Instructional Module (Gr 3-5): The Role of Water on Earth

Instructional Module (Gr 3-5): The Role of Water on Earth


Welcome to WGBH’s Bringing the Universe to America’s Classrooms project resources.

Please note: This custom collection of instructional resources is accessible only to WGBH STEM Teacher Advisors taking part in an initial research phase of the project (fall 2016).  Please watch for new project resources to be published and available to all PBS LearningMedia users in 2017.

WGBH STEM Teacher Advisors (Grade Band 3-5): Please access Instructional Module resources via links on left side of the page: Interactive Lesson; Lesson Plan; Additional Resources.     

The material contained in this product is based upon work supported by NASA under cooperative agreement award No. NNX16AD71A.  Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration.

  • Atchafalaya Bay Deltas

    See how deltas have formed at the mouths of the Atchafalaya River and Wax Lake Outlet with video created using NASA satellite images collected over 31 years. Land growth at these places is extraordinary because other areas along Louisiana’s coastline are retreating. Levees installed to control flooding have altered the natural process of delta formation at the mouth of the Mississippi River, while some natural and human-influenced factors are contributing to exceptional formation of deltas in Atchafalaya Bay to the west of the Mississippi.

    To view the Activity, Background Essay, and Teaching Tips for this media gallery, go to Support Materials below. This resource was developed through WGBH’s Bringing the Universe to America’s Classrooms project, in collaboration with NASA. Click here for the full collection of resources.

    Grades: 3-5
  • Global Landslide Catalog

    This NASA video describes the Global Landslide Catalog that NASA actively maintains as it tracks landslides triggered by intense rainfall worldwide. The accompanying map shows the distribution of these landslides that occurred globally from 2007–2013. Scientists use this up-to-date inventory of landslide data to improve understanding of locations and causes of this destructive natural hazard.

    To view the Background Essay and Teaching Tips for this media gallery, go to Support Materials below. This resource was developed through WGBH’s Bringing the Universe to America’s Classrooms project, in collaboration with NASA. Click here for the full collection of resources.

    Grades: 3-5
  • Landslide Animation

    In this animation from NASA, observe how rainfall over a slope causes ground saturation that triggers a landslide. The accompanying annotated image calls attention to features of a rotational landslide. Continual heavy rainfall becomes problematic for areas of lower elevation when an upper portion of the ground gets saturated with water and becomes unstable. Gravity causes the saturated soil to move down the slope, creating a landslide. As mud and loose rocks move forcefully downward and outward, they alter the landscape, knocking down trees, tearing apart roads, and damaging everything in their path.

    To view the Background Essay and Teaching Tips for this media gallery, go to Support Materials below. This resource was developed through WGBH’s Bringing the Universe to America’s Classrooms project, in collaboration with NASA. Click here for the full collection of resources.

    Grades: 3-5
  • North American Rivers and Their Widths

    Observe the varying sizes of rivers in North America, their distribution, and how they are connected in this map of river widths based on data from NASA satellites. River widths are useful to scientists who study water’s properties, movement, and distribution. Students can use the map to analyze the distribution and relationship among rivers in North America.

    To view the Background Essay, Student Handout, and Teaching Tips for this map, go to Support Materials below. This resource was developed through WGBH’s Bringing the Universe to America’s Classrooms project, in collaboration with NASA. Click here for the full collection of resources.

    Grades: 3-5

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