Scavenger Hunt Lesson Plan

Lesson Plan 5

Farming Today and Tomorrow

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  1. Students will conduct online research and answer questions to build an awareness of important water quality issues and discuss the effects of groundwater contamination. Teacher questions will encourage students to engage in analyses such as: compare and contrast, pro and con, cause and effect during the research process.
  2. Students will describe habitat characteristics of riparian areas and wetlands and state the importance of these areas to wildlife and humans.
  3. Students will complete a graphic organizer showing the importance of water quality in everyone's lives.
  4. Students will identify a local water quality issue, explore a broad range of perspectives, and make predictions for the future.
  5. Students will identify a service learning project and work as partners with others to develop a community-based solution.

Activity Summary

  1. Students will work with a partner to complete online research as part of a scavenger hunt activity. Ask students to think of at least two additional research questions. Students can number a paper or word processing document from 1 to 10 and record answers to the questions.
  2. Students will draw a concept map to showing the importance of water quality in everyone's lives. Students may use Inspiration software to design their concept maps.
  3. After completing the research activity, students will write an investigative article summarizing the key points using the draft, revise, edit, and publish process. A sample evaluation rubric is provided. Ask students to contribute to the assessment rubric by determining criteria for a rating of "compelling, gets the readers attention".

Tips For Teachers

For some students, the number of research questions may be too challenging. You might consider asking some students to research pre-selected questions or the even numbered questions.

Graphic Organizer Examples

Encourage students to contact a local department of natural resources office, EPA, or state geological bureau with additional questions about water quality in your community.

The University of Wisconsin Give Water a Hand project describes steps to focus on during a local environmental service project.

Students should be encouraged to use a database program to store and to retrieve information. This will provide a concrete context for discussing relationships, hypotheses, and conclusions.

Extension Activities

The Global Water Sampling Project
Students gather and share data to compare the water quality of a local river, stream, lake or pond with other fresh water sources around the world. Projects run in the fall and spring each year. This project is sponsored by the Center for Improved Engineering and Science Education (CIESE) located at Stevens Institute of Technology in Hoboken, New Jersey.

The Watershed Atlas Project
The Center for Global Environmental Education at Hamline University sponsors a ten-week interdisciplinary project for students to identify and define the boundaries of their watershed and create and implement an action plan for a local watershed improvement project.

EPA - World in Our Backyard
Fabulous experiments on wetlands and water quality issues to help students understand the effects of pollutants on lakes, rivers, and streams. (PDF format is used to provide instructions for each activity.)

Ask G.W. Gecko
Students can ask groundwater question and email [email protected] or write to:
Ask G.W.
c/o The Groundwater Foundation
P.O. Box 22558
Lincoln, NE 68542-2558, USA

Exploring the Environment: Water Quality - Bear Creek Watershed
This 4-star simulation developed at the NASA Classroom of the Future™, Wheeling Jesuit University, features problem-based learning (PBL) and provides students with tools to investigate aspects of a controversial, authentic water quality problem. Situation:

"The fish in a section of Bear Creek have been dying. Your company has been hired to figure out what is causing the fish deaths, where the pollutant is coming from, and how to restore the stream habitat."

Teacher Resources

Water Quality Data in Iowa

Games and Water Facts
Environmental Protection Agency's Office of Water provides word finds, water trivia, water Q&A, water facts, drawings of the water cycle.

Water Experiments-Safe Drinking Water
Environmental Protection Agency's Office of Ground Water & Drinking Water provides water experiments, hands-on investigations, fact sheets, reference materials, and a glossary of terms.

Kids in the Creek Curriculum
Resources and curriculum ideas provided by the Bonneville Power Administration for teachers and students.

Build an Aquifer

Know Your Watershed
Purdue University's Conservation Technology Information Center provides information about what it means to live in a watershed: the science of watersheds, how to help put together watershed plans

Project WET (Water Education for Teachers)
Promotes awareness, appreciation, knowledge, and stewardship of water resources through the development and dissemination of classroom-ready teaching aids and through the establishment of state and internationally sponsored Project WET programs.

Project WET Resources

Iowa Project WET Resources
Iowa Project WET is hosted by the Iowa Academy of Science at the University of Northern Iowa

Give Water a Hand
University of Wisconsin sponsors a national watershed education program designed to involve young people in local environmental service projects focusing on controlling water pollution.

EPA - Wetlands Reading List
Annotated reading list for primary, elementary, intermediate, and secondary

Water Science for Schools
U.S. Geological Survey's (USGS) provides pictures, data, maps, and an interactive center where students can give opinions and test their water knowledge.

Magnificent Groundwater Connection
The New England Interstate Water Pollution Control Commission has compiled water-related curriculum activities such as the water cycle, water distribution, treatment and stewardship.

Nitrate Nitrogen: Iowa's Unintended Export

Protecting the Source of Your Drinking Water
Iowa Geological Survey Bureau provides this article from Iowa Geology 1998, Iowa Department of Natural Resources

Water Quality and Agriculture
The Iowa Geological Survey Bureau provides a list that evaluates nonpoint source pollution and the movement of nitrate and pesticides through various geologic materials.

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