Determining Stream Health by the Diversity and Types of Benthic Organisms

This Determining Stream Health by the Diversity and Types of Benthic Organisms lesson plan also includes:

How diverse are the benthic organisms found in local streams? Using the information learned in previous lessons on identification of macroinvertebrates and on calculating stream index values, groups determine the health of local streams. Using multiple sites, the groups then compare and contrast the types of benthic organisms found at the sites and write a comparison essay. 

11 Views 4 Downloads NGSS: Adaptable
Instructional Ideas

  • Teach part one, Use of Dichotomous Key to Identify Stream Organisms, prior to the activity
  • If possible, collect samples from several streams and from several locations within the streams
Classroom Considerations

  • Groups collect their own samples, or the teacher can prepare samples ahead of time
Pros

  • Replicates a similar process that field scientists use
Cons

  • The two PowerPoint presentations are an overview of the entire set of activities, not just this lesson
  • Several links to important sites no longer work