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   > Early Learning   > water quality  
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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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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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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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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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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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Discover the Chesapeake

This portion of the Chesapeake Bay Program's website is one of the best Chesapeake Bay-related informational resources around. It features Bay 101 video clips, a Bay FAQ, a Bay glossary and provides information on the Bay ecosystem, history, and watershed. The website also includes one of the most comprehensive Field Guides to the Chesapeake Bay, completely available online!

Subject(s): Science, Social Studies
Type(s): Multimedia, Books and Publications
Level(s): Early Learning, Elementary School, Middle School, High School
Keywords: watershed, blue crab, development, biodiversity, culture and watermen, ecosystem and biomes, habitat and niche, John Smith and colonial times, restoration, water quality, wildlife, fish

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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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Bodies of Water

In this lesson, students will learn why water is important to our bodies and complete an activity to demonstrate how much water is in the body.

Subject(s): Language Arts, Science
Type(s): Lessons and Activities
Level(s): Early Learning, Elementary School
Keywords: water quality

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Protect the Water

In this lesson, students will learn about the CWA and develop a list of goals to help keep local water clean and healthy. You may wish to conduct some additional research before teaching this lesson to learn about any state or local laws (such as setbacks or zoning) designed to help keep water clean. A good resource to start with is your state's Clean Marinas webpage.

Subject(s): Science, Social Studies
Type(s): Lessons and Activities
Level(s): Early Learning, Elementary School
Keywords: pollution, point source, water quality, student action

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Mark and Recapture

This lesson will introduce students to the mark and recapture method through a simulation. It also teaches students about the relationship between the health of a fish and the health of the fish's environment.

Subject(s): Mathematics, Science
Type(s): Lessons and Activities, Data
Level(s): Early Learning, Elementary School
Keywords: identification, water quality, wildlife, fish

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Bay-B-C's Guide

This booklet is a compilation of Bay related activities and lesson plans for K to 3rd grade students.

Subject(s): Art, Language Arts, Mathematics, Science, Social Studies, Technology
Type(s): Curriculum Guide, Lessons and Activities, Books and Publications
Level(s): Early Learning, Elementary School
Keywords: pollution, wetland, watershed, habitat and niche, restoration, water quality, wildlife

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Maryland Environmental Education ToolKit

This Environmental Education Toolkit provides grade-specific resources for PreK-8 teachers. The toolkit links you to lessons connected to Maryland State Standards. Topics cover a wide range of environmental subjects.

Subject(s): Language Arts, Mathematics, Science, Social Studies
Type(s): Curriculum Guide
Level(s): Early Learning, Elementary School, Middle School
Aligned with the following standard(s): Maryland
Keywords: pollution, water cycle and movement, climate change, population growth, wetland, land use, food web, watershed, agriculture, development, biodiversity, culture and watermen, ecosystem and biomes, experiments and investigations, habitat and niche, renewable resource, water quality, wildlife

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Schoolyard Habitat Project Guide

This guide provides the basic steps needed to restore or create wildlife habitat on school grounds. It is designed so that students complete several tasks that will lead to establishing a forest, 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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Project WET Curriculum and Activity Guide

The Project WET Curriculum and Activity Guide is a collection of over 90 science-based, interdisciplinary activities and lesson plans that emphasizes the importance of our water resources. These activities and lessons are teacher-tested and classroom ready for K-12 students.

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, watershed, biodiversity, ecosystem and biomes, habitat and niche, water quality, wildlife

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Educating Young People About Water

Educating Young People About Water (EYPAW) guides and water curricula database provide assistance for developing a community-based, youth water education program.

Subject(s): Science, Social Studies
Type(s): Multimedia
Level(s): Early Learning, Elementary School, Middle School, High School
Keywords: water cycle and movement, watershed, water quality

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Bays and Streams Education

Here's the "home base" of many Chesapeake Bay educational programs and information from the Maryland DNR.

Subject(s): Science
Type(s): Multimedia
Level(s): Early Learning, High School
Aligned with the following standard(s): Maryland
Keywords: pollution, aquatic grass SAV, water and energy conservation, restoration, stream study, water quality, water testing

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Getting to Know the Chesapeake Bay Watershed Lesson

Using the Chesapeake Bay, the largest estuary in the United States and its watershed as a model, this lesson will focus on how the sciences can identify clues about the health of the environment and the ways in which geography can help make connections between human actions and environmental conditions. Students will be introduced to the Chesapeake Bay watershed through the use of online resources and hands-on experiences. They will then apply what they learn to their local watershed.

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): National Science Education
Keywords: pollution, watershed, water quality

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E.P.A. Student Center Website

This website is organized by categories, such as water, conservation, air. Each section contains links to other sites and helpful information, where students can investigate water ecology, pollution, and more.

Subject(s): Science, Social Studies
Type(s): Multimedia
Level(s): Early Learning, Elementary School, Middle School, High School
Keywords: climate change, population growth, wetland, land use, watershed, development, stormwater, air pollution and fossil fuels, biodiversity, ecosystem and biomes, experiments and investigations, renewable resource, restoration, stream study, water quality

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Drinking and Wastewater Treatment Sourcebook

This sourcebook contains 7 activities for students on drinking and waste water treatment.

Subject(s): Art, Language Arts, Mathematics, Science
Type(s): Curriculum Guide, Lessons and Activities
Level(s): Early Learning, Elementary School
Keywords: point source, experiments and investigations, water quality

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Can We Keep the Lake Clean Lesson

This lesson introduces students to the water cycle by having them help draw a picture of a lake ecosystem, adding human impacts that affect water quality. Students will help fill in the components of a drawing of a water system. They will conclude by creating their own illustrations of human-induced changes to the freshwater habitat of a lake ecosystem.

Subject(s): Art, Science
Type(s): Lessons and Activities
Level(s): Early Learning, Elementary School
Aligned with the following standard(s): National Science Education
Keywords: pollution, water cycle and movement, water quality, water testing

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