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Teacher Guide

Environmental Concerns in the Community

By Mary Howland, Beth Fensterwald, Steven Caringella
Meet the Authors

"How do we become aware of local environmental concerns and what can we do to make a difference?"
 Overview


 Understandings
and Standards


 Activities


 Resources


 Student Guide



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Activities
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Activity

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A Watershed of our Own

Instructional Time: 4 hours

Process:
The Guadalupe Creek and its Watershed

Everyone lives within a watershed, but few people know what one is. The Bay area of California has multiple watersheds. But as we walk along a beautiful Bay area creek, often we're unaware of its source, where its waters travel, or what our relationship to the watershed is.

The following activities were developed to prepare our students for the BioSITE program, in which 4th graders visit a local creek to perform water quality testing and learn about creek ecology. During these activities students will use the Internet to study watershed maps and satellite images, our school playground to simulate concepts, and computer software tools to show their grasp of the material. At the end, students will be able to explain what a watershed and its components are, locate where on a map their school and BioSITE creek study sites are and the watershed these are part of, and express their own thoughts on why we should care about our watershed.

Mini-activities:

1. Create labeled river diagram. Students use Resource "What is a River" to view an animation about what rivers are and how they flow. After viewing the video, click and open the "Rivers Glossary" button (on left). Create a labeled river drawing using the glossary terms in a science journal or on the computer in Appleworks.

2. Watershed Vocabulary Dare. In this activity, students learn how to distinguish 1st and 2nd order streams and will add these labels to their drawing in mini-activity #1. They should prepare by using Resource "Watershed Vocabulary Dare" to learn additonal vocabulary terms pertaining to streams and rivers. Students can print out their work (in Appleworks) when completed.

3. Model a watershed kinesthetically. In this activity students create a model of a watershed kinesthetically following instructions in Resource "Watershed Modeling Activity." For this activity print out the resource called Tributary Labels. This activity introduces the idea of stream pollution as well.

4. Locate watershed on Map. Students locate and name the watershed they live in following Resource "Guadalupe Watershed Map Activity" in conjuntion with a map of south San Francisco Bay watersheds, Resource "South Bay Area Watershed Map."

5. Satellite Map Study. Students view a satellite map of southern Bay Area to locate the Guadalupe watershed and a handful of specific sites, including the Pioneer Guadalupe Creek field study sites, using Resource "Satellite Map Challenge Activity" in conjunction with Resource "Satellite Map."

6. Graphic Organizer Activity. Students create a graphic organizer to demonstrate how watersheds connect to our lives. Visit Resource "People & Rivers" to help develop their ideas.

7. Assessment Essay. In this culminating activity, students will first examine two illustrations in the resources on the water cycle, ("Hydrologic Cyle 1 & Hydrologic Cyle 2)Afterwards students will write a short essay: "My Life as a Water Drop in Guadalupe Creek." In the essay, students should discuss their journey through the water cycle using real places they've learned about, include 5 of the vocabulary words from the Vocabulary Dare exercise, and build in the weather conditions that influence the rate of their journey.

California Content Standards
Science
Grade Four
Earth Sciences
SCI.4.5. Waves, wind, water, and ice shape and reshape Earth's land surface.
SCI.4.5.a. Students know some changes in the earth are due to slow processes, such as erosion, and some changes are due to rapid processes, such as landslides, volcanic eruptions, and earthquakes.
SCI.4.5.c. Students know moving water erodes landforms, reshaping the land by taking it away from some places and depositing it as pebbles, sand, silt, and mud in other places (weathering, transport, and deposition)
Investigation and Experimentation
SCI.4.6. Scientific progress is made by asking meaningful questions and conducting careful investigations.
SCI.4.6.c. Formulate and justify predictions based on cause-and-effect relationships.
Grade Five
Earth Sciences
SCI.5.3. Water on Earth moves between the oceans and land through the processes of evaporation and condensation.
SCI.5.3.e. Students know the origin of the water used by their local communities.

Resources:
 ResourceTypeRequirementsFile
1.Watershed Vocabulary DareCharts and GraphsHardware:
Mac
PC
Internet Access

Software:
Appleworks
RiverVocabActivity.cwk
2.South Bay Area Watershed MapWeb SiteHardware:
Mac
PC
LCD Projection Device
Internet Access
3.Guadalupe Watershed Map ActivityHandoutHardware:
Mac
watershedactivdirex.pdf
4.Satellite MapWeb SiteHardware:
Mac
PC
Internet Access
5.Satellite Map Challenge ActivityHandoutHardware:
Mac
PC
Internet Access

Software:
Adobe Acrobat reader
SatelliteMapChallenge.pdf
6.Tributary LabelsHandoutHardware:
Mac
PC
Internet Access
Printer

Software:
Adobe Acrobat Reader
StreamRiverLabels.pdf
7.Watershed Modeling ActivityHandoutHardware:
Mac
PC
Internet Access
Printer

Software:
Adobe Acrobat Reader
WatershedModelingActivity.pdf
8.Hydrologic Cycle 1Web SiteHardware:
Mac
PC
Internet Access
9.Hydrologic Cycle 2Web SiteHardware:
Mac
PC
Internet Access
10.What is a river?Web SiteHardware:
Mac
PC
Internet Access
11.Rivers & PeopleWeb SiteHardware:
Internet Access
12.Watershed Vocabulary DareCharts and GraphsHardware:
Mac
PC

Software:
Appleworks
RiverVocabActivity.cwk
13.Watershed Map ActivityHandoutHardware:
Mac
PC
Internet Access

Software:
Adobe Acrobat Reader
watershedactivdirex.pdf


Method of Checking for Understanding:
Observations, Student Work, Evidence of Learning