Build a Watershed

Curated and Reviewed by Lesson Planet
This Build a Watershed activity also includes:

What's the best way to learn how watersheds work? Build one! Combining engineering, the water cycle, and ecology concerns, the activity is the perfect fit for an interdisciplinary unit. Teams construct a model watershed with simple materials, cover it with a trash bag, then make it rain and follow the water's path.

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CCSS: Adaptable
Instructional Ideas
  • Enlist the help of a local water conservation worker to provide insight to the class into the watersheds in your area 
  • Add model houses and other buildings to the models to highlight human impacts upon the environment
Classroom Considerations
  • Group pupils according to the amount of materials and building space available
  • Review key vocabulary with younger students before beginning the build
  • Resource includes tips for shaping the lesson for older and younger learners
  • Materials for the project, some of which are reusable, are easily sourced 
  • The project is versatile, spanning several NGSS standards
  • None
Common Core