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 > Science   > water cycle and movement  
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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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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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Local Weather and the Ocean Activity

Students will use current and yearly average temperature data to assess how the ocean affects air temperatures.

Subject(s): Science
Type(s): Lessons and Activities
Level(s): High School
Keywords: water cycle and movement, weather, Temperature

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What is an Aquifer?

This lesson demonstrates the meaning of the terms groundwater, porosity, aquifer, and water table*. It helps students better understand how and why water is stored underground, and what can happen if the water is drained or polluted. Students discuss the uses of groundwater in their community. They create an aquifer model and view the saturated and unsaturated zones. They also create a lake in the aquifer model and observe the connection between surface water and groundwater. Meant for 7th to 9th grade students.

Subject(s): Art, Science
Type(s): Lessons and Activities
Level(s): Middle School, High School
Keywords: water cycle and movement

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Density Driven Currents Activity

This activity demonstrates density differences in ocean and coastal waters and how these differences drive currents.

Subject(s): Science
Type(s): Lessons and Activities
Level(s): High School
Aligned with the following standard(s): National Science Education
Keywords: water cycle and movement, salinity

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Density and Dead Zones Activity

Students will understand the physical processes associated with dead zones, as well as the concepts of density and stratification. Students will also be challenged to think critically about a simple demonstration, and hypothesize about various outcomes of the demonstration.

Subject(s): Science
Type(s): Lessons and Activities
Level(s): High School
Aligned with the following standard(s): National Science Education
Keywords: water cycle and movement, experiments and investigations, salinity, dissolved oxygen

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Surface Water Sourcebook

The Water Sourcebooks contain 324 activities for grades K-12 divided into four sections: K-2, 3-5, 5-8, and 9-12. Each section is divided into five chapters: Introduction to Water, Drinking Water and Wastewater Treatment, Surface Water Resources, Ground Water Resources, and Wetlands and Coastal Waters. This environmental education program 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.

Subject(s): Art, Language Arts, Mathematics, Science, Social Studies
Type(s): Curriculum Guide
Level(s): Elementary School, Middle School, High School
Aligned with the following standard(s): National Science Education
Keywords: pollution, water cycle and movement, wetland, watershed, stormwater, green development, habitat and niche, water quality, water testing, Drinking Water

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NOAA Estuaries 101 Curriculum - Earth Science Module 1: Observing Estuaries

In this activity, students (grades 9-12)investigate landforms and features associated with estuaries. They begin by taking a journey down a river to an estuary system where the river empties into the Gulf of Mexico near Weeks Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve (NERR) to investigate how landforms differ between uplands and riverine/estuarine environments. Student teams then use Google Earth and other resources to engage in a scavenger hunt to locate and identify landforms and features of estuaries.

Subject(s): Science
Type(s): Curriculum Guide, Lessons and Activities
Level(s): High School
Aligned with the following standard(s): National Science Education
Keywords: water cycle and movement, watershed

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NOAA Estuaries 101 Curriculum - Earth Science Module 2: Salinity and Tides in York River

In this activity, students learn about tides and salinity in estuaries. They observe time-lapse models of tides and salinity distribution in the York River, part of the Chesapeake Bay, VA NERR. Learn how salinity changes with an incoming and outgoing tide, observing the dynamics of the salt wedge at various sites along the river. Students also make predictions about the salinity changes at each site based upon their observations of the animation. They then use salinity data from monitoring stations along the river to see changes during a typical day. And, then describe the patterns of each salinity graph and compare the graphs.

Subject(s): Science
Type(s): Lessons and Activities
Level(s): High School
Aligned with the following standard(s): National Science Education
Keywords: water cycle and movement, salinity, tides

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The Water Sourcebook: Grade Level 9-12

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): High School
Keywords: water cycle and movement, acid rain, watershed, water and energy conservation, water quality, Drinking Water

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The Water Sourcebook: Grade Level 6-8

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): Middle School
Keywords: pollution, water cycle and movement, acid rain, wetland, watershed, stormwater, water and energy conservation, water quality, Geography, Drinking Water

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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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Global Water Supply: Elementary School Curriculum

Stand-alone lesson plans are part of larger units that cover a broad scope of subjects including English, science and technology, and social sciences like geography, civics and economics. Classroom activities cover everything from poetry seminars and vocabulary-building worksheets to science and math lessons about potable water availability. Activities are aligned to national standards.

Subject(s): Language Arts, Mathematics, Science, Social Studies, Technology
Type(s): Curriculum Guide
Level(s): Elementary School
Aligned with the following standard(s): National Science Education
Keywords: water cycle and movement, water and energy conservation, water quality, Drinking Water

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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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Riverworks Discovery: Wildlife Logbook

RiverWorks invites your students to come and explore the intricate web of river life. Through these activities and this information packet, your students will play detective and use their senses to find clues of local wildlife. They will also write their thoughts about your river experience and learn what you can do to make a difference.

Subject(s): Language Arts, Mathematics, Science
Type(s): Lessons and Activities
Level(s): Elementary School, Middle School
Keywords: water cycle and movement, watershed, wildlife

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Watershed Creator

Learn all about a watershed while creating one virtually. (Just click visitor on the page). An associated lesson plan for using this module with your class is available here: http://www.cacaponinstitute.org/PDF/Watershed%20Curriculum%20Lesson%20Plan.pdf

Subject(s): Science, Technology
Type(s): Lessons and Activities, Multimedia
Level(s): Middle School
Aligned with the following standard(s): West Virginia
Keywords: water cycle and movement, photosynthesis, ecosystem and biomes, forest

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Chesapeake Bay FieldScope Activity: Investigating Water Flow Patterns

Students explore diverse landscapes and water flow paths by zooming in on specific areas of the watershed using National Geographic FieldScope. Students will be able to understand how the physical geography of a region affects water flow patterns and compare water flow patterns in diverse landscapes across the Chesapeake Bay watershed

Subject(s): Science, Technology
Type(s): Lessons and Activities, Multimedia
Level(s): Middle School, High School
Keywords: water cycle and movement, watershed, Geography

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Earth's Freshwater: A Guide for Teaching Freshwater in Grades 3-8

This guide was developed to support teachers in teaching topics with real-world context, and provide them with the background to feel competent and comfortable when teaching about fresh water. It provides a solid introduction to fresh water in an accessible and reader-friendly manner. In addition to general information about fresh water, the guide includes numerous education features, such as teaching tips and student thinking, that help to connect the content to classroom practice.

Subject(s): Science
Type(s): Books and Publications
Level(s): Elementary School, Middle School
Keywords: water cycle and movement, watershed, biodiversity, water quality, wildlife

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Virginia's Natural Resource Education Guide: Virginia's Bay & Coastal Resources

In the lesson plans that accompany the literature included in this packet, students will observe that muddy water blocks sunlight. They will consider ways that soil might get into water and make inferences about its effects on underwater grasses, crabs, and other animals. They will also dramatize connections between the sun, the earth, and eelgrass; and between people on land and blue crabs in an eelgrass environment.

Subject(s): Art, Language Arts, Science
Type(s): Lessons and Activities
Level(s): Elementary School
Aligned with the following standard(s): Virginia
Keywords: water cycle and movement, watershed, water quality, water testing

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All The Water In The World

Students will recognize that there is a lot of water in the world, but that not very much of it can be used for our drinking water and other water supply needs. They will learn that ground water is a very small percentage of the earth’s water and understand how important it is that we take care of our ground water.

Subject(s): Mathematics, Science
Type(s): Lessons and Activities
Level(s): Elementary School
Keywords: water cycle and movement, water and energy conservation, Drinking Water

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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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Salt Marsh in a Pan Activity

Students create a model of a salt marsh to discover the impact of pollution and human activities on water-based habitats including bays and the ocean. Model may also be used to demonstrate salt marsh functions, non-point source pollution and watershed concepts.

Subject(s): Art, Language Arts, Mathematics, Science, Social Studies
Type(s): Lessons and Activities
Level(s): Elementary School, Middle School, High School
Keywords: water cycle and movement, wetland, watershed, experiments and investigations, salinity

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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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Modeling the Water Cycle Lesson

Students will develop an understanding of the water cycle by building and evaluating two different physical models.

Subject(s): Science
Type(s): Lessons and Activities
Level(s): Elementary School, Middle School
Keywords: water cycle and movement

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