Understanding current water issues means understanding the resources and infrastructure that provide it. Before we can find solutions, we need to understand how the problem is created. In this lesson, students will understand what a watershed is, the factors which can pollute it, the modern-day problems facing watersheds (including pollution) and the ways in which they can be protected.
- Understand what a watershed is and its importance in water supply.
- Understand the urban management of watersheds and the concurrent problems.
- Understand the Watershed Protection Act 1954 and its role in keeping our water resources safe.
Grade Level: 6-8
- 70 minutes (two class periods)
- Pieces of old cardboard
- Sundry small objects
- A large empty space
- Part 1: 35 minutes
- Students will watch the three videos in succession. Teacher will ask the students to take notes as they watch them. This will be important for the subsequent activities.
- Break up the class into small teams and ask each team to research the watershed(s) that they might be a part of, the water body/bodies that supply water to them and any pollution issues. Allocate an appropriate amount of time. Ask the teams to share their findings with the rest of the class.
- Re-cap what the class has discovered about their watershed.
- Part 2: 35 minutes
- Either in teams or as a whole class, ask the students to create a crude representation of your watershed on the floor of an empty room by using fabric, cardboard pieces and sundry objects. Students should replicate all the important geological features, including water bodies, as well as areas of human settlements. (A more sophisticated replica may be made, if so desired, but the focus is on identifying the parts of the watershed).
- Students should be able to name the different features included in this model.
- Using the previously done research, ask the students to describe how water from the water bodies moves through the watershed and to the ocean.
- The teacher may pose the following questions to the students to facilitate discussion on the model:
- How does water collect in watersheds?
- How do runoff, sewage and trash become a part of our watershed?
- What is the impact of watershed pollution on the environment?
- What can citizens do to avoid watershed pollution?
- How far does the impact of watershed pollution reach?
- Re-cap the answers given by the students and any other points discussed.