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Environmental Concerns in the Community

By Mary Howland, Beth Fensterwald, Steven Caringella
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"How do we become aware of local environmental concerns and what can we do to make a difference?"

and Standards



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There's Air in That Water?

Instructional Time: 2 hours

The Guadalupe Creek flows through San Jose near our school. During the school year, Pioneer High School students teach our 4th graders how to do water quality measurement testing on this creek and they collect important data that is published on the BioSITE page of the Children’s Discovery Museum of San Jose website. In this activity, students will examine a weeks worth of data on dissolved oxygen at various creekside study sites and make inferences about the effect on aquatic organisms. They will begin to understand that changes in the creek that can help or harm the organisms who make it their home. The activity will improve students’ map reading skills through exploration of a map that is correlated to study site data. They will also become familiar with the idea of ‘dissolved oxygen’, one of the water quality tests they’ll be doing during BioSITE, by creating a simulation of the concept kinesthetically.

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California Content Standards
Grade Four
Life Sciences
SCI.4.3. Living organisms depend on one another and on their environment for survival.
SCI.4.3.a. Students know ecosystems can be characterized by their living and nonliving components.
SCI.4.3.b. Students know that in any particular environment, some kinds of plants and animals survive well, some survive less well, and some cannot survive at all.
Investigation and Experimentation
SCI.4.6. Scientific progress is made by asking meaningful questions and conducting careful investigations.
SCI.4.6.a. Differentiate observation from inference (interpretation) and know scientists' explanations come partly from what they observe and partly from how they interpret their observations.
SCI.4.6.c. Formulate and justify predictions based on cause-and-effect relationships.

1.There's Air in That Water?Web SiteHardware:
Internet Access

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