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 > Early Learning  
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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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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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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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Build-A-Pizza Box Solar Oven Activity

Check out this staight forward lesson, that can be adapted for all grade levels, on how to build a solar oven.

Subject(s): Science, Technology
Type(s): Lessons and Activities
Level(s): Early Learning, Elementary School, Middle School, High School
Keywords: water and energy conservation, green development

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Build-A-Fish Lesson

Students learn about fish anatomy and morphology and discover how the shapes of a fish's parts are related to how the fish functions. Younger students can also assemble a paper fish from prepared parts.

Subject(s): Art, Mathematics, Science
Type(s): Lessons and Activities
Level(s): Early Learning, Elementary School, Middle School
Keywords: identification, fish

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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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Adopt A Tree Lesson

Students will discover the importance of trees by adopting a tree and observing the tree over several visits throughout the year. Students will observe the tree's seasonal changes, discover the life history of a tree, and witness a wide variety of birds, insects and mammals that live in trees.

Subject(s): Language Arts, Science
Type(s): Lessons and Activities
Level(s): Early Learning, Elementary School, Middle School
Aligned with the following standard(s): Virginia
Keywords: forest, habitat and niche, schoolyard habitat

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The Water Sourcebook: Grade Level K-2

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): Early Learning, Elementary School
Keywords: water cycle and movement, watershed, stormwater, water and energy conservation, water quality, salinity, Drinking Water

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Groundwater Sourcebook

This source book contains 10 activities covering ground water issues.

Subject(s): Art, Language Arts, Science
Type(s): Curriculum Guide
Level(s): Early Learning, Elementary School, Middle School, High School
Keywords: water cycle and movement, water quality

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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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A Teachers Guide to Delaware State Parks: Field Trips and Outreach Opportunities

Delaware State Parks are great places for students and teachers to explore nature and history. With 16 parks, five historic sites and many natural areas, Delaware State Parks offer you a comprehensive view of our state’s natural and historical heritage. This resource contains an overview of Delaware State Park field trip and outreach programs, as a printable PDF.

Subject(s): Science, Social Studies
Type(s): Lessons and Activities
Level(s): Early Learning, Elementary School, Middle School, High School
Aligned with the following standard(s): Delaware
Keywords: land use, watershed, wildlife, Outdoor Activity

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Virginia's Natural Resource Education Guide: Virginia's Public Policy & Environmental Management

Check out these great lesson plans! This information and activity packet discusses the environmental quality and pollution, and the management and public policies that seek to address them. Two lesson plans are also included. In the "Pollution Prevention Audit Activity," students predict types of waste produced and analyze ways to decrease it. In the "Sum of the Parts: From the James River to the Chesapeake Bay" lesson plan, students will map and collate different land uses in a simulation “puzzle” exercise that shows the cumulative effects of each land use on water quality.

Subject(s): Science, Social Studies
Type(s): Lessons and Activities
Level(s): Early Learning, Elementary School, Middle School
Aligned with the following standard(s): Virginia
Keywords: pollution, land use, watershed, air pollution and fossil fuels, litter, trash and recycling, renewable resource, water quality, economics

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Project Learning Tree Curriculum Guide

The Project Learning Tree Curriculum Guide is a collection of 96 hands-on interdisciplinary activities that bring the environment into your classroom. The guide is designed so you can use a single activity or many over the course of a quarter or school year. Each activity includes an overview, background content and a teachers' step-by-step guide. The guide's five main themes are diversity, interrelationships, systems, structure and scale, and patterns of change.

Subject(s): Art, Language Arts, Mathematics, Science, Social Studies, Technology
Type(s): Curriculum Guide
Level(s): Early Learning, Elementary School, Middle School, High School
Aligned with the following standard(s): Maryland, Virginia, New York, West Virginia, District of Columbia, Delaware, National Science Education, Pennsylvania
Keywords: pollution, land use, watershed, air pollution and fossil fuels, biodiversity, forest

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Maryland Project WET Training and Curriculum Guide

After completion of a six hour training, educators are given a free Project WET curriculum and activity guide packed with 91 hands-on activities that cross many disciplines in the study of water and water resources - chemistry and physics, life science, earth systems, natural resource management, history and culture. During the workshop educators learn how to incorporate local issues into the lessons. Perfect for 4-H Youth Development, Scouts, and other youth organizations as well, the goal of Project WET is to facilitate and promote the awareness, appreciation, knowledge, and stewardship of water resources through the development and dissemination of classroom ready teaching aids.

Subject(s): Art, Language Arts, Mathematics, Science, Social Studies, Technology
Type(s): Curriculum Guide
Level(s): Early Learning, Elementary School, Middle School, High School
Aligned with the following standard(s): Maryland
Keywords: pollution, watershed, biodiversity, culture and watermen, ecosystem and biomes, water quality, wildlife

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GLOBE Program Teacher's Guide

Global Learning and Observations to Benefit the Environment (GLOBE) is a hands-on international environmental science and education program. GLOBE links students, teachers, and the scientific research community in an effort to learn more about our environment through student data collection and observation. This guide explains how your students will be carrying out a series of investigations that scientists have designed to gather data about the Earth and how it functions as a global system. Chapters cover the atmosphere, hydrology, soil, land cover, GPS and Earth as a system.

Subject(s): Mathematics, Science
Type(s): Curriculum Guide
Level(s): Early Learning, Elementary School, Middle School, High School
Keywords: land use, geocaching (GIS/GPS)

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Feathered Feeders Lesson

This "bird brained" lesson requires students to think like hungry birds, who must find food at the park. Students will investigate variation in bird beaks and the interrelationships of form and function.

Subject(s): Science
Type(s): Lessons and Activities
Level(s): Early Learning, High School
Aligned with the following standard(s): Virginia
Keywords: adaptation, 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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Ecosystem Matters: Activity and Resource Guide

This Kindergarten through 12th grade, user-friendly, hands-on and interdisciplinary curriculum guide provides the knowledge base and creates an understanding which enables students to participate in the ecosystem management process.

Subject(s): Science
Type(s): Curriculum Guide, Books and Publications
Level(s): Early Learning, Elementary School, Middle School, High School
Keywords: ecosystem and biomes

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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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Beaver Tales Lesson

Students will investigate changes in beaver habitat and the interrelationships between beavers and the environment. The lesson explores the ecological role of beavers through observing beavers' life history, modeling beaver-predator relationships and learning the protective importance of hearing and smelling.

Subject(s): Science
Type(s): Lessons and Activities
Level(s): Early Learning, Elementary School, Middle School, High School
Aligned with the following standard(s): Virginia
Keywords: beaver, habitat and niche, predator prey relationships, wildlife

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Amazing Oysters - Build an Oyster Reef Activity

In this activity, students will construct a paper oyster reef habitat and learn about the critters that call the reef home. Background information is provided, and the lesson plan is designed to teach students about adaptations, tides, food chains, habitats, and predator-prey relationships.

Subject(s): Art, Science
Type(s): Lessons and Activities
Level(s): Early Learning, Elementary School
Aligned with the following standard(s): Virginia
Keywords: food web, adaptation, oyster, ecosystem and biomes, habitat and niche, predator prey relationships

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Field Investigations: Using Outdoor Environments to Foster Student Learning of Scientific Processes

This volume — Field Investigations: Using Outdoor Environments to Foster Student Learning of Scientific Processes — was developed to help K-12 teachers introduce their students to the methodologies used for scientific field research and guide them through the process of conducting field studies.

Subject(s): Mathematics
Type(s): Books and Publications
Level(s): Early Learning, Elementary School, Middle School, High School
Keywords: experiments and investigations

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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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