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Surface Water Teacher Resources
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Learners construct a model of the hydrologic cycle, and observe that water is an element of a cycle in the natural environment. They explain how the hydrologic cycle works and why it is important, and compare the hydrologic cycle to other cycles found in nature. This is one of the most thoroughly thought-through, one-period lesson plans I've ever come across!
Introduce the topic of water conservation with a little drama. Dressed as snowflakes, hail stones, or rain drops class members dramatize the events in a narration of the water cycle. The series of lessons that follow focus on conservation techniques, hot springs and geysers, ground water, water pollution, and soil types. Activities, follow-ups, and extensions are included in each detailed plan.
If 71% of our planet is covered with water, why do we need to bother conserving water? Find out with these activities designed for middle and high school environmental scientists. From reading articles to solving crossword puzzles, to building their own desalination devices, a variety of learning styles are addressed, while showing kids the importance of protecting one of Earth's most valuable natural resources. Although the activities are Florida-focused, water conservation is a global issue, so either during or after completing the lesson, you may wish to talk about water conservation in your own region.
The fascinating video "Changing Planet: Fresh Water in the Arctic," introduces your oceanographers to the world's gyres. They learn that melting sea ice is making the gyres larger, and that the changes could, in turn, contribute even more to global climate change. Learners perform a simulation of ocean water circulation, placing colored sequins in the water to visualize its movement. They make connections between the atmosphere and oceans. Use this lesson to explore the far-reaching impact of climate change and the cycle that it may trigger.
Here is a phenomenal lesson plan on ground water, wells, and aquifers. Young geologists study how water exists underground, how water moves through the soil, and how water is extracted to be used as drinking water. Some excellent activities and blackline masters are embedded in this fine plan.
Students read background information about Monterey Bay, California, and conduct related experiments. In this ocean in motion lesson, students read information about the location, wildlife, and characteristics of Monterey Bay. They experiment with the upwelling concept that happens in the bay and discuss the results.
Students analyze monthly sea surface temperature data from the Pacific Ocean to determine if the period is an El Nino or a normal year. They recognize signs to see if there are any patterns that signal either occurrence. Satellite images are interpreted and conclusions are drawn from various maps.
Students decide whether or not there is or has even been water on Mars. They analyze temperature and pressure data from the Pathfinder mission to Mars, and then they analyze images of Mars, interpreting the landforms they see and comparing them to landforms on Earth (canyons, guleys, etc.) made from the movement of water.
Sixth graders review the steps of the water cycle. Individually, they calculate the amount of water they use in a day and identify ways they can conserve. As a class, they discuss how conserving water today helps future generations and create a survey to give their family members to determine the amount of water they use. To end the activity, they come up with a new plan for their household to use less water.
Students identify the different types of water and explain in what proportions they exist on Earth. They identify and correctly label the parts of the water cycle and how these parts interact with each other. Students identify the origin of their drinking water and how land use changes water quality. Working via the internet, local students compare their findings with students in Puerto Rico.