river system can affect the entire system; and that people need to take action to maintain the vitality of river systems.

Subject(s): Science, Social Studies
Type(s): Lessons and Activities
Level(s): Elementary School
Keywords: pollution, non-point source, land use, watershed, development, stormwater, litter, trash and recycling, water quality

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Finding Human- Environment Interaction

Students scan the newspaper for examples of human-environment interaction. In studying human/environment interaction, geographers look at all the effects—positive and negative— that occur when people interact with their surroundings. Sometimes a human act, such as damming a river to prevent flooding or to provide irrigation, requires consideration of the potential consequences. The construction of Hoover Dam on the Colorado River, for example, changed the natural landscape, but it also created a reservoir that helps provide water and electric power for the arid Southwest. Studying the consequences of human/environment interaction helps people plan and manage the environment responsibly. (source:http://www.nationalgeographic.com/resources/ngo/education/themes.html)

Subject(s): Science, Social Studies
Type(s): Lessons and Activities
Level(s): Middle School, High School
Aligned with the following standard(s): New York
Keywords: pollution, non-point source, population growth, land use, watershed, development, air pollution and fossil fuels, transportation, water quality, student action

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Who Polluted the Potomac?

Through an interactive story lesson, students learn how our rivers have been affected by our growing population.

Subject(s): Science
Type(s): Lessons and Activities
Level(s): Elementary School, Middle School
Keywords: pollution, point source, non-point source, land use, agriculture, development, stormwater, litter, trash and recycling, stream study, water quality

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To Protect Your Streams, Protect Your Mountains Lesson

Students investigate threats to a watershed: erosion, sedimentation, point and non-point source pollution.

Subject(s): Language Arts, Science, Technology
Type(s): Lessons and Activities
Level(s): Middle School
Aligned with the following standard(s): Pennsylvania
Keywords: pollution, point source, non-point source, watershed, erosion, experiments and investigations, sediment, soil and rocks, stream study

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The O Zone - Code Red Alert Lessons

Students are organized into groups to review and analyze fact sheets, maps, air quality data, and background material on air pollution in Maryland. Students then “jigsaw” into new groups, each with an “expert” from the original group to answer questions about what to do during summer “ozone alerts.” Finally, students will work on their own to make a decision about what each of them can do to improve air quality in Maryland.

Subject(s): Science
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, air pollution and fossil fuels

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Nonpoint Source Pollution Tutorial

The Pollution Tutorial will help you learn about nonpoint source pollution, which is pollution from sources that can't be tied to a specific location (city streets, farm fields, etc.) You'll read about the history and types of nonpoint source pollution, methods used to detect pollutants, and assess and reduce their damaging effects on the environment.

Subject(s): Science
Type(s): Lessons and Activities
Level(s): High School
Keywords: pollution, non-point source

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