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Science - Secondary Curriculum Science - Earth Science
Lesson Plans

Standard 4

Students will understand the dynamics of the hydrosphere.

Objective 2

Analyze the characteristics and importance of freshwater found on Earth's surface and its effect on living systems.
  • Biodiversity Debate - Stream Side Science
    In this exercise, students will hold a debate about the construction of a dam in terms of the biological, aesthetic, ethical, social or economic arguments with regard to maintaining biodiversity. Students will be assigned different roles to argue either for or against the dam.
  • How Much Water Do You Use? Webquest
    By accessing the website Conserve Water, students will learn about water usage and the importance of conservation.
  • Midnight Dumpers
    Students should gain a greater understanding of how and why chemical dumping occurs. They will also better understand how pollution spreads through underground reservoirs.
  • Missing Macroinvertebrates - Stream Side Science
    In this exercise, students will collect macroinvertebrates from a stream site, sort and identify them, and use their findings to identify current and past impacts to the quality of the water. They will also make predictions of how the impacts to the water quality contributed to the localized extinction of some types of macroinvertebrates.
  • Nitrogen Cycle - Stream Side Science
    Students will learn about the nitrogen cycle through discussion and the construction of a diagram. They will also measure the nitrate levels in various water samples and discuss how humans affect nitrate content in the water.
  • Picturing Water Quality
    Students will research a water quality indicator and prepare a summary to present to the class. They will create a picture to help explain their indicator.
  • Riparian Review - Stream Side Science
    In this exercise, students will identify and observe biotic factors in a riparian ecosystem, which is the green strip of vegetation alongside a waterbody; they will measure the types of vegetation at the water's edge, the function of plants as ground cover and canopy cover, and observe the wildlife in the area.
  • That's Predictable - Stream Side Science
    In this exercise, students will be asked to research and report on ecosystem changes that occur as a result of changes in an aquatic environment.
  • Troubled Waters
    Students will be given a sample of dirty water. Their job will be to develop a process to purify the water.
  • Water Conservation Checklist
    Students will create pictograms of ways to conserve water.
  • Water Management - Stream Side Science
    In this exercise, students will be assigned roles as community members, develop questions and positions, and participate in a mock "community meeting" to discuss the development of a water use plan that addresses water shortages, distribution, and water quality.
  • Water Testing
    Students will use water quality tests to determine the quality of water collected from local water systems.
  • Wetland vs. Stream Macroinvertebrates - Stream Side Sci
    In this exercise, students will use their data from the activity Who Lives in the Water? or Missing Macroinvertebrates and compare it to a macroinvertebrate sample collected from a wetland site.
  • What's in the Water? - Stream Side Science
    In this exercise, students will observe and list abiotic factors in an aquatic system and measure four of them (pH, dissolved oxygen, turbidity and temperature).
  • When Things Heat Up - Stream Side Science
    In this exercise, students will measure the temperature and dissolved oxygen of a stream (or use their findings from the activity What's in the Water?) and discuss what this information can tell us about possible pollution problems.
  • Who Lives in the Water? - Stream Side Science
    In this exercise, students will collect and observe macroinvertebrates in an aquatic system. They will record and summarize their findings.

UEN logo - in partnership with Utah State Board of Education (USBE) and Utah System of Higher Education (USHE).  Send questions or comments to USBE Specialist - Milo  Maughan and see the Science - Secondary website. For general questions about Utah's Core Standards contact the Director - Jennifer  Throndsen.

These materials have been produced by and for the teachers of the State of Utah. Copies of these materials may be freely reproduced for teacher and classroom use. When distributing these materials, credit should be given to Utah State Board of Education. These materials may not be published, in whole or part, or in any other format, without the written permission of the Utah State Board of Education, 250 East 500 South, PO Box 144200, Salt Lake City, Utah 84114-4200.