Watershed Education Lesson Plans
This collection of lesson plans on watershed and water quality topics was drawn from a wide variety of sources, and is designed to provide local middle school teachers with interesting and practical SOL-based hands-on science activities. The activities were also chosen for their suitability for use in preparation for and reinforcement of meaningful watershed educational experiences (MWEE).
The material is available in PDF format, and has been broken into chapters to facilitate downloading. Funding for this project was provided by Albemarle County in connection with Phase II NPDES stormwater permit requirements
Table of Contents A complete listing of all the units and lesson plans with page numbers.
Students investigate the concept of a watershed, identify a local river's watershed system and describe the immediate watershed in which their school is located.
Color Me a Watershed
Students perform a demonstration of how plants in wetlands and riparian buffers can remove pollution from water.
Natural Purification System
Students learn how benthic macroinvertebrates are collected, identified and categorized to assign a water quality index to a stream. They will also become familiar with some representative species of benthic macroinvertebrates.
Monitoring of Streams
Hot and Cold
Balance in an
Students gain an understanding of the concepts Parts per Million (ppm) and Parts per Billion (ppb) by carrying out a series of dilutions of food coloring.
How Much is Too
pH and Aquatic
Students investigate differences in how quickly water soaks into the ground in order to gain an understanding of factors in groundwater recharge.
Why Water Pollutes
Students perform an experiment to investigate the characteristics of sediment in water. They will also discuss the effects of various types of pollution on aquatic organisms.
Muddying the Waters
Erosion: Rubbing the
Earth the Wrong Way
Students observe the effects of nutrients on algae growth in water samples.
Nutrients in Lakes
Using a series of clues, students solve a mystery to discover the source of a deadly illness in 19th Century London.
Students learn how to identify hazardous household products by reading product labels.
Oil and Water Don't
Students will read and analyze a given litter dilemma. They will propose a solution by reviewing it from the perspective of a specific audience.
Experiment: Planting a "Reverse" Garden
How Long Will it Be
Nurture Some Nature
Students learn how a septic system cleans wastewater by performing an experiment.
Mini Water Treatment
Students become familiar with current environmental topics by reporting on newspaper, internet and/or television news stories.
Back to the Future
We would appreciate any feedback teachers can provide regarding how suitable the materials are in the following areas:
1. appropriate level (not too easy/not too difficult)
2. appropriate subject matter
3. instructions clear
4. looks like something students would enjoy doing (be interested in doing)
5. looks like something the teacher would be inclined to try in class
Urban Conservation Specialist
Thomas Jefferson Soil & Water Conservation District