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Teach the Clinch

INTRODUCTION

About the Clinch River Watershed

 

Biodiversity in the Clinch River

 

The Clinch River originates in Tazewell County where the headwaters flow from freshwater cave springs traveling southwest through the counties of Russell, Wise and Scott before joining the Powell River and entering Tennessee. At this juncture, the Clinch-Powell flows into the Tennessee River just west of Knoxville, then continues westward to the Ohio River, onto the Mississippi River and finally emptying into the Gulf of Mexico.

 

The Clinch River is part of the Southern Rivers in Virginia as opposed to the rivers in the northern, middle and eastern parts of the Commonwealth that flow to the Chesapeake Bay. The Clinch River and its tributaries measure a total of 1,773 miles, according to The Clinch River: A World Class Treasure.

Historical accounts describe the travels of early explorers who found their way to the Clinch River to utilize this water resource throughout their journey in the region. Legend tells how the Clinch River got its name when an Irish explorer tried to cross the river after heavy rains, but fell into the water and cried, “Clinch me,” which apparently meant, “Save me,” according to Indian Creek: A Local and National Treasure. One of the most notable explorers to float the Clinch, Daniel Boone at one time lived near Castlewood in Russell County.

Today, the Clinch River is labeled by The Nature Conservancy as a biodiversity hotspot because of the variety of rare and endangered species found in the water. According to The Nature Conservancy, the Clinch River is home to 29 types of rare freshwater mussels and 19 species of fish. A variety of animals live along the riverbanks, including birds and mammals as well as rare plants that grow there.

 

The Clinch River Valley Initiative

 

The Clinch River Valley Initiative (CRVI) originated as a result of a 2010 forum, “Building Local Economies in Southwest Virginia.” A collaborative effort in Southwest Virginia, CRVI focuses on the Clinch River Valley and works at a watershed scale with many local partners. This grassroots effort has developed significant momentum with applicability for communities in Appalachia and beyond.

 

Utilizing a consensus-based approach, project partners developed goals for connecting downtown revitalization, outdoor recreation, water quality, entrepreneurship, and environmental education along the Clinch River, and are taking action to realize the prioritized goals. The project connects to cultural and natural heritage efforts including Heartwood: Southwest Virginia’s Artisan Gateway, ‘Round the Mountain, Crooked Road, and other artisan networks and local efforts. Finally, the effort builds upon the unique cultural and ecological assets of the Clinch River to create new possibilities in the communities along the Clinch, particularly around environmental education, water quality, economic development, and entrepreneurship.

 

The five primary goals of CRVI are to:

 

Goal 1: Develop a Clinch River State Park.

 

Goal 2: Develop and integrate access points, trails, and campgrounds along the Clinch River.

 

Goal 3: Enhance water quality in the Clinch River.

 

Goal 4: Develop and enhance environmental education opportunities for all community members in the Clinch River watershed.

 

Goal 5: Connect and Expand Downtown Revitalization, Marketing and Entrepreneurial Development Opportunities in the Clinch River Valley.

 

These goals include a variety of objectives, many of which have been achieved. To learn more about these achievements as well as future plans, visit the website: www.clinchriverva.com.

 

Clinch River Valley Initiative Vision Statement:

By 2020, the Clinch River Valley will be a global destination based on its unique biodiversity, natural beauty, cultural attractions, and outdoor opportunities. This collaboration will bring measurable economic, environmental, and social benefits to the region’s communities while protecting the Clinch’s globally rare species.”

 

A Note to Educators Outside[[
]]the Clinch River Watershed

 

Lessons in this Guide

 

There are two types of lessons included in this curriculum guide. These include brand-new never-before seen lessons based in the newest and most popular pedagogical methods (such as project-based learning, inquiry learning, and others) as well as educator favorite tried-and-true lessons that have been used by teachers in the Clinch River Watershed and across the United States for many years.

 

This guide has been written specifically with students in the Clinch River Watershed in mind. That means all newly-designed lessons have been written and designed from scratch to be place-based additions to the current body of environmental education materials. Many tried-and-true lessons have been adapted to better fit the needs of students in the Clinch River Watershed. These lessons have been aligned with Virginia Standards of Learning (SOLs) and student-friendly “I CAN” objective statements that tie into the unique natural wonders within the Clinch River Watershed.

 

All lessons also include ideas for formative assessment and fit within the framework of explicit instruction. Many lessons include print-ready student sheets and additional multimedia resources for educators.

 

 

Adapting “Teach the Clinch” for Use Outside the Watershed

 

We strongly encourage educators outside of our watershed to use these lessons. Lessons can be easily adapted by including information specific to YOUR local watershed in place of the Clinch River Watershed. If you aren’t sure in which watershed you teach, or if you need additional information for conducting the lessons successfully, we have included recommended contacts below.

 

Virginia Association of Soil and Water Conservation Districts

VA SWCD Web: http://vaswcd.org

 

Contact your local SWCD office to find out which watershed you live in and to learn more about environmental education efforts going on in your region.

 

Virginia Department of Environmental Quality

DEQ Web: http://www.deq.virginia.gov

 

Your regional branch of the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality can provide you with education materials as well as a map of your local watershed.

 

Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation

DCR Web: http://www.dcr.virginia.gov

 

The Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation can tell you more about regional conservation projects and can provide information about state parks (including opportunities for field trips).

 

US Forest Service

USFS Web: http://www.fs.fed.us

 

US Fish and Wildlife

USFW Web: https://www.fws.gov

 

Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries

VA DGIF Web: https://www.dgif.virginia.gov

 

Virginia Department of Forestry

VA DOF Web: http://www.dof.virginia.gov

 

These federal and state agencies can provide information about Virginia state forests and wildlife in Virginia. You can gain particular insight into endangered species and invasive species that live in your watershed. You also may be able to invite a guest speaker from one of these agencies to talk to your class about one or more of these issues.

 

Pedagogical Principles for Teaching the Clinch

Explicit Instruction

“Explicit instruction is systematic, direct, engaging, and success oriented—and has been shown to promote achievement for all students.”
Archer & Hughes

Explicit instruction, as described by Archer & Hughes (2011) is a highly successful teaching methodology that incorporates a number of pedagogical best practices to ensure quality instruction. Most lessons included in this curriculum guide assume that the pedagogical method for delivery of individual lessons is based in explicit instruction theory. Explicit instruction includes numerous elements that can be used to guide lesson creation and delivery. Explicit instruction methods maximize student learning by engaging students and providing stepping stones for them to succeed at a high level. Explicit instruction strategies include:

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Activating prior knowledge


*
p<>{color:#000;}. Instruction and modeling


*
p<>{color:#000;}. Providing examples and non-examples


*
p<>{color:#000;}. Leading guided practice


*
p<>{color:#000;}. Opportunity for independent practice


*
p<>{color:#000;}. Scaffolding, as needed


*
p<>{color:#000;}. Constantly formatively assessing learning.

Lessons can be designed and implemented using explicit instruction using many other instructional strategies. As appropriate, lesson guides in this curriculum include ideas for activating prior knowledge, instruction and modeling, scaffolding, guided/independent practice as needed, and formative assessment. We encourage teachers to implement additional explicit instruction strategies when using this curriculum as needed and as appropriate.

Resource for Explicit Instruction:

*
p<>{color:#000;}. ExplicitInstruction.org (http://www.explicitinstruction.org)


*
p<>{color:#000;}. Archer, Anita L., and Charles A. Hughes. Explicit instruction: Effective and efficient teaching. Guilford Press, 2011.

 

Inquiry-Based Learning

“We only think when confronted with a problem.”
John Dewey

Inquiry-based learning is a powerful tool for engaging students and building student ownership of content. Inquiry-based lessons in this guide use the “5-E Model” for inquiry. The 5-E Model is based on completion of the following steps:

#
p<>{color:#000;}. Engage,


#
p<>{color:#000;}. Explore,


#
p<>{color:#000;}. Explain,


#
p<>{color:#000;}. Elaborate, and


#
p<>{color:#000;}. Evaluate .

Formative assessment is easily built in to the model, and the student-driven nature of the model allows for teachers to appropriately scaffold, model, provide examples, and provide guided versus independent practice. The model also supports a high level of collaboration, technology integration, and research skills.

Resources on Inquiry-Based Learning:

*
p<>{color:#000;}. 5E Model for Inquiry-Based Learning (http://www.bscs.org/sites/default/files/_legacy/BSCS_5E_Instructional_Model-Executive_Summary_0.pdf)


*
p<>{color:#000;}. Edutopia.com Inquiry-Based Learning (http://www.edutopia.org/topic/inquiry-based-learning)

h1<>{color:#50637d;}.

 

Project-based Learning

“Project-based learning is a dynamic approach to teaching in which students explore real-world problems and challenges. With this type of active and engaged learning, students are inspired to obtain a deeper knowledge of the subjects they’re studying.”
Edutopia.com

Project-based learning includes 5 key principles:

#
p<>{color:#000;}. Real-World Connections


#
p<>{color:#000;}. Core to Learning


#
p<>{color:#000;}. Structured Collaboration


#
p<>{color:#000;}. Student Driven


#
p<>{color:#000;}. Multifaceted Assessment

Implementing project-based learning in the classroom requires a move away from the traditional classrooms where teachers do most of the talking. Teachers become “facilitators” during project-based learning but still work to scaffold learning as necessary and to keep students on track. During project-based learning, students learn content through the project rather than through classroom lecture. Teachers assess this learning through formative assessment and through projects that relate to “real-world” applications. Classrooms that include project-based learning report higher engagement and high student learning outcomes.

More information about project-based learning is available from the following resources:

*
p<>{color:#000;}. BIE: PBL For Teachers (http://www.bie.org/for/teachers)


*
p<>{color:#000;}. Edutopia: Project-based Learning (http://www.edutopia.org/project-based-learning)


*
p<>{color:#000;}. Crafting Questions that Drive Projects (http://learninginhand.com/blog/drivingquestions)


*
p<>{color:#000;}. 5 Keys to Rigorous Project-based Learning (http://www.edutopia.org/video/5-keys-rigorous-project-based-learning)

 

 

K-12 Safety (from Virginia Science Standards of Learning)

Note: The following information is provided for your reference from the Virginia Department of Education.

 

In implementing the Science Standards of Learning, teachers must be certain that students know how to follow safety guidelines, demonstrate appropriate laboratory safety techniques, and use equipment safely while working individually and in groups.

 

Safety must be given the highest priority in implementing the K-12 instructional program for science. Correct and safe techniques, as well as wise selection of experiments, resources, materials, and field experiences appropriate to age levels, must be carefully considered with regard to the safety precautions for every instructional activity. Safe science classrooms require thorough planning, careful management, and constant monitoring of student activities. Class enrollment should not exceed the designed capacity of the room.

 

Teachers must be knowledgeable of the properties, use, and proper disposal of all chemicals that may be judged as hazardous prior to their use in an instructional activity. Such information is referenced through Materials Safety Data Sheets (MSDS). The identified precautions involving the use of goggles, gloves, aprons, and fume hoods must be followed as prescribed.

 

While no comprehensive list exists to cover all situations, the following should be reviewed to avoid potential safety problems. Appropriate safety procedures should be used in the following situations:

observing wildlife; handling living and preserved organisms; and coming in contact with natural hazards, such as poison ivy, ticks, mushrooms, insects, spiders, and snakes;

engaging in field activities in, near, or over bodies of water;

handling glass tubing and other glassware, sharp objects, and lab ware;

handling natural gas burners, Bunsen burners, and other sources of flame/heat;

working in or with direct sunlight (sunburn and eye damage);

using extreme temperatures and cryogenic materials;

handling hazardous chemicals including toxins, carcinogens, and flammable and explosive materials;

producing acid/base neutralization reactions/dilutions;

producing toxic gases;

generating/working with high pressures;

working with biological cultures including their appropriate disposal and recombinant DNA;

handling power equipment/motors;

working with high voltage/exposed wiring; and

*
p<>{color:#000;}. working with laser beam, UV, and other radiation.

The use of human body fluids or tissues is generally prohibited for classroom lab activities. Further guidance from the following sources may be referenced:

OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration);

ISEF (International Science and Engineering Fair) rules; and

public health departments’ and school divisions’ protocols.

 

 

 

 

 

FLORA & FAUNA

 

Lesson Plan

Watch it Grow

 

Grade Levels:

Grade 1, 2

 

Subject (s):

Science

 

Virginia SOLs:

1.4, 2.4

 

Materials Needed:

Zipper style plastic sandwich bags,

three green bean seeds for each student, half paper towel for each student, water,

drawing of plant parts or live plant

 

Time Needed:

Preparation: Setup is 15 minutes.

Activity: 30-45 minutes with follow-up for 10 minutes each day until seeds sprout. Do the assessment a day or two after seeds sprout.

 

Summary

Students will complete an in-class activity in which they plant a seed and watch it grow.

 

Objectives

I can describe how I plant a seed.

 

I can draw a picture of the basic parts of a plant.

 

Warm-Up / Pre-Assessment

Ask the students if they have a vegetable garden at home or if they have ever helped someone else plant a garden. What did they plant? How did they plant? What was their favorite vegetable to grow?

 

For those who have not planted a garden, ask the students what they would like to plant in a vegetable garden if they could. What is their favorite vegetable to eat?

 

Talk about how plants grow from seeds.

 

 

 

Instruction

Show students the drawing of the basic parts of a plant. You may find adrawing at http://www.mbgnet.net/bioplants/parts.html.

 

Describe each part of the plant. Name a part of the plant and ask the class to say the name after you. Repeat with each part of the plant, including roots, stem, leaves, and blossoms.

 

If you have a live plant, repeat the above exercise by asking students to repeat after you the name of each part of the plant.

 

Talk about the life cycle of a vegetable plant. Explain how a vegetable seed sprouts into a plant with roots, stems, leaves and blossoms.

 

If you have time, go outside to look at a couple of live plants on the school campus. Ask students to name the parts of the plants they can see. What parts cannot be seen? (Such as roots underground or a plant that does not have blossoms. Ask why the plant they see may not have blossoms right now.)

 

Back inside the classroom, show students how to plant a seed in a plastic bag. Ask students to write their name on their bag. Tell students to place their seeds on a wet paper towel, fold the towel and place it in the bag.

 

Ask students what plants need in order to grow (water, soil, sun). Ask students which of those three is missing from the plastic bag (soil). Will the seeds sprout without soil? (Yes, but tell them they will need to watch their bags to see what happens over the next several days).

 

If possible, post the bags on a bulletin board or other display area in the classroom. Each day, ask students to look at the seeds and describe what they see. When the seeds have sprouted, ask students what the plants need to grow bigger (soil, water, sun). Allow students to take their sprouted seeds home to plant in a garden or flower bed or pot. If your school has a garden space, help the children plant the seeds there.

Assessment

Ask students to draw a plant and label the basic parts.

 

Lesson Plan

A Forest Walk

 

Grade Levels:

3-6

 

Subject(s):

Science, English

 

Virginia SOLs:

Science 4.5, 6.9

English 4.1, 5.1

 

Materials Needed:

Art materials

Student worksheet

 

Time Needed:

50 minutes

 

Summary

Students will take a close look at trees by walking around the school grounds. Students will learn to draw the life cycle of trees and compare the tree life cycle to the human life cycle.

 

Objectives

I can describe and draw the life cycle of trees.

 

Warm-Up / Pre-Assessment

Prior to the teaching this lesson, go online to the Virginia Department of Forestry website at:

[+ http://dof.virginia.gov/assets/media/virtualtour/pub-Teacher-Guide-VR-Tour.pdf+] and scroll down to pages 39-43. The pre and post assessments are on pages 39 and 40. The lesson, “Tree Lifecycle,” begins on page 41. This is also available from www.TeachTheClinch.com.

 

Talk about life cycles by asking students to name different parts of their lives from birth until today. Tell students that they will be looking at trees in order to draw a life cycle of a tree. Ask students to complete the pre-assessment. Follow description in the “Tree Lifecycle” lesson.

 

 

Instruction

If possible, take the students outside to walk around the school grounds to look at the trees. Talk about the different types of trees and look for trees in different life stages. Which trees are native to the Clinch River Valley? When we say native trees, what do we mean by that? (Trees that always have been in the region as opposed to trees that might be shipped from another place.) Native trees grow better because they are suited to the environment that has always been their home.

 

Information about identifying trees in Virginia, as well as other tree-related information, is available at the following link:

http://dof.virginia.gov/tree/index.htm

 

The following link contains a tree life cycle diagram:

[+ https://www.plt.org/family-activity/tree-lifecycle/+]

 

Follow the remainder of the instructions in the online lesson.

Assessment

Ask students to complete the post-assessment. Compare with the pre-assessment.

 

 

Lesson Plan

A Rain Garden Year

 

Grade Levels:

1, 2, 3

 

Subject (s):

Science

 

Virginia SOLs:

1.7, 2.6, 2.8, 3.7, 3.8

 

Materials Needed:

Photos of rain gardens from Virginia Department of Forestry website

Optional: Set of cards and labels

Play narrative

 

Time Needed:

30 minutes

 

Summary

Students will act out a skit to help them understand a rain garden

 

Objectives

I can describe a rain garden.

 

Warm-Up / Pre-Assessment

Ask the students if they have ever seen a rain garden. Is there a rain garden at this school? Have the students they seen a rain garden anywhere else in the Clinch River watershed? Have they seen the rain garden at the Wetlands Estonoa Learning Center in the town of St. Paul? What is a rain garden?

 

Instruction

Tell the students they are going to act out a skit about a rain garden. Give a definition of a rain garden (a flower garden that soaks up rain). Explain in more detail by following the directions in the lesson, “A Rain Garden Year,” which was prepared by Clinch Valley Soil and Water Conservation District, an organization located within the Clinch River Watershed. (Download the resource “A Rain Garden Year” from www.TeachTheClinch.com [*)*]

 

Utilize the Virginia Department of Forestry’s online resource, “Rain Gardens Technical Guide: A landscape tool to improve water quality.” Find the online publication at [+ www.dof.virginia.gov/infopubs/Rain-Garden-Technical-Guide-2014-15_pub.pdf+].

 

This technical guide offers everything you will need in order to plan and design a rain garden. Although you may not want to get into all of the technical details with elementary students, this document is a beneficial background resource for teachers. This resource also features photos of rain gardens.

 

At the conclusion of the lesson, complete the next activity, “Signs of the Seasons,” if time allows. If there is a rain garden on your school grounds, take students outside to look at the garden. If there is not a rain garden on your campus, consider installing one. You should consult with a Soil and Water Conservation District or your local Watershed Roundtable before selecting the exact spot for a rain garden. In the Clinch River Watershed, contact Upper Tennessee River Roundtable.

 

Assessment

Ask the questions as listed in the “review” section of “A Rain Garden Year.”

 

Ask students to write the following in a KWL chart:

What I know.

What I want to know.

What I learned.

 

Time permitting lead a brief class discussion by asking students to share questions from the “what I want to know” section.

 

Lesson Plan

Living Trees

 

Grade Levels:

Grade 2, 3

 

Subject(s):

Science

 

Virginia SOLs:

2.5, 3.6, 3.7, 3.10

 

Materials Needed:

Enough large plastic rings for each student to use one. As an alternative, purchase a package of extra-large paper plates and cut out the centers.

Approximately 90 4×4 cards for soil, sunshine, water (sample included).

 

Time Needed:

30 minutes

 

Summary

Students will pretend to be trees in an activity that emphasizes essential elements for trees to live.

 

Objectives

I can describe what a tree needs to live.

 

Warm-Up / Pre-Assessment

Talk about trees and the differences in trees, such as conifers (evergreens or trees with cones) and deciduous trees (trees that lose their leaves).

 

Ask the students what trees need to live (sunshine, soil, water).

 

Instruction

Tell the students that they will pretend to be trees with roots. When the activity begins, each student will stand with one foot planted in a plastic ring or paper plate ring. No one can move their feet during the activity because trees cannot move around. Trees have roots that are planted in the ground.

 

Each tree needs three basic things to live: sunshine, soil, and water. You can find a page of cards at www.TeachTheClinch.com. You will need to print several copies, depending upon the number of students.

 

Show the cards to the students and tell them that these cards will be scattered on the floor all around them. When told to start, students need to pick up as many cards as they can reach without moving their feet.

 

The object of the game is to grab at least one sunlight card, one water card and one soil card to survive.

 

Warn the students to be careful not to bump heads with anyone who is standing beside them.

 

Tell the students to go. After all cards have been picked up, ask students to raise their hands if they have the three basic cards needed to live. Ask the students what will happen to the trees that do not have the basic things needed to live. (They will die.)

 

Talk about other things that might cause trees to die (forest fires, disease, insects, storms, someone cutting them down).

Assessment

Ask students to name the three things that trees need to live.

 

Ask students to write the following in a KWL chart:

What I know.

What I want to know.

What I learned.

 

Time permitting lead a brief class discussion by asking students to share questions from the “what I want to know” section.

 

Acknowledgement: Thanks to Randy Shortt of Tennessee Valley Authority for sharing the idea for this activity.

 

Lesson Plan

INQUIRY: Snakes of the Clinch River Watershed (Elementary/Middle)

 

Grade Levels:

3-5

 

Subject(s):

Science

 

Virginia SOLs:

3.4, 3.5, 3.6, 4.5

 

Materials Needed:

Paper, markers or crayons, research sources

 

Time Needed:

1 hour

 

Summary

Students will complete an inquiry lesson focused on the snakes of the Clinch River Watershed (and Virginia) using the “5-E Model” of inquiry. Teachers: if you are not familiar with the 5-E model of inquiry, please see “Pedagogical Principles for Teaching the Clinch.”

 

Objectives

I can identify the venomous snakes of Virginia and the Clinch River Watershed.

 

I can describe the difference between venomous and non-venomous snakes.

 

Warm-Up / Pre-Assessment

Engage: Display a picture of a local snake. To activate prior knowledge, conduct a brief think-write-share by asking students to write down 2-3 things that they know about snakes, and then either share their knowledge with a partner or with the class.

 

Instruction

Explore: Using any combination of library resources, tablets/computers for internet searches, and/or information drawn from the linked documents below, ask students work in small groups to investigate the following:

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Which snakes live in Virginia?

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Which snakes live in the Clinch River Watershed?

*
p<>{color:#000;}. How do you tell the difference between venomous and non-venomous snakes?

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Which venomous snakes live in the Clinch River Watershed?

 

Resources:

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Virginia Herpetological Society (http://www.virginiaherpetologicalsociety.com )

*
p<>{color:#000;}. List of Snakes in Virginia (http://www.virginiaherpetologicalsociety.com/reptiles/snakes/snakes_of_virginia.htm )

*
p<>{color:#000;}. University of Virginia (http://www.people.vcu.edu/~albest/troop700/documents/TheSnakesOfVirginiaO.pdf )

 

For more scaffolding for younger groups, assign one question per group and add additional context as needed. As it arises, emphasize the difference between poisonous (something that is eaten that causes harm) and venomous (something that bites or stings and causes harm).

 

Explain: Give each group a few minutes to share their results with the class. Clarify as necessary and ask other students to volunteer any missing or difficult-to-locate information.

 

Assessment

Elaborate: To provide independent practice, allow each student to draw a picture to answer one or more of the questions investigated in the explore section above. Students can spend some time sharing these pictures with each other and, time permitting, with the class.

 

Evaluate: Allow students to write (in length appropriate for grade level) a short summary of what they have learned today. Ask students also to write one or two questions that they still have about the lesson.

 

Lesson Plan

Food Webs in the Clinch River Watershed

 

Grade Levels:

2-7

 

Subject(s):

Science

 

Virginia SOLs:

2.4, 3.5, 4.5, 5.5, 6.7, LS.6

 

Materials Needed:

Printed Cards from Web of Life Game

Yarn

 

Time Needed:

1 hour

 

Summary

In the food webs lesson students will learn about how animals and plants in the Clinch River Watershed interact via predator-prey relationships and connect to form a larger food web.

 

Objectives

I can describe a food web in the Clinch River Watershed.

 

I can identify connections between plants and animals in the Clinch River Watershed.

 

I can explain how invasive species affect native species in the Clinch River Watershed.

 

Warm-Up / Pre-Assessment

Ask students to write and/or explain what they already know about plants and animals that live in the Clinch River Watershed. Lead a brief discussion/review about food webs and review the term “invasive species.”

 

Instruction

Prep ahead of time: print cards from the “web of life” game (available on the www.TeachTheClinch.com website or here: [+ http://dnr.wi.gov/eek/teacher/invasivesguide/Web%20of%20Life.pdf+] ). You may want to mount these cards on sturdy cardstock and laminate them for future use.

 

Organize students into small groups (no larger than 15 students). Play the “web of life” game using the instructions (available on the TeachTheClinch.com website).

 

After the game, lead a discussion about food webs and invasive species and ask the students what they think about invasive species. To extend the discussion for older students, ask students what people can do to prevent new invasive species from settling in the Clinch River Watershed and what we can do about invasive species currently in the watershed.

 

Examples of invasive species identified in Virginia are available here: http://www.dcr.virginia.gov/natural-heritage/vaisc/species/

Assessment

Have students draw and label a food web using some of the animals and plants from the activity. Older students can add additional written descriptions of the interactions happening between and among animals and plants in the food web.

 

Lesson Plan

Species Survival: Mussels and Plants

 

Grade Levels:

3-7

 

Subject(s):

Science

 

Virginia SOLs:

3.6, 3.10, 4.5, 4.9, 6.7, LS.9

 

Materials Needed:

Copies of cards in “Ups and Downs” lesson

 

Time Needed:

45 minutes

 

Summary

Students will understand the importance of habitat for species survival, with an emphasis on a freshwater mussel species and a plant species found in the Big Creek Watershed in Russell County which is a sub-watershed of the Clinch River Watershed.

 

Objectives

I can explain why habitat is important for mussels and plants.

 

I can describe what these species of mussels and plants need for survival.

 

Warm-Up / Pre-Assessment

Talk about the importance of mussels in the Clinch River. Why they are important and what do they do? Talk about how mussels filter out the sediment, bacteria and algae that flow through creeks and rivers, but that too much sediment can be harmful to mussels.

 

Read the lesson, “Ups and Downs,” from Our Own Backyard: Environmental Education Activities for Russell County, Virginia that was produced by the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation.

 

Instruction

Talk about species found in the Clinch River Watershed. See chart on page 15 that lists species.

 

Emphasize the unique biodiversity that is found in this region. Show students The Nature Conservancy’s biodiversity map shown on Upper Tennessee River Roundtable’s website at www.uppertnriver.org.

 

The last page of the “Ups and Downs” lesson has a descriptive page about the Birdwing Pearlymussel and Canby’s Mountain-lover evergreen. Share this page with the class.

 

Follow the directions in the lesson. For a listing of mussels in Virginia, go to:

http://www.discoverlife.org/mp/20q?guide=Mussel

 

For more information about mussels, contact The Nature Conservancy office in Abingdon that has information about a recent study showing types of pollution that affect the species that live in the Clinch River. Website is http://www.nature.org/ourinitiatives/regions/northamerica/unitedstates/virginia/placesweprotect/clinch-valley-program-1.xml.

 

Another resource is the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries that operates a hatchery in Marion where mussels are raised to be released into the Clinch River. A visit to the hatchery would make an excellent field trip. Go to this site to find out more about mussels: https://www.dgif.virginia.gov/wildlife/freshwater-mussels/

 

Team Estonoa, high school students who work and meet at Wetlands Estonoa Learning Center in the town of St. Paul, assist with a mussel release project. Mussels are placed in silos that are put into the river and students conduct monthly monitoring for growth and viability. According to Team Estonoa, “the purpose of the mussel project is to collect usable data that will eventually lead to the establishment of a permanent mussel nursey that will house endangered mussels.” Contact Team Estonoa for more information about their project by emailing [email protected] or visit the website at http://www.wetlandsestonoa.org/

 

This Virginia State Parks website [+ http://www.dcr.virginia.gov/environmental-education/document/ybc-enda.pdf+] lists endangered and threatened species for plants and mussels as well as amphibians, reptiles, mammals, fish and birds. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has a search option on its website https://www.fws.gov/endangered/ where you can enter your state and the species you are researching.

 

Assessment

Ask students to write a description of why mussels are important to the Clinch River and what can be done to protect them.

 

Lesson

Building a Rain Garden

 

Grade Levels:

8-12

 

Subject (s):

Earth Science,

Geometry

 

Virginia SOLs:

ES.1, ES.8, G.13

 

Materials Needed:

Graph paper, pencils, tape measure

 

Time Needed:

1 to 2 class periods for in-class work; 4 classes for extension activity

 

Summary

Students will research, plan and design a rain garden on graph paper. As a lesson extension, students will build an actual rain garden in a project-based learning study that could take place over several class periods.

 

Objectives

I can research how to plan and build a rain garden.

 

I can describe how a rain garden is beneficial to the Clinch River and other waterways.

 

Warm-Up / Pre-Assessment

If interested in building an actual rain garden, contact local organizations to find out if there is a need for assistance in planning and building a rain garden as a class project. Suggested contacts include your local Soil and Water Conservation District, your local Watershed Roundtable (Upper Tennessee River Roundtable in the Clinch River Watershed), and your local office of Virginia Department of Environmental Quality. You can also invite a guest speaker from one of the groups listed above to talk about rain gardens before you begin this exercise with the students.

 

Introduce the concept of a rain garden. Describe a rain garden (a garden of native plants that captures the first flush or runoff from rain. The garden absorbs pollutants to keep them out of streams and rivers). Ask students if they have ever seen a rain garden. If so, where was the rain garden located? How did the rain garden seem different from a traditional flower bed? What are native plants? Tell students they will design a rain garden on graph paper.

 

Download a poster about native plants from [+ www.deq.virginia.gov/ConnectwithDEQEnvironmentalInformation/LoveATree/aspx+].

 

Instruction

Utilize the Virginia Department of Forestry’s online resource, “Rain Gardens Technical Guide: A landscape tool to improve water quality.” Find the online publication at [+ www.dof.virginia.gov/infopubs/Rain-Garden-Technical-Guide-2014-15_pub.pdf+].

This technical guide offers everything you will need in order to plan and design a rain garden.

 

Assign students to research different components of a rain garden: location, plants, soil types, designs, maintenance, project budget. Students could work in teams to follow the guidebook and create a rain garden on graph paper.

 

As an example, if there is an outdoor pavilion at the school, students could go outside as a class to measure the structure and determine the size for a rain garden to capture the roof runoff. The remainder of the plan could be completed back in the classroom. If there is not a pavilion, you can mark off a space outside on the ground with string or rope and tell students that this section will be used to measure for an imagined pavilion.

 

Assessment

Ask student groups to design and give presentations to the class about their rain garden plan. Students may create presentations using PowerPoint, HaikuDeck, or Google Slides.

 

Lesson Plan

Bee Detective (An Inquiry)

 

Grade Levels:

6-8

 

Subject(s):

Science, Biology

 

Virginia SOLs:

6.7, LS.9, LS.10, LS.13, BIO.8

 

Materials Needed:

Computer, projector

 

Time Needed:

2 × 50-minute class periods

 

Summary

In this lesson, students will complete an inquiry-based activity using the 5-E model for inquiry related to bees and reasons for “colony collapse disorder,” which is affecting bee populations worldwide.

 

Objectives

I can explain how colony collapse disorder affects life in watersheds like the Clinch River Watershed.

 

I can describe the problems associated with colony collapse disorder.

 

Warm-Up / Pre-Assessment

Display a photo of a honeybee on the projector screen as students enter the room. To activate prior knowledge, give students a few minutes to write down their thoughts about the image. Students may write what they know about bees and/or colony collapse disorder. Lead the class in a brief discussion about colony collapse disorder and the importance of pollinators before beginning the inquiry.

 

Instruction

Follow the instructions for the inquiry from The Nature Conservancy’s “Bee Detective: Discover the culprit behind declining bee populations” inquiry document. This can be downloaded from The Nature Conservancy (https://www.natureworkseverywhere.org/resources/discover-culprit-declining-bee-populations/ ) or from www.TeachTheClinch.com.

 

A factsheet on honeybees, which includes a picture of a honeybee, is available here: http://www.gpnc.org/honeybee.htm

 

Extensions:

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Have students conduct research about how colony collapse disorder affects the Clinch River Watershed.

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Ask a local bee-keeper to visit the classroom to talk more about the importance of pollination, how bee colonies operate, raising bees for honey, and/or colony collapse disorder.

Assessment

In addition to the assessment ideas included in the inquiry document from The Nature Conservancy, incorporate self-assessment and peer-group assessment into the lesson.

 

It is a good idea to close the first day with a 3-2-1 exit ticket:

#
p<>{color:#000;}. List three things you learned today.

#
p<>{color:#000;}. List two things you still aren’t sure about.

#
p<>{color:#000;}. List one question you have that you’re still curious about.

 

Lesson Plan

The Many Benefits of Trees

 

Grade Levels:

6-8

 

Subject(s):

Science, Earth Science, Biology

 

Virginia SOLs:

6.7, LS.11, ES.6, BIO.8

 

Materials Needed:

Map of school grounds printed from Google maps

Printout of dichotomous key from link listed in resource

Paper or journal and pencils

 

Time Needed:

Minimum of 4 class periods

 

Summary

Students will learn about the many benefits of trees, including how trees cool the air, provide windbreaks, provide oxygen and reduce erosion.

 

Students will learn about what can harm trees (pet waste, storms, and harmful insects). Students will learn what people can do to protect trees in their community.

 

Objectives

I can describe the benefits of trees.

 

I can explain the threats to trees.

 

I can name something that people can do to protect trees in the Clinch River watershed.

 

Warm-Up / Pre-Assessment

Introduce this lesson series by asking students to name how trees are beneficial. Who benefits from trees?

 

Instruction

Follow the instructions in the lesson entitled, “Urban Trees” from The Nature Conservancy. This lesson, found online at either www.teachtheclinch.com or [+ https://www.natureworkseverywhere.org/asset/UrbanTrees_v4_5_24_2016.pdf+] is designed to help students explore benefits to trees and threats to trees over a three to four or even five-day time frame. Students will conclude their study by creating an action plan for maintaining the trees on their school campus. As an alternative, ask students to devise a plan for trees along the Clinch River or a tributary to the Clinch River or a river in your town, city or county.

Assessment

Ask students to name the benefits of trees.

Ask students to describe threats to trees.

Ask students how people or the Earth would be affected if there were no trees.

Ask students to give presentations about their action plan for tree protection either on their school grounds or along the Clinch River.

 

Lesson Plan

INQUIRY: Snakes of the Clinch River Watershed (High School)

 

Grade Levels:

7-12

 

Subject(s):

Science, Earth Science, Biology

 

Virginia SOLs:

LS.1, ES.1, BIO.1

 

Materials Needed:

Technology (computer lab or library)

 

Time Needed:

1 hour

 

Summary

Students will complete an inquiry lesson focused on the snakes of the Clinch River Watershed (and Virginia) using the “5-E Model” of inquiry.

 

Objectives

I can identify the venomous snakes of Virginia and the Clinch River Watershed.

 

I can describe the physical differences between venomous and non-venomous snakes.

 

I can describe how venomous snakes produce venom and subdue prey.

 

Warm-Up / Pre-Assessment

Engage: Display a picture of a local snake. To activate prior knowledge, conduct a brief think-write-share by asking students to write down 2-3 things that they know about snake physiology, and then either share their knowledge with a partner or with the class.

 

Instruction

Explore: Using any combination of library resources, tablets/computers for internet searches, and/or information drawn from the linked documents below, ask students work in small groups to investigate the following questions:

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Which snakes live in Virginia?

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Which snakes live in the Clinch River Watershed?

*
p<>{color:#000;}. What physical differences are present between venomous and non-venomous snakes?

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Which venomous snakes live in the Clinch River Watershed?

*
p<>{color:#000;}. What are the physiological factors that produce venom?

*
p<>{color:#000;}. How do venomous versus non venomous snakes catch prey?

 

Resources:

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Virginia Herpetological Society ( http://www.virginiaherpetologicalsociety.com )

*
p<>{color:#000;}. List of Snakes in Virginia (http://www.virginiaherpetologicalsociety.com/reptiles/snakes/snakes_of_virginia.htm )

*
p<>{color:#000;}. University of Virginia (http://www.people.vcu.edu/~albest/troop700/documents/TheSnakesOfVirginiaO.pdf )

 

For more scaffolding, assign fewer question per group and add additional context as needed. Emphasize and re-emphasize the difference between poisonous (something that is eaten that causes harm) and venomous (something that bites or stings and causes harm).

 

To incorporate technology in the classroom, ask students to create short PowerPoint, Google Slide, or Prezi presentations to share with the class later.

 

Explain: Give each group some time to present their results to the class. Clarify as necessary and ask other students to volunteer any missing or difficult-to-locate information.

 

Assessment

Elaborate: To provide independent practice, allow each student to write or type a short paper that answers 2-3 questions (with citations) investigated in the explore section.

 

Evaluate: Allow students to write a short summary of what they have learned today. If you prefer, write bullet points on the board and ask students to make sure their response touches each bullet point. At the end of their summary, ask students to pose two to three questions that they still have about the lesson.

 

Lesson Plan

Let’s Explore Invasive Species in the Clinch with Project-Based Learning!

 

Grade Levels:

8-12

 

Subject(s):

Science, Biology, Ecology

 

Virginia SOLs:

LS.11, BIO.8

 

Materials Needed:

Computers with internet connection

 

Time Needed:

Approx. 3 days

 

Summary

In this lesson, students will complete project-based learning to master competencies associated with invasive species and pests in the Clinch River watershed.

 

Objectives

I can deduce why some species are pests in the Clinch River Watershed.

 

I can conduct research to determine which species in the Clinch River Watershed are invasive species.

 

Warm-Up / Pre-Assessment

Introduce the concept of project-based learning (if the class is not familiar with it, you may need to provide more detail). Then, introduce the driving question. Driving Question: Why are some species considered to be pests in the Clinch River Watershed?

 

Instruction

Create small student groups (no more than 4 students) and allow students time to brainstorm ways that they can find out how to answer this question. As needed, introduce ideas to individual student groups or to the class as a whole.

 

Recommended strategies for addressing this question include:

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Library research

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Internet research (in a classroom or lab)

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Calling experts (examples: US Forest Service, US Fish and Wildlife, Virginia Department of Forestry, Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries, The American Chestnut Foundation in Meadowview)

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Asking a guest expert to speak to the class (in person or via Skype)

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Field trips (as resources allow)

 

Depending upon age level of students, either allow students to choose a species or assign a species for each group to investigate. Scaffold the term “invasive species” as necessary. Recommended examples for the Clinch River Watershed include:

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Woody Adelgid

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Gypsy Moth

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Chestnut Blight

 

Students should also select one or more final culminating projects that will showcase their work and demonstrate how much they have learned. To link learning to “real-world” applications, one or more of the following projects are recommended:

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Writing an article that could be submitted to a local newspaper,

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Preparing a speech that could be delivered to the class and/or a community group,

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Writing (and mailing) a letter to a legislator,

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Creating a digital “gallery walk” using PowerPoint, Prezi, or Google Slides and inviting other classrooms and/or community experts to visit and review student work, and/or

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Creating a website to educate others about the problem.

 

After students have chosen a topic and one or more projects to complete, the real work begins. The instructor will allow students to complete research and will highly scaffold the process as necessary. The instructor should make the project time-bound (3 days is sufficient) and should discuss deadlines with students to produce a mutually-agreeable deadline. The instructor and students must hold each other accountable for meeting this deadline.

Assessment

To create multifaceted assessment for this project, the following assessments are recommended:

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Formative assessment incorporated throughout the multi-day project.

*
p<>{color:#000;}. A group project agreed upon by the instructor and students (see above).

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Individual reflections written by each student.

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Peer-review of other groups by each student.

 

 

GEOLOGY

 

Lesson Plan

Landfills and the Waste Stream

 

Grade Levels:

3-6

 

Subject(s):

Science, Math

 

Virginia SOLs:

Science: 3.3, 3.10, 4.9, 5.7, 6.7, 6.9

Math: 3.17, 4.3, 4.13, 5.15, 6.14

 

Materials Needed:

Chart to record classroom discards

 

Time Needed:

2 class periods and 10 minutes each day for 5 days in between classes

 

Summary

Students will understand that trash, also known as solid waste, is buried in a landfill where conditions do not allow quick decomposition. Students will conduct an experiment to analyze the classroom waste stream.

 

Objectives

I can explain how a landfill is designed and constructed.

 

I can name types of solid waste buried in a landfill.

 

Warm-Up / Pre-Assessment

An important study, called “The Garbage Project” led by the late Dr. William Rathje, who was an archaeologist at the University of Arizona, revealed an interesting discovery about trash. “The Garbage Project” initially uncovered and dug up old landfills to study human behavior. However, “The Garbage Project” revealed insight not only into what people buy and discard, but also into the fact that the interior of a sanitary landfill lacks the proper environment for trash to decompose.

 

“The Garbage Project” findings are important to help us think about what we toss into trash cans that ultimately ends up in landfills. Below are more detailed explanations for your benefit, but in your presentations, you can say that extensive studies revealed that trash does not fully decompose in landfills, which makes it even more important to reduce, reuse, and recycle.

 

Additional background information for the teacher: An article printed upon Dr. Rathje’s death in 2012, notes, “Rathje’s landfill excavations also revealed an astonishing lack of knowledge not only about what was in the country’s waste streams, but the eventual fate of materials buried underground. Conventional wisdom held that much of the trash in landfills would quickly decompose. Instead, organic materials, like food and lawn waste, were found mummified in the airless depths of sanitary landfills.

 

“Items like hot dogs and lettuce that had been entombed for years looked as if they had just been recently thrown out. Decades-old newspapers were still intact and readable. Construction materials, originally thought to be virtually non-existent in landfills, actually accounted for a significant portion of waste.

 

“Rathje also ignited a controversy in the 1980s, at a time when concern over discarded plastics began to peak. When surveyed, Americans listed fast-food containers, polystyrene foam and disposable diapers as the three largest contributors of waste.

 

“Garbage Project excavations at more than a dozen landfills around the U.S. showed that, combined, those three items actually made up only about three percent of landfill contents. Rathje theorized that people assumed these items accounted for a larger percentage of the total waste stream than they actually did.” (https://uanews.arizona.edu/story/william-l-rathje-1945-2012 )

 

Instruction

Talk about landfills and how they are made today as compared to old style dumps. If you need more information about modern landfills, check with your local Keep Southwest Virginia Beautiful representative, solid waste department or you may borrow the EnviroScape® landfill model from the Wetlands Estonoa Learning Center in St. Paul. The model includes a modern day lined landfill as well as an old style dump.

 

Modern landfills are required to have leachate collection systems to collect the liquids from the landfill. These landfills have thick plastic liners to ensure that the ground water does not become contaminated from the various discards buried there. Ask students what might have happened to groundwater with an old style landfill, which was essentially a dump?

 

After introducing the landfill concept, follow this lesson on analyzing the waste in the classroom. Recommendation: Instead of having students take out the contents of the trash can, create a simple chart to place beside the trash can for two to three days. Before students toss anything in the can require them to log the discards onto the chart. This way, students do not have to put their hands into a messy trash can.

 

Before the students begin recording the trash, ask them to make predictions, such as which item they predict will be the most frequently discarded item (such as paper or plastic). Which item will be the least frequently discarded item?

 

After the trash has been recorded for five days, make a copy of the log for students to use in the activity as described on the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation website, entitled, “Waste Stream Analysis,” as listed under Virginia’s Natural Resources Education Guide, which can be found at this address: [+ http://www.dcr.virginia.gov/environmental-education/document/vnreg-waste-lesson.pdf+]

 

If you can find a breakdown of discards in your local landfill, share that with your class. Some localities conducted studies in preparation for creating a solid waste management plan (required of localities in Virginia) to determine the percentages of paper, plastic, glass, and other discards.

 

Assessment

Ask students to make a graph (type of graph will be determined by which grade level you are teaching) of discards from the classroom trash can. If data is available from the local landfill, ask students to make a graph showing the typical discards. Ask students to compare their two graphs and determine how the class discards compared to the landfill discards. How did their predictions turn out?

 

Ask students to write down three ways they can reduce the amount of trash they throw away.

 

Display graphs on a bulletin board along with a list of ways to reduce trash that is discarded.

 

As an extension, ask students to make a model of a landfill. This website is an excellent resource for this activity https://www.teachengineering.org/activities/view/cub_enveng_lesson05_activity2.

 

Unit

Soil Activities

 

Grade Levels:

2-5

 

Subject(s):

Science

 

Virginia SOLs:

2.5, 2.8, 3.4, 3.5, 3.6, 3.10, 4.5, 4.9, 5.7

 

Materials Needed:

“Squirmin Herman:” Stuffed earthworm (directions included in lesson), live earthworms, ruler, magnifying glasses

Earth worm farm: earthworms, soil, plastic container, newspaper, food scraps

“Dirt baby:” soil, grass seed, nylon knee-highs, googly eyes, ribbon, felt, scissors, plastic cups, glue

Deli activity: see list in lesson

Time Needed: 3 class periods

Summary

Students will discover the function of earthworms in soil as they make an “earthworm farm.” Students will create a “dirt baby” to understand how soil supports plants. Students will understand that there are different types of soil by participating in another activity.

 

Objectives

I can describe how earthworms are beneficial for people and the environment.

 

I can name two different types of soil in the Clinch River Watershed.

 

Warm-Up / Pre-Assessment

Talk about soil and ask the students if all soil is the same. Ask the students what lives in the soil.

 

Instruction

Soil activities from Tazewell County Soil and Water Conservation District can be divided into three to four class sessions for a unit on soil. The first lesson is entitled, “Squirmin’ Herman,” in which students begin to understand what lives in the soil and how earthworms are beneficial. The lesson includes directions for making a stuffed earthworm.

 

The next lesson explains how to make an “earthworm farm” in which students can learn about how to make compost from uncooked fruit and vegetables, such as apple cores and pea pods.

 

“Dirt babies” shows how to create a type of pet with grass for the hair. Students will understand that there are different types of soil.

 

“The Down to Earth Deli” will help students understand local soils of the Clinch River Valley and will observe loam being made. They will see a simulated core of soil in this lesson.

 

These activities are available for download from www.TeachTheClinch.com.

Assessment

Ask students to list three things they learned about soil, two soil-related questions that they still have, and one thing that surprised them about soil.

 

Lesson Plan

Sinkholes in a Cup

 

Grade Levels:

3-12

 

Subject(s):

Science, Biology, Earth Science, Ecology

 

Virginia SOLs:

3.9, 4.9, 5.7, 6.9, ES.8, BIO.2

 

Materials Needed:

Sugar, sand, 2-liter bottle (empty), 8oz cup, one sheet of paper, scouring pad

 

Time Needed:

30-45 minutes

 

Summary

In this lesson, the instructor will visually demonstrate how sinkholes and karst form through an activity called “Sinkholes in a Cup” from Project Underground. Students will learn what sinkholes are, what karst is, and will discuss environmental implications of living near karst.

 

Objectives

I can demonstrate how sinkholes and caves form in the Clinch River Watershed.

 

Warm-Up / Pre-Assessment

Ask students to write down what they already know about karst and sinkholes. Begin class by discussing what karst topography is and how sinkholes form. Describe how this lesson connects with the Clinch River Watershed particularly in sections of the watershed that have karst topology.

 

Instruction

Read the background section on the “Sinkholes in a Cup” file for necessary information that you will need before you begin the lesson.

 

Follow the instructions in the “Sinkholes in a Cup” file, which is available for download from ( http://web2.karsteducation.org/sinkholes-in-cup.pdf ) or from www.TeachTheClinch.com.

 

Depending on group age and maturity, students may be able to complete the activity with guided instructions from the teacher. Younger groups will require the teacher to demonstrate the activity for the class.

 

Time permitting, extend the lesson by discussing pollution and sinkholes. Describe how pollution poured into a sink hole can go directly to groundwater, contaminating drinking water sources and the natural environment. Explain how little we know about the distribution of karst topography, meaning that we cannot always predict where pollution will end up when it is poured into sinkholes.

Assessment

Ask students the evaluation questions included in the karst activity from Project Underground as an exit ticket activity.

 

Lesson Plan

Topographic Maps: Mapping Your Watershed

Grade Levels:

K-12

 

Subject(s):

Science, Geography, Earth Science, Biology, World Geography

 

Virginia SOLs:

K.1, K.5, 1.1, 1.8. 2.1, 2.5, 3.1, 3.6, 3.9, 4.1, 4.5, 4.9, 5.1, 5.7, 6.1, 6.5, 6.7, LS.1, LS.6, LS.11

Geography 3.6

ES.8, BIO.1, BIO.8, WG.3

 

Materials Needed:

See lesson plan for specific materials by grade band

 

Topographic maps: http://nationalmap.gov/ustopo/

 

Time Needed:

1-2 × 50 minute classes

 

Summary

In this lesson, students will learn to read topographic maps and to interpret them in context with other maps to make conclusions about land uses within watersheds. Students will specifically identify land uses within the Clinch River Watershed.

 

Objectives

I can identify watershed features using topographic maps.

 

I can analyze land uses within the Clinch River Watershed by looking at topographic maps.

 

Warm-Up / Pre-Assessment

Discuss maps with students. What can maps be used for? What are some different types of maps? With older students, review different types of map projections and their uses. Then, introduce topographic maps and ask students for input on how they can be used. Share that students will learn to use topographic maps today to look at watersheds.

 

Instruction

Instructions for teaching about topographic maps are available in the Mapping Your Watershed lesson from the Izaak Walton League’s “Hands On” Save Our Streams” curriculum. (Available for download from www.TeachTheClinch.com.)

 

The lesson includes instructions for teaching students how to read and interpret topographic maps and identify specific watershed features. Specific instructions are provided for each grade band to customize instruction as appropriate for each grade.

 

Depending on the grade level, lessons can be expanded to include the directed inquiry activity of identifying topographic map quartiles within the Clinch River Watershed and comparing the natural features with industry, business, and residential activity as identified on Google Maps.

 

Map resources:

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Often, printed maps are available from your local municipal planning office.

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Topographic map quadrilles are also available for free download from USGS (http://nationalmap.gov/ustopo/ ).

*
p<>{color:#000;}. National Geographic offers free printable topographic maps (http://www.natgeomaps.com/trail-maps/pdf-quads ).

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Google Maps (http://maps.google.com ) can be used to identify businesses, industries, residential areas, and natural areas that can be compared with information gleaned from topographic maps.

Assessment

Ask some of the assessment questions provided in the Mapping Your Watershed lesson. Depending on time available, lead a class discussion using a few of the questions.

 

If students are asked to complete the directed inquiry project (identifying their watershed quadrille and land uses), provide ample time for students to share their findings with each other via presentations or a digital gallery walk.

 

Lesson Plan

Stream Walk

 

Grade Levels:

Primary, Middle, High school

 

Subject(s):

Science, Earth Science, Biology

 

Virginia SOLs:

3.1, 3.6, 3.9, 4.5, 4.9, 5.7, 6.5, 6.7, LS.6, ES.4, ES.6, ES.8, BIO.8

 

Materials Needed:

Compass, pencils, clipboards, paper, stream walk questionnaire, first aid kit, re-sealable plastic bags

 

Time Needed:

2 hours or series of a few class periods

 

Summary

Students will take a walk along a stream to observe and record what they see, such as types of soil, varieties of rocks and condition of the water. Older students can study their observations in more detail. If a stream is not located near your school, make an effort to take a field trip to a stream.

 

This lesson is a follow-up study to “Map Your Watershed.”

 

A variety of SOLs can be addressed through this lesson, which can take place during a couple of class periods or extended over several class sessions, depending upon the age level and depth of study desired.

 

Objectives

I can observe a stream and compare it to the model I created in the lesson, “Map Your Watershed.”

 

Warm-Up / Pre-Assessment

Read the introduction entitled, “Field Activities: Explore A Watershed,” that follow this lesson, which came from “Hands On Save Our Streams, The Save Our Streams Teacher’s Manuel” from The Izaak Walton League of America second edition. (Available for download from www.TeachTheClinch.com.)

 

 

 

Instruction

Follow the instructions in Field Activity #1, “Explore A Watershed: Stream Walk.” Be sure to review the stream walk questionnaire before taking a field walk. Divide students into teams (for older classes) and have each team focus on one section of the stream to avoid duplication.

Assessment

Ask students to share the results of their stream walk questionnaires. Assign students to write a five-paragraph essay about their findings.

 

As time allows, invite a speaker to your class to share additional information about the stream. Contact your local Soil and Water Conservation District, your local Watershed Roundtable (Upper Tennessee River Roundtable in the Clinch River Watershed), to find out if environmental education events might be available for your students, such as a kids’ in the creek style outdoor event that are organized throughout the Clinch River Valley.

 

Lesson Plan

Acid Mine Drainage

 

Grade Levels:

High School

 

Subject(s):

Earth Science, Biology

 

Virginia SOLs:

ES.1, ES.6, ES.8, BIO.1

 

Materials Needed:

Soil, plants, pots, sulfuric acid, hydrochloric acid, general purpose fertilizer, litmus paper, eye dropper

 

Time Needed:

1 class period to set up the experiment, with observations continuing.

 

Summary

Students will understand that runoff from un-reclaimed surface mining can affect waterways by doing a controlled experiment with soil acidity.

 

Objectives

I can explain how runoff from un-reclaimed surface mining sites can affect rivers and streams in the Clinch River Watershed.

 

Warm-Up / Pre-Assessment

The coal industry is important because much of our electrical power comes from coal mining which has provided jobs in the Clinch River Valley region for many years. However, un-reclaimed surface mines can affect waterways due to the runoff that contains acid and is commonly referred to as Acid Mine Drainage or AMD.

 

Instruction

Follow the lesson entitled, “The Effects of Acid Runoff from Open Pits and Surface Un-Reclaimed Mines,” from a collection of lessons, “Selected Activities on Nonpoint Source Pollution: Activities designed by Tennessee teachers for the classroom” produced by Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation. (These files are available for download from www.TeachTheClinch.com.)

 

As a lesson extension, consider inviting a guest speaker to talk about projects that successfully treated AMD in the region. The Virginia Department of Mines, Minerals and Energy is very knowledgeable about AMD and has overseen several projects in the region.

 

As another lesson extension, consider AMD tie dying. Upper Tennessee River Roundtable did AMD tie dying at the Clinch River Days Festival to raise awareness about AMD issues. The AMD powder can be purchased from EPCAMR, an organization in Pennsylvania, at their online store: http://epcamr.org/store/. The organization’s tie dye instructions are located at [+ http://epcamr.org/storage/IronOxideTieDyeActivity.pdf+]

Contact Upper Tennessee River Roundtable for additional information.

Assessment

Ask students to write an essay or lab report describing the experiment, how the plants grew and what they learned.

 

Lesson Plan

Karst: What is it and why does it matter?

 

Grade Levels:

8-12

 

Subject(s):

Earth Science, Biology

 

Virginia SOLs:

ES.8, BIO.2

 

Materials Needed:

Computer with internet connection

 

Time Needed:

3 × 50-minute class periods

 

Summary

In this lesson, students will complete project-based learning to achieve competencies associated with karst, how it forms, and how it affects the Clinch River Watershed.

 

Objectives

I can describe what karst is and how it is formed.

 

I can produce convincing evidence about how karst topology impacts on the Clinch River watershed.

 

Warm-Up / Pre-Assessment

Introduce the new concept by describing what project-based learning is (if the class is not familiar with it, you may need to provide more detail). See “Pedagogical Principles for Teaching the Clinch” from TeachTheClinch.com for a guide and a video introduction.

 

You may also want to give a bit of background about Karst (see Living with Karst from AGI, also available on TeachTheClinch.com). Then, introduce the driving question. Driving Question: How does karst affect the Clinch River watershed?

 

Instruction

Create small student groups (no more than 4 students) and allow students time to brainstorm ways that they can find out how to answer this question. As needed, introduce ideas to individual student groups or to the class as a whole.

 

Recommended strategies for addressing the driving question include:

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Library research

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Internet research (in a classroom or lab)

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Calling experts (examples include US Forest Service, National Park Service, Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation)

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Asking a guest expert to speak to the class (in person or via Skype)

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Field trips (as resources allow)

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Map and topographic map resources for identifying karst areas

 

The PDF book Living with Karst by AGI is also an excellent resource for this topic. The book is available for download from AGI or from TeachTheClinch.com.

 

Students should select one or more final culminating projects that will showcase their work and demonstrate how much they have learned. To link learning to “real-world” applications, one or more of the following projects are recommended:

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Writing an article that could be submitted to a local newspaper,

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Preparing a speech that could be delivered to the class and/or a community group,

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Writing (and mailing) a letter to a legislator,

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Creating a digital “gallery walk” using PowerPoint, Prezi, or Google Slides and inviting other classrooms and/or community experts to visit and review student work, and/or

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Creating a website to educate others about the problem.

 

After students have chosen one or more projects to complete, the real work begins. The instructor will allow students to complete research and will highly scaffold the process as necessary. The instructor should make the project time-bound (3 days is sufficient) and should discuss deadlines with students to produce a mutually-agreeable deadline. The instructor and students must hold each other accountable for meeting this deadline.

Assessment

To create multifaceted assessment for this project, the following assessments are recommended:

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Formative assessment incorporated throughout the multi-day project

*
p<>{color:#000;}. A group project agreed upon by the instructor and students (see above)

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Individual reflections written by each student

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Peer-review of other groups by each student

 

 

Lesson Plan

“Cave Cracks” From the National Park Service

 

Grade Levels:

6-8

 

Subject(s):

Science, Physical Science, Earth Science

 

Virginia SOLs:

6.5, 6.7, LS.1, PS.2, ES.4, ES.5, ES.6, ES.8

 

Materials Needed:

- Tupperware® container (6 inches deep) filled with frozen water

- Cookie sheet (with raised edges) or brownie pan

- Hammer or rock

- Hot water

 

Time Needed:

30-45 minutes

 

Summary

Students will learn what caves are made from, how caves form, and about different types of caves. Students will also learn about local examples of caves in the Clinch River Watershed.

 

Objectives

I can explain how caves form through natural and chemical forces.

 

I can describe examples of caves that are located in the Clinch River Watershed.

 

Warm-Up / Pre-Assessment

Before class begins, ask students to write down a few things that they already know about caves. Begin class by briefly discussing what caves are, then describing what kinds of wildlife live there.

 

Instruction

The following instructions come from the National Park Service lesson “Cave Cracks” which is available from (https://www.nps.gov/teachers/classrooms/cave-cracks.htm ) Just before class, turn the Tupperware® container upside down and empty the block of ice onto the cookie sheet.

#
p<>{color:#000;}. Tell the class that the block of ice represents limestone.

#
p<>{color:#000;background:#fff;}. Hit the block of ice once or twice with the hammer. What happens? Ask the class how limestone might become cracked in the natural world. Discuss cracking due to uplift and major earthquakes.

#
p<>{color:#000;background:#fff;}. Review with the students where rainwater can go once it hits the ground. (Most will evaporate, some will run along the surface into watersheds, and some will seep into the ground.) What happens to the water when it seeps through the soil? Review carbonic acid formation. What happens when this carbonic acid reaches the bedrock? Review the concept of limestone dissolution.

#
p<>{color:#000;background:#fff;}. How do the students think the carbonic acid will travel through the limestone? What route will it take? Use the cracked ice as an example. The acidic water should flow preferentially through the cracks.

#
p<>{color:#000;background:#fff;}. Raise one end of the cookie sheet and support it with a book. Pour hot water over the ice at the high end. Where does the water go? How does it travel? Watch as the water dissolves the ice, just as carbonic acid dissolves limestone. The resulting “cave” passages are formed along the pre-existing cracks. In the earth, does the water enter only from the high end of the rock? Chances are the water will drain over the earth equally as though the water was being poured over the top of the whole ice sheet. Raising the sheet represents a hill or mountain area where water will flow at the top and collect at the bottom, or the valley.

#
p<>{color:#000;background:#fff;}. Discuss how caves form in the natural world. There are several kinds of formation processes: stream erosion, lava tubes, sea caves, ice caves, acid formed caves, etc. What types of caves will form in extensively cracked limestone?  What is an example of this? (Wind Cave is an excellent example being nearly 144 miles long (2016) under only one square mile of surface)

Clinch Connections:

Portions of the Clinch River Watershed have karst topography (this is explored in another lesson). It is recommended that you ask students about how karst topography might influence cave formation in the Clinch River Watershed. Ask them to brainstorm about this process before you implement the karst lesson.

Additional Resources:

Additional information about caves is available from the National Park Service (https://www.nps.gov/teachers/classrooms/learning-about-caves.htm ).

Project Underground training is available for those who wish to learn more about caves, karst, and wildlife that live in caves (http://karsteducation.org/ ).

You may also borrow the book “The Clinch River: A World-Class Treasure” from Wetlands Estonoa Learning Center in St. Paul, Virginia.

Assessment

Ask students to write a paragraph describing how “caves” were formed in class and how the activity in class relates to the formation of caves in nature. Time permitting, ask volunteer students to share what they have written with the class.

 

You may also close with an exit ticket:

#
p<>{color:#000;}. List one thing that you learned about caves today in class.

#
p<>{color:#000;}. What is one question that you still have about caves?

 

Lesson Plan

Litter Decomposition

 

Grade Levels:

K-7

 

Subject(s):

Science

 

Virginia SOLs:

K.11, 1.8, 3.10, 4.9, 5.7, 6.9, LS.1, LS.10, LS.14

 

Materials Needed:

Poster board or cardboard back of old wall calendar, pictures of litter items as named in lesson, tape or Velcro to make display

 

Time Needed:

1 class period

 

Summary

Students will understand that litter does not decompose quickly, or rot, on the side of the road or wherever it is tossed.

 

Objectives

I can explain why litter does not decompose, rot or go away quickly on the ground.

 

I can name two ways that I can prevent litter in my community.

 

Warm-Up / Pre-Assessment

Introduce the term litter. What is litter? (Trash in the wrong place.)

 

Where do people litter? Why do people litter? (Because they think someone will clean up after them. Because someone else has already tossed litter in that place. Because they don’t care. Because they are unaware of their actions.)

 

Is it okay to litter and why or why not? (No, because litter makes a place look unsightly, because littering is illegal and because litter can hurt animals and people.)

 

Instruction

Follow the lesson, “How long will it be there?” This lesson is from Pollution Solutions, which is included on the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality website along with a number of other lessons about littering: [+ http://www.deq.virginia.gov/ConnectWithDEQ/EnvironmentalInformation/PollutionSolutions.aspx+]

Assessment

Ask students to name two things they can do to prevent littering. As students name them, ask a student volunteer to write them on the board. As students repeat the same strategies, add tally marks next to those strategies. Time and resources permitting, use the strategies students suggested with an online word cloud generator (such as: http://www.wordclouds.com/ ). Those strategies suggested the most often will appear largest in the word cloud.

 

Lesson Plan

Investigating Soil in the Clinch River Watershed

 

Grade Levels:

6-12

 

Subject(s):

Science, Earth Science, Biology, Ecology

 

Virginia SOLs:

6.7, 6.9, LS.1, LS.11, ES.6, ES.8, BIO.8

 

Materials Needed:

Handouts, an apple and kitchen knife, computer with internet and projector

 

Time Needed:

2-6 × 50-minute class periods

 

Summary

In this set of activities, students conduct a soil analysis to understand soil types and explore the relationship between the garden and healthy, fertile soil. This series of lessons is extended to allow students to research the soil profile where they live in the Clinch River Watershed.

 

Objectives

I can describe how a garden produces healthy soil.

 

I can investigate common soil profiles in the Clinch River Watershed.

 

Warm-Up / Pre-Assessment

Introduce the topic by leading the class in a brief discussion. What do the students know about soils? What do they have questions about? What would they like to learn more about? Describe the specific activities that the class will complete as part of these series of lessons on soils.

 

Instruction

This series of activities can be adapted for any grade level, but is most appropriate for middle school and high school students. Follow the instructions provided in the Nature Works Everywhere “Garden Activity Guide: Soil.” (https://www.natureworkseverywhere.org/resources/activity-guide-soil/ ) Several inquiry-based activities are included. You may complete all activities over a series of days or select only those most appropriate for your classroom needs. The guide can be downloaded from the Nature Conservancy’s Nature Works Everywhere website or from www.TeachTheClinch.com. The activities/lessons included are:

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Introductory lesson

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Soil Texture Analysis

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Soil Fertility Analysis

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Explain: How does Gardening Improve the Quality of the Soil?

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Extension Activities

 

To connect soil knowledge to life in the Clinch River Watershed, you may use the USDA Web Soil Survey with your students. For younger grades, this activity can be completed as a class. For older grades, allow students to complete their investigation independently or in pairs. The USDA WSS tool can be used to explore soil types by region.

*
p<>{color:#00F;}. [+ http://websoilsurvey.sc.egov.usda.gov/App/HomePage.htm+]

 

In addition to the Nature Works Everywhere lessons, the following resources are recommended for reinforcing or extending the soil lessons:

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Middle School: Soil-Net ( http://www.soil-net.com/ )

*
p<>{color:#000;}. High School: Soil Activities for the Biology Classroom (http://www.nrcs.usda.gov/Internet/FSE_DOCUMENTS/nrcs142p2_051607.pdf )

Assessment

Specific assessments are included in the Nature Works Everywhere lessons. It is also recommended that a bell ringer and exit ticket be used to assess daily learning during soil lessons.

 

HYDROLOGY

 

Lesson Plan

Aquatic Litter

Grade Levels:

K-3

 

Subject(s):

Science, Social Studies, Language Arts, Math

 

Virginia SOLs:

Science 1.8, 3.10

Social Studies 1.10, 2.10

Language Arts 1.3, 1.12, 2.3, 3.9

Math K.17, 1.20

 

Materials Needed:

Trash bag with clean items to represent trash, including plastic six-pack ring, plastic bottle, etc.

Optional: trash bags and gloves

 

Time Needed:

Two to three class periods.

 

Summary

Students will learn about litter that can be harmful to people and to animals in the Clinch River and beyond.

 

Objectives

I can analyze how litter is harmful for animals.

 

I can explain how litter hurts people.

 

I can describe two actions I can take to prevent littering.

 

Warm-Up / Pre-Assessment

Read the lesson, “Classifying Aquatic Debris,” from Virginia’s Water Resources: A Tool for Teachers,” as included on Clean Virginia Waterways’ website at [+ www.longwood.edu/cleanva/images/Sec3.classifyingdebrislesson.pdf+]

or at www.TeachtheClinch.com

 

Instruction

Introduce the concept of litter by asking students if they can give a definition for litter. Litter is trash in the wrong place. Where should we put trash? In a trash can or in a recycling bin, but we should never toss in onto the ground or into waterways (streams, rivers, lakes, ponds, ocean).

 

Follow the lesson as listed on Clean Virginia Waterways website.

 

If possible, take students outside to walk around the school grounds to pick up litter. Be sure to provide trash bags and gloves for students and review safety rules.

Assessment

Ask the questions listed at the end of the lesson.

 

Ask students to describe or write how litter hurts animals, how litter hurts people and two actions they can take to keep trash from becoming litter (hold onto trash until finding a trash can, put trash in a bag when riding in a car).

 

Unit

Discover Your Watershed

 

Grade Levels:

3-6

 

Subject(s):

Science

 

Virginia SOLs:

3.9, 3.10, 4.9, 5.7, 6.7

 

Materials Needed:

Five gallon jugs of water, tub large enough to hold five gallons of water, two 2 cup measuring cups, ¼ teaspoon measuring spoon, eye dropper, photos of canoe, flatboat, barge, steamboat, animal caught by litter, stuffed duck, plastic six-pack ring, several large rubber bands, clay

bag of dried beans, 2 plastic containers for beans, water cycle illustration, can of diet pop, can of regular pop, bowling ball

 

Time Needed:

3 to 4 class periods.

 

Summary

Discover your watershed is a unit that covers the history of river travel, the geography of how rivers flow through the Upper Tennessee River Watershed that includes the Clinch, Holston, Powell rivers, the water cycle, how water is distributed on Earth, how to conserve water and how to prevent water pollution.

 

In lieu of buying the materials listed at left, contact Upper Tennessee River Roundtable to borrow the “Discover Your Watershed” education kit.

 

Objectives

I can describe how river transportation has changed over the centuries.

I can tell where the rivers flow from Southwest Virginia.

I can label the parts of a water cycle.

I can explain how water is distributed on the Earth.

I can name two ways to conserve water.

I can identify two ways to prevent pollution in watersheds.

 

Warm-Up / Pre-Assessment

Talk about the unit and describe each section that will be covered over the next few class sessions. Describe for students the importance of watersheds and why we should study watersheds. Make sure students are comfortable with the term “watershed” before continuing on to specific lessons.

 

Instruction

Follow the unit plan and select the lessons you want to use. Materials needed for the lesson will depend on the activities that you decide to use. Similarly, the number of class periods will vary

Assessment

Each day, ask students what they learned and what they would like to know. An exit ticket is recommended for each day that these lessons are used. Exit tickets should cover the material taught that day.

 

Acknowledgement: This lesson was derived from a program developed by Riverworks Discovery® through a collaborative education project with Upper Tennessee River Roundtable. For more information and resources, visit the website at www.riverworksdiscovery.org.

 

 

 

Lesson Plan

Little Limnologists

 

Grade Levels:

3-6

 

Subject(s):

Science

 

Virginia SOLs:

3.9, 4.9, 5.7, 6.7

 

Materials Needed:

Long handled dip net, bucket, ice cube tray, magnifying glass, ruler, field guides, pond viewer, clipboards, pencils, copies of Field Notes page

 

Time Needed:

2 class periods, 1 in classroom and 1 to visit pond

 

Summary

Students will learn new terminology about people who study bodies of fresh water (limnologists) and will visit a pond to discover what lives there.

 

Objectives

I can explain what a limnologist does.

 

I can describe what plants and animals might live in a pond.

 

Warm-Up / Pre-Assessment

Introduce the term, limnologists, by using the description in the Virginia State Parks…Your Backyard Classrooms’ lesson, “Little Limnologists.” Talk about ponds as described in the background section of the lesson. Spend the first class period discussing the study of ponds and what might live in ponds. If possible, use a second class period to visit a pond. If you decide to visit a pond with your class, be sure to go there ahead of time to check it out. Follow safety rules at the pond site.

 

This lesson could be extended into more sessions as a unit for older students if they can visit a pond and if you have access to microscopes.

 

“Little Limnologists” is available for download from www.TeachTheClinch.com or [+ http://www.dcr.virginia.gov/environmental-education/document/ybc-litt.pdf+]

 

Instruction

Follow the lesson plan, “Little Limnologists,” and plan additional sessions as needed.

Assessment

Depending on the age level of the students, choose one of these options.

 

Ask students to write about one species found in the pond, as described in the extensions section of the lesson.

 

Ask younger students to make animal puppets as described in the extension section.

 

Ask students to write a short essay about what they learned about pond life.

 

Lesson Plan

Storm Drain Journey

 

Grade Levels:

1, 3-6

 

Subject(s):

Science

 

Virginia SOLs:

1.8, 3.9, 4.9, 5.1, 6.7

 

Materials Needed:

Photo of a storm drain, large cardboard refrigerator box, 1 yard of blue fabric, few items to represent litter such as empty plastic bottles, aluminum cans, zipper style bag filled with grass and leaves, empty plastic bottle labeled as oil.

 

Time Needed:

2 to 3 class periods

 

Summary

Students will create a model of a storm drain and discover how water, oils, litter and yard debris travel through the drain and into the river.

 

Objectives

I can describe the purpose of a storm drain.

 

I can explain what happens to the storm water and materials that flow into a storm drain.

 

Warm-Up / Pre-Assessment

Talk about storm drains. Show photos of storm drains. Ask students if they know why there are storm drains. Explain that rain water falls onto a road and flows to a storm drain, carrying litter, grass, leaves, and oil that leaked from cars. Storm drains can prevent flooding on roads.

 

Where does the water go? Into a creek or river. That means that the water and all of these things, litter, grass, leaves, oil, also go into a creek or river. All of these things will pollute the river.

 

Instruction

Tell students they are going to make a model of a storm drain to show how storm water carries pollutants to rivers.

 

Follow the instructions from “Journey Through a Storm Drain” from Gwinett Clean & Beautiful at [+ http://www.gwinnettcb.org/pdf/journey_through_a_storm_drain.pdf+] or found at www.TeachTheClinch.com.

 

Assessment

Ask students to draw a picture of a road with rain water and pollution flowing to a river.

 

Ask students to name one action they can take to prevent litter from reaching a river through a storm drain.

 

Lesson Plan

Aquatic Litter

 

Grade Levels:

9, 10

 

Subject(s):

Biology, Geography, Technology

 

Virginia SOLs:

BIO.9, WG.7, GOVT.1,

Technology C/T12.2, C/T12.3, C/T12.4

 

Materials Needed:

Trash bags, gloves, buckets, first aid kit, pencils, cleanup checklist and Clean Virginia Waterways cleanup data card or phone app for Clean Virginia Waterways data collection

 

Time Needed:

Two to three class periods.

 

Summary

Students will learn how to form a hypothesis about aquatic litter and how to test that hypothesis. Students will participate in a litter cleanup in which they record each type of litter picked up. Students will analyze the litter picked up.

 

Objectives

I can develop and test a hypothesis about aquatic litter.

 

I can explain two ways to prevent aquatic litter.

 

Warm-Up / Pre-Assessment

Prior to teaching this lesson, reach background information on aquatic litter on pages 26-35 at [+ www.deq.virginia.gov/Portals/0/DEQ/ConnectWithDEQ/Environmetntal Information/lat02.pdf+]

Follow the lesson, “A Scientific Cleanup,” included on the Clean Virginia Waterways website at [+ www.longwood.edu/cleanva/images/sec6.scientificclean.pdf+]

 

Instruction

Introduce the concept of litter by asking students if they can give a definition for litter. Litter is trash in the wrong place. Where should we put trash? In a trash can or in a recycling bin, but we should never toss trash in onto the ground or into waterways (streams, rivers, lakes, ponds, ocean). Why should trash not be placed on the ground or in a waterway? (Harmful to animals and people, aesthetically displeasing, against the law to litter).

 

Follow the lesson as listed on Clean Virginia Waterways website.

 

Plan a cleanup with your class. The cleanup can take place on your school campus, or if you are interested in participating in a community stream cleanup, find dates and locations for cleanups by contacting Keep Southwest Virginia Beautiful, a regional Keep America Beautiful affiliate, or Upper Tennessee River Roundtable, a regional watershed organization covering the Clinch River. Websites are www.keepswvabeautiful.org and www.uppertnriver.org. Invite a guest speaker from one of these organizations to speak to your class.

 

Divide the class into groups. Explain that each group will work together on a specific area to pick up litter. One person in each group will be the recorder to keep track of each piece of litter picked up.

Assessment

Ask the questions listed at the end of the lesson either in class or as an exit ticket assessment.

 

Assign student groups to write a report about their cleanup findings. Ask groups to present their findings to the class.

 

 

Lesson Plan

Conserving Water with a Rain Barrel

 

Grade Levels:

8-10

 

Subject(s):

Earth Science, Biology

 

Virginia SOLs:

ES.6, ES.8, BIO.8

 

Materials Needed:

Optional: 55-gallon plastic barrel and parts listed on website

 

Time Needed:

1 class period

 

Summary

Students will understand the importance of conserving water by learning about rain barrels and creating a rain barrel as an optional activity.

 

Objectives

I can describe how to conserve water.

 

I can explain how a rain barrel conserves water.

 

Warm-Up / Pre-Assessment

Discuss water conservation. Why is it important to conserve water? Ask students to name ways to conserve water. Ask students if they have heard of rain barrels and if they have one at home.

 

Instruction

Decide if you want to make a rain barrel or if you only want to talk about rain barrels. Either way, go to the Clean Virginia Waterways website to find tips on rain barrel construction and how rain barrels are beneficial.

 

www.longwood.edu/cleanva/RainBarrelHome.html

 

If you would like to make a rain barrel with your class, but do not have the appropriate resources, contact your local watershed roundtable (Upper Tennessee River Roundtable in the Clinch River Watershed) or your local Soil and Water Conservation District. Rain barrel workshops are often scheduled in Clinch River communities so you may be able to find assistance from one of these organizations. As an alternative, Clean Virginia Waterways has a presentation you can show your class.

 

Assessment

Ask students to name three things they can do to conserve water at home. Have students create posters about water conservation that can be displayed around the classroom and/or school.

 

Lesson Plan

Turbidity and Conductivity

 

Grade Levels:

6-12

 

Subject(s):

Science, Earth Science, Biology

 

Virginia SOLs:

6.5, 6.7, LS.1, LS.6, ES.8, BIO.2

 

Materials Needed:

See NPS lesson guide

 

Time Needed:

1-2 × 50 minute classes

 

Summary

Students will learn about how suspended and dissolved solids affect water quality through changing the water quality parameters of turbidity and conductivity. Resources and time permitting, students will be able to measure both parameters in a water quality sample.

 

Objectives

I can deduce how suspended and dissolved solids affect water quality.

I can explain how runoff affects turbidity and conductivity.

 

Warm-Up / Pre-Assessment

Begin by asking students to list three things that they think of when hearing “suspended and dissolved solids” in water. Use these thoughts to create mental models for students during the warm-up discussion.

 

Instruction

Follow the instructions provided in the National Park Service lesson “Water Quality: Turbidity & Conductivity.” Hands-on activity and student sheets are included in the lesson guide. The lesson is available for download here (https://www.nps.gov/laro/learn/education/upload/Lesson3-Water-Quality.pdf ) or from www.TeachTheClinch.com.

 

If available, it is also recommended that you invite a guest speaker from your local Virginia Soil and Water Conservation District to speak on the topic of suspended and dissolved solids. Your local office may be able to lend your classroom a secci disk kit (and/or complete the activity with your class referenced in the lesson) so that you will not have to purchase one for your classroom.

 

If possible, obtain water samples from a nearby stream or creek within the Clinch River Watershed.

 

Alternative:

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Conductivity meters can be purchased online inexpensively ($15-$25), which can be used to measure the conductivity of water samples and/or prepared solutions. Though these meters are not appropriate for regulation water testing, they will suffice for classroom/educational use.

Assessment

Option 1: If students completed sampling and/or water quality testing during this lesson, ask them to present their results to the class in the form of a short presentation. Ask them to draw conclusions about their results and the likely impacts on the environment that these two parameters are having.

 

Option 2: Present one group’s data and ask all students to spend some time analyzing it. What does the data mean? What are the likely environmental impacts? Discuss this as a concluding class activity.

 

Option 3: Ask students to write 1-2 paragraphs describing the impacts of turbidity and conductivity on water quality in the Clinch River Watershed.

 

Lesson Plan

Water Chemistry

 

Grade Levels:

5-12

 

Subject(s):

Science, Earth Science, Biology

 

Virginia SOLs:

5.1, 6.7, LS.11, ES.8, BIO.2

 

Materials Needed:

Computer with internet connection

Student sheet

 

Time Needed:

50 minutes

 

Summary

In this lesson, students will learn to describe and recognize chemical and physical factors associated with water quality in watersheds like the Clinch River Watershed. The lesson can be modified to work with grade levels 5-12.

 

Objectives

I can describe the chemical and physical factors associated with water quality.

 

Warm-Up / Pre-Assessment

Ask students what they know about water quality. What are some of the factors that make water “good” or “impaired” water quality? Discuss uses for water and how different types of water pollutants could affect different uses.

 

Instruction

Using the information provided in the Measuring Stream Health lesson from the Izaak Walton League’s “Hands On Save Our Streams” curriculum, teach students about water quality. (Available for download from: www.TeachTheClinch.com [*)*] Review the information to familiarize yourself with the water quality parameters and methods for testing.

 

The lesson may be taught directly or students may complete internet research to discover the factors associated with individual water parameters. A student sheet is attached that students will use to answer the question “what causes the parameter to change?” and “how does this parameter affect the environment?” about each of 11 parameters included in the activity. Students may either write down their answers as you teach the content directly or they may write their answers down as they complete independent internet research.

 

Alternatively, you may invite a guest speaker from a Virginia Soil and Water Conservation District to come and speak to your class about the topic. Feel free to provide the student sheet so that the speaker may reference it with students as they speak.

 

For 5th grade classrooms, the Upper Tennessee River Roundtable has a watershed kit that can be borrowed by classrooms. The kit includes the ability to test some water quality parameters.

 

Extension:

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Allow students to explore the USGS Water Quality website (http://water.usgs.gov/edu/waterquality.html ). Students can read more, independently, about the factors associated with water quality.

Assessment

Ask students to submit an exit ticket following the lesson:

#
p<>{color:#000;}. What is the most important thing you learned today?

#
p<>{color:#000;}. What is the muddiest thing (least clear) you learned today?

 

Water Chemistry [* Name ___________________________ *]

 

table<>. <>. |<>.
p<>{color:#000;}. Water Quality Parameter |<>.
p<>{color:#000;}. What causes this parameter to change? |<>.
p<>{color:#000;}. How does this parameter affect the environment? | <>. |<>.
p<>{color:#000;}. Dissolved oxygen |<>.
p<>{color:#000;}.  

|<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   | <>. |<>. p<>{color:#000;}. Biochemical oxygen demand |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   | <>. |<>. p<>{color:#000;}. Chemical oxygen demand |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   | <>. |<>. p<>{color:#000;}. pH |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   | <>. |<>. p<>{color:#000;}. Hardness |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   | <>. |<>. p<>{color:#000;}. Phosphates and Nitrates |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   | <>. |<>. p<>{color:#000;}. Temperature |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   | <>. |<>. p<>{color:#000;}. Turbidity |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   | <>. |<>. p<>{color:#000;}. Color |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   | <>. |<>. p<>{color:#000;}. Pathogens |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   | <>. |<>. p<>{color:#000;}. Habitat and other physical characteristics |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |<>. p<>{color:#000;}.   |

 

 

 

Lesson Plan

Exploring the Hydrologic Cycle with NASA

 

Grade Levels:

6-12

 

Subject(s):

Science, Earth Science, Biology

 

Virginia SOLs:

6.7, LS.6, ES.8, BIO.1

 

Materials Needed:

Computer with internet, projector, PowerPoint, printed student guides

 

Time Needed:

2 × 50-minute classes

 

Summary

In this lesson, students will learn about the water cycle and how energy from the sun and the force of gravity drive this cycle. Students will extend this knowledge to describe how different aspects of the hydrologic cycle affect the Clinch River Watershed.

 

Objectives

I can describe how the properties and movements of water shape Earth’s surface and affect its systems.

 

I can provide examples of how the hydrologic cycle affects water systems in the Clinch River Watershed.

 

Warm-Up / Pre-Assessment

As students enter the room, ask them to complete the following bell ringer questions to assess and activate their prior knowledge:

#
p<>{color:#000;}. What do you know about the hydrologic cycle?

#
p<>{color:#000;}. How might a change in the hydrologic cycle affect plant or animal life?

#
p<>{color:#000;}. List any two parts of the hydrologic cycle.

 

Briefly discuss student answers to the bell ringer before continuing on with the topic.

 

Instruction

Pass out provided student sheets so that students may follow along with the PowerPoint. Using the provided PowerPoint presentation and instructions, introduce the topic of the hydrologic cycle. Follow all instructions provided in Exploring the Water Cycle provided by NASA available from ( [+ https://pmm.nasa.gov/education/lesson-plans/exploring-water-cycle+] ) or www.TeachTheClinch.com.

Assessment

As a summative assessment, ask students to complete a short project in which they select one or more bodies of water within the Clinch River Watershed and describe how stages of the hydrologic cycle might affect those bodies of water.

 

(Optional) You may give the post-assessment provided by NASA if you would like to do so.

 

An exit ticket is recommended after the second day (based on material taught that day) to assess the day’s learning and to gain insight into any topics that may need a second look the following day.

 

 

METEOROLOGY

 

Lesson Plan

Drip Drop Raindrop

 

Grade Levels:

2-4

 

Subject(s):

Science, Math

 

Virginia SOLs:

Science 2.6, 3.9, 4.6

Math 2.11, 3.17, 4.8

 

Materials Needed:

Clean plastic soda or water bottles, permanent markers, scissors, tape.

 

Time Needed:

1 to 2 class periods

 

Summary

Students will make a rain gauge and learn how to measure rainfall.

 

Objectives

I can use a rain gauge to measure rainfall.

 

I can record and track rainfall observations.

 

Warm-Up / Pre-Assessment

Talk about rainfall. What happens when it rains?

 

Instruction

Talk about how rain is part of the water cycle. Water evaporates from bodies of water such as lakes, ponds, rivers, streams, and oceans. Rain, or sleet or snow or hail, falls from the clouds. The rainfall that doesn’t get trapped in ice or glaciers drains into streams, lakes, rivers and eventually flows back to oceans.

 

Ask students how rainfall can be measured. Tell them they will make a rain gauge and learn how to capture and measure rainfall. Go to this website to learn more about how to help students make a rain gauge.

 

[+ https://pmm.nasa.gov/education/interactive/rain-gauge-design-challenge+]

As an example, take a clean two-liter soda bottle and cut off two to three inches down from the top (this should be done by the teacher, not the students). Turn the top upside down and place on top of the bottom part of the bottle. Draw lines on the bottom part of the bottom at intervals, either inches or centimeters, depending upon how you want your students to measure the rainfall. Create a graph to chart the rainfall.

 

Place the rain gauge outside the school so that it is secure and wind won’t blow it away. Or ask students to take their rain gauges to their homes to track the rainfall for a week or the amount of time is that you want to extend the study.

Assessment

Ask students to track the rainfall from their rain gauges and put their measurements on a graph. In class, talk about the differences among the students’ measurements.

 

Ask students what they still want to know about measuring rainfall.

 

Ask students to write about the rainfall that they tracked with observations about the changes in weather.

 

Lesson Plan

Temperature Trends

 

Grade Levels:

1-4

 

Subject(s):

Science, Math

 

Virginia SOLs:

Science 1.7, 2.6, 3.1, 4.6

Math 1.14, 2.14, 3.13

 

Materials Needed:

Outdoor thermometer, black paper, colored circle stickers, thermometer sheet, card stock, scissors, red crayons

 

Time Needed:

2 class periods

 

Summary

Students will learn why we use a thermometer as they learn to read a thermometer so they can track temperature throughout the school year.

 

Objectives

I can explain why we use a thermometer.

 

I can read a thermometer with color codes.

 

I can look at a thermometer and tell whether the temperature is hot or cold.

 

Warm-Up / Pre-Assessment

The Scholastic website has a lesson entitled, “Tracking Temperature,” which includes a thorough description of everything needed to teach about temperature to younger grade levels. Although the author recommends using this lesson for pre-kindergarten and kindergarten, the basic concept could be expanded for other lower grades.

 

The Scholastic lesson includes a few preparation steps that need to be taken prior to introducing temperature to the students.

The lesson can be found at [+ www.scholastic.com/teachers/lesson-plan/tracking-temperature+].

 

Instruction

Talk about the current weather. Ask students if it is hot or cold outside. Talk about the differences in being hot, warm, cool or cold.

 

Follow directions in the Scholastic lesson plan and adapt to your particular grade level as needed.

Assessment

In addition to the assessment in the Scholastic lesson, ask students to write about temperature.

 

Ask students to complete a KWL chart during the lesson:

What I know.

What I want to know.

What I learned.

 

Lesson Plan

Project Learning Tree: Stepping Through Climate Science

 

Grade Levels:

8-12

 

Subject(s):

Science, Earth Science, Biology, Ecology, Computer Science

 

Virginia SOLs:

LS.1, LS.6, ES.11, BIO.1, C/T6-8.2, C/T6-8.7

 

Materials Needed:

Wire coat hangers, tape, computer, projector

 

Time Needed:

2-3 × 50-minute class periods

 

Summary

In this series of lessons, students will study climate change and the research behind it by creating a climate timeline, watching a climate/forest video, and discussing current data for climate change.

 

Objectives

I can explain how climate and forests are connected.

 

I can describe how climate change affects the Clinch River Watershed.

 

I can analyze data that supports climate change.

 

Warm-Up / Pre-Assessment

As a bell ringer, ask students to write down three things they already know about climate change. Lead the class in a brief warm-up discussion about climate change.

 

Instruction

Follow the instructions for “Stepping Through Climate Science” provided by Project Learning Tree (page 29 in Southeastern Forests and Climate Change). A copy of the printed book is available for check out from Project Estonoa library, as a PDF from Project Learning Tree ( http://sfrc.ufl.edu/extension/ee/climate/ ), and as a download from www.TeachTheClinch.com.

 

Resources:

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Timeline cards, a master timeline, print-ready student pages, and an answer key are available here: [+ http://sfrc.ufl.edu/extension/ee/climate/section1/activity1+] (registration is required but is free).

*
p<>{color:#000;}. A related video, “The Forest Service and Climate Change” is available here: https://youtu.be/QGtxHhnmWQE

 

Extensions:

*
p<>{color:#000;}. To make this lesson more place-based, ask students to apply what they have learned about climate change to the Clinch River Watershed. Lead a class discussion about how climate change effects could be felt by animal species and forests in the region.

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Ask students to conduct an internet search about species that live in the Clinch River Watershed and write an essay incorporating what they have learned about climate change with how they think these species may be affected in the future.

Assessment

After the first day (and second day, if using three days) of the 2-3 day lesson, include a 3-2-1 exit ticket to get formative assessment feedback and to modify instruction the following day:

#
p<>{color:#000;}. List three things you learned today.

#
p<>{color:#000;}. List two things you still aren’t sure about.

#
p<>{color:#000;}. List one question you have that you’re still curious about.

 

After showing the related video, discuss it with students to see what they understood and what they are still unsure about.

 

Project Learning Tree (p. 29) also recommends the following writing assessment: “Ask students to respond to the following writing prompt: The idea that the Earth’s climate might be affected by human activities began in the late 1800s and continues to be a topic of research and investigation. What are three pieces of information that we know about climate science? What is one thing you would like to know more about?

 

Lesson Plan

In the Driver’s Seat

 

Grade Levels:

6-8

 

Subject(s):

Math

Science, Earth Science, Civics

 

Virginia SOLs:

Math 6.9, 7.4, 8.14

Science 6.2, LS.1, ES.6, CE.11

 

Materials Needed:

Automobile consumer magazine; chart paper;

pens or crayons; chalk or rope; student pages

 

Time Needed:

2 × 50-minute classes

 

Summary

In this activity, students learn about gasoline, then explore fuel conservation and energy efficiency by simulating the distance they can travel on a set amount of gasoline using different vehicles.

 

Objectives

I can analyze differences in fuel economy between different vehicles.

 

I can explain strategies for reducing the amount of fuel used by vehicles.

 

Warm-Up / Pre-Assessment

Lead a brief warm-up discussion to find out what students know about fuel efficiency. Have their parents talked about driving “fuel efficient” or “gas guzzling” vehicles? Is fuel efficiency something someone should consider when buying a new vehicle?

 

Instruction

Follow the instructions in the “In the Driver’s Seat” lesson provided in Love a Tree “Fresh, Clean Air: Protecting Air Quality in Virginia,” which is available from Virginia Naturally (http://www.deq.virginia.gov/ConnectWithDEQ/ EnvironmentalInformation/LoveATree.aspx ) or from www.TeachTheClinch.com. The lesson begins on page 26.

 

Background information for teachers also begins on page 26. Review this and refer back to it as needed during the lesson.

 

To make this activity place-based while using MapQuest or Google Maps, compare miles traveled to distances between cities and towns in the Clinch River Watershed (or distances between a town starting in the Clinch River Watershed and a city or town outside the watershed).

 

Extensions:

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Ask students to investigate nearby alternative transportation opportunities (i.e. biking trails, greenways or greenway plans) and give presentations about their findings. How could pollution be decreased by relying more on these alternative transportation methods? What could we do to help more people use alternative transportation?

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Have students compare current fuel efficiency standards with cars produced 10, 15, 20, or 20+ years ago. How do changing fuel efficiency standards affect the amount of pollutants released into the atmosphere?

Assessment

In addition to the assessment activities recommended in the lesson, wrap up by completing a four-corners activity. Read a few statements about fuel efficiency based on the student’s discoveries during the class period. Ask students to go to one of four corners of the room corresponding with, “Strongly Agree,” “Agree,” “Disagree,” and, “Strongly Disagree.” Ask a few students from each corner to explain their level of agreement with each statement.

 

Lesson Plan

Precipitation Patterns

 

Grade Levels:

6-8

 

Subject(s):

Science, Math

 

Virginia SOLs:

Science: 6.1, LS.10, ES.11

Math: 6.14, 7.12, 8.13, 8.14

 

Materials Needed:

Stacking cubes, if available. Graph paper, pencils, thermometers.

 

Time Needed:

2 class periods

 

Summary

Students create graphs of precipitation and compare seasonal patterns.

 

Objectives

I can make a graph to track precipitation in the Clinch River Watershed.

 

I can compare and contrast precipitation from different seasons.

 

Warm-Up / Pre-Assessment

Read the “Precipitation Towers Lesson Plan” at this website: [+ https://pmm.nasa.gov/education/subtopics/freshwater-resources+]

from Global Participation Measurement. This site has a teachers’ guide, student sheet and presentation.

 

Instruction

Talk about precipitation and how the type of precipitation (rain, snow, sleet) changes with the seasons. Explain that the students will be studying precipitation throughout the year and creating graphs to track patterns. Follow the rest of the lesson at the website listed above and adapt to the desired grade level.

 

Assessment

To assess students’ comprehension of this lesson, ask students to create a traditional graph on paper to represent what they learned. Time and resources permitting, ask students to create a “human graph” at the front of the room to display rainfall data for the designated time period.

 

Unit Plan

Window on Air Quality

 

Grade Levels:

6

 

Subject(s):

Math, Science

 

Virginia SOLs:

Science 6.1, 6.2, 6.4, 6.6, 6.9

Math 6.8, 6.10, 6.12

 

Materials Needed:

See individual activities

 

Time Needed:

Up to 10 × 50-minute class periods

 

Summary

This unit is taken from Green Toolbox, which is aligned to 6th grade Virginia science and math standards. In this unit of study, students will learn about smog, haze, visibility, acid rain, major air pollutants, air pollution and health problems, property rights, methods of cleaning air, fuel costs, and sustainable resource use.

 

Objectives

I can identify the primary sources of air pollution in the Clinch River Watershed.

 

I can identify the costs of air pollution.

 

I can discuss preventive measures to protect air quality.

 

I can identify and discuss cost/benefit tradeoffs of policies to improve air quality.

 

Warm-Up / Pre-Assessment

Before beginning the unit, ask students what they already know about air pollution. As a bell ringer, ask students to write 2-3 things they already know and 1-2 questions that they have about air pollution in Virginia. Daily during the unit, ask bell ringer questions based on the previous day’s lesson. Briefly discuss how prior learning connects to today’s class period.

 

 

Instruction

All instructions and information needed to complete this unit are located in Love a Tree “Fresh, Clean Air: Protecting Air Quality in Virginia,” which is available from Virginia Naturally (http://www.deq.virginia.gov/ConnectWithDEQ/EnvironmentalInformation/LoveATree.aspx ) or from www.TeachTheClinch.com. The unit begins on page 6. Be sure to read the background information for teachers on page 8. Refer to this as needed during instruction of the unit.

 

You should also review the table on page 25. This is handy to print out and reference as needed during instruction. You may want to have students complete a similar table as the unit progresses and/or provide a copy of the table sometime during instruction of the unit.

 

You may teach the entire unit or select activities needed to fulfill your instructional requirements. As permitted, incorporate information about the Clinch River Watershed to make the material more relevant for students. The activities included for this unit are:

#
p<>{color:#000;}. Visualizing Air Pollution

##
p<>{color:#000;}. Code Red for the Shenandoah Mountains

##
p<>{color:#000;}. Air Quality – Why does it matter

#
p<>{color:#000;}. Measuring the Acidity of Rain

#
p<>{color:#000;}. Measurement of Particulate Matter: Dust Fall Slides

#
p<>{color:#000;}. Observing Effects of Acid Rain

#
p<>{color:#000;}. Pollution Solutions

#
p<>{color:#000;}. The Role of Property Rights

#
p<>{color:#000;}. Build a Wet Scrubber for Cleaning Air Emission

#
p<>{color:#000;}. Fuel Costs and Consumer Decisions

#
p<>{color:#000;}. Allocating Scarce Resources

 

Extension Activities:

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Bring in a guest speaker from the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality to talk about air quality in the Clinch River Watershed.

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Conduct an inquiry using the 5-E model (see front matter) to allow students to investigate air quality problems in the Clinch River Watershed.

Assessment

Individual assessment activities are included in the unit activities. We recommend including daily exit tickets in addition to these activities, which can be based on the activities and learning from the previous day. One possible exit ticket format is the 3-2-1 exit ticket.

 

3-2-1 Exit Ticket

List three things you learned today.

List two things you still aren’t sure about.

List one question you have that you’re still curious about.

 

 

Lesson Plan

What’s your carbon footprint?

Grade Levels:

6-12

 

Subject(s):

Math, Algebra, Probability and Statistics, Science, Biology, Ecology, Earth Science, Civics, Computer Science

 

Virginia SOLs:

Math 6.6, 6.20, 7.12, 7.15, A.9, AII.9, PS.15 Science 6.6, LS.11, ES.11, BIO.1, CE.4, CE. 11, C/T6-8.2, C/T6-8.7, C/T6-8.10

 

Materials Needed:

Graph paper, calculators, computer with internet access

 

Time Needed:

1-2 × 50 minute class periods

 

Summary

In this lesson, students will calculate their own carbon footprints using web-based calculators to get a better understanding of how individual actions contribute to climate change.

 

Objectives

I can calculate my impact on the environment and on climate change.

 

I can compare and contrast my impact on the environment with the impacts of others who live in the Clinch River Watershed.

 

Warm-Up / Pre-Assessment

Lead a brief discussion and ask students to share what they know about climate change. Ask if any student can describe what a “carbon footprint” is.

 

Instruction

Follow the instructions for the lesson “How big is your carbon footprint?” from ASE. The lesson can be downloaded from ASE’s website ( [+ https://www.ase.org/resources/lesson-plan-how-big-your-carbon-footprint-6-12+] ) or from www.TeachTheClinch.com.

 

In addition to the calculators listed in the lesson, two more are listed below. For older students, we recommend that you complete multiple calculated simulations with students and lead a brief discussion about models. Simply, when using a model to answer a question there is no “perfect” answer, only estimates. Using multiple models may help us get a better idea of the true value.

 

Online Calculators:

*
p<>{color:#000;}. EPA Carbon Footprint Calculator ( https://www3.epa.gov/carbon-footprint-calculator/ )

*
p<>{color:#000;}. The Nature Conservancy (http://www.nature.org/greenliving/carboncalculator/index.htm )

 

Extension:

*
p<>{color:#000;}. To localize the lesson and to involve community members in the Clinch River Watershed, ask students to calculate carbon footprints with willing family members or neighbors. Students can compare these to their own and to those of other students.

*
p<>{color:#000;}. To calculate other ecological footprints, check out the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation website for ecological footprint calculators, nitrogen footprints, water footprints, and others. (http://www.dcr.virginia.gov/environmental-education/comed-what-is-your-footprint )

Assessment

When closing, ask students to write a paragraph reflecting about how they affect climate change. Were their climate change footprints higher or lower than they anticipated? What are one or two small things that students could do to reduce their carbon footprints?

 

Lesson Plan

Citizen Science: Weather Watch

 

Grade Levels:

7-12

 

Subject(s):

Science, Earth Science, Civics

 

Virginia SOLs:

LS.11, ES.11, CE.4

 

Materials Needed:

See equipment listed on the website under warm-up.

 

Time Needed:

Several class periods.

 

Summary

Students learn the importance of measuring precipitation in their local communities.

 

Objectives

I can observe the weather and measure precipitation for use on a national citizen science weather website.

 

Warm-Up / Pre-Assessment

Discuss the need to measure precipitation and its importance. Read information on the website about how citizens can track weather and report online at http://www.cocorahs.org/Content.aspx?page=aboutus

 

The acronym CoCoRaHS stands for the “Community Collaborative Rain, Hail and Snow Network. CoCoRaHS is a unique non-profit, community-based network of volunteers of all ages and backgrounds working together to measure and map precipitation (rain, hail and snow). By using low-cost measurement tools, stressing training and education, and utilizing an interactive Web-site, our aim is to provide the highest quality data for natural resource, education and research applications. We are now in all fifty states.”

 

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the National Science Foundation (NSF) are major sponsors of CoCoRaHS.

 

Instruction

Tell students about the Community Collaborative Rain, Hail and Snow Network’s work and how they can become involved. Share information from the CoCoRaHS website. If allowed, sign up the class to participate in this citizen science venture.

 

The CoCoRaHS website has instructional videos on how to get started, how to measure precipitation, what to do during a drought and more.

Assessment

If students begin to measure precipitation, whether as part of the overall class work or on their own, ask them to keep a journal for sharing in class.

 

Ask students what they learned and what they want to learn more about.

 

 

WATERSHEDS &

WATER QUALITY

 

Lesson Plan

Who Polluted the River?

 

Grade Levels:

Elementary, Middle and High

 

Subject(s):

Science, Earth Science

 

Virginia SOLs:

K.5, K.10, 1.8, 2.8. 3.6, 3.8, 3.9, 3.10, 3.11, 4.5, 4.8, 5.7, 6.5, 6.7, LS.11, LS.12, ES.7, ES.9

 

Materials Needed:

Large container of water, small plastic containers to store “pollutants” including white vinegar, clean cat litter, parsley flakes, potting soil, dental floss, baking soda, food coloring, strainer with fine mesh

 

Time Needed:

30 minutes

 

Summary

Students will participate in an activity that demonstrates who is responsible for pollution in our waterways, such as the Clinch River.

 

Each student will have one or more containers of materials that represent pollutants, such as dental floss for fishing line. As a story is read, students will take turns emptying their containers of pollution into a large container filled with water that represents the Clinch River. Students will see how the river gradually becomes polluted.

 

Objectives

I can name three types of pollution that might affect the Clinch River.

 

I can name three ways people can prevent or clean up pollution.

 

Warm-Up / Pre-Assessment

Before the lesson, put small amounts of each of the materials into small plastic containers with lids that students can open easily. Label each container by looking at the words printed in all capital letters in the story, such as farm and trees. For instance, label one container with the word, “trees” and put the parsley flakes into that. Find ready-made labels at www.TeachTheClinch.com.

 

The lesson that accompanies this introduction includes using cooking oil for one type of pollution. Oil is very difficult to clean up, so it is recommended that the oil not be used. Instead, you could use more vinegar. Use a lot of baking soda and vinegar because the reaction of those two ingredients makes the visual experiment more interesting.

 

Tell students that they will participate in a demonstration to show how rivers become polluted. Ask for a definition of pollution, such as harmful substances that hurt the environment.

 

Instruction

Tell the students that the large container of water represents the Clinch River. Give instructions on how students will empty their small containers of pollution into the large container. Follow the instructions in the lesson, “Who Polluted the River?” taken from Put a Lid On It!

 

For easy cleanup, strain the liquid through the fine mesh strainer to catch solids that can be emptied into a trash can.

 

Assessment

Ask students to answer the questions at the end of the story.

 

Ask students to write down three ways that they can prevent or clean up pollution as their “exit ticket.”

 

Lesson Plan

Preserving the Past

 

Grade Levels:

7-12

 

Subject(s):

English

 

Virginia SOLs:

7.1, 7.2, 7.6, 8.1, 10.1

 

Materials Needed:

Recorder or pencil and paper

 

Time Needed:

2 to 3 class periods and minimum of 1 hour outside of class

 

Summary

Students will learn the importance of historical recollections of the Clinch River either by finding someone to interview or by reading a previously recorded oral history and writing a paper about that story.

 

Objectives

I can describe why it is important to record historical accounts of people who grew up by or who live by the Clinch River.

 

Warm-Up / Pre-Assessment

Tell students that the Clinch River Valley Initiative has a collection of oral histories that were compiled by Willie Dodson, who served for over a year as an AmeriCorps Volunteers In Service To America (VISTA) member. Willie found and interviewed people who knew a lot about the Clinch River. He recorded the interviews that are available at www.TeachTheClinch.com.

Tell the students they will work on an oral history project related to the Clinch River.

 

Instruction

Talk about the importance of recording and preserving history. Why is history important? How can learning about history help us?

 

Ask students if they know anyone who lives along the Clinch River or one of its tributaries or someone who grew up in the Clinch River Watershed even if they don’t live there now. Tell the students that they will be interviewing the person they know.

 

For the students who do not know anyone, assign them to read one of the histories that was recorded by Willie Dodson. However, if possible, help students find someone who lives along the Clinch River because this first-hand interview experience will be most beneficial. As an alternative, bring in someone who lives or has lived along the Clinch who would be willing to be interviewed by students during a class session.

 

All students can read one of Willie Dodson’s recordings to get an idea of how to proceed with their assignment.

 

Ask students how they should conduct an interview to find out what someone remembers about living along the Clinch River. Explain that the key interview questions should answer the following: who, what when, where, why and how.

 

Divide students into pairs to practice this technique before interviewing a resident of the Clinch River Watershed. Student pairs will interview each other.

 

Students could work on their own or in small groups to conduct the interview of a Clinch River resident or former resident.

 

Consider contributing the completed oral histories to the collection started by Willie Dodson.

Assessment

Ask students to give a presentation in front of the class on the oral history they collected and what they learned. Each student should be instructed to ask at least one question of a speaker during student presentations.

 

Lesson Plan

What’s the point?

 

Grade Levels:

3-6

 

Subject(s):

Science

 

Virginia SOLs:

3.6, 3.7, 4.9, 5.7, 6.7

 

Materials Needed:

Aluminum foil, shallow baking pan or aluminum roasting pan, food coloring, spray bottles, paper cups, bucket, water, maps of the region

 

Time Needed:

30 minutes in class and 1 hour for extension outside

 

Summary

Students will learn about point and nonpoint source pollution and how watersheds are affected by pollution.

 

Objectives

I can describe the difference between point and nonpoint source pollution.

 

I can explain two actions that people can do to prevent pollution.

 

Warm-Up / Pre-Assessment

Talk about watershed. What is a watershed? (An area of land that drains to one main body of water, such as a river.) The Clinch River Watershed has smaller watersheds within it, such as the Guest River Watershed in Wise County and the Cedar Creek Watershed in Russell County and Indian Creek in Tazewell County and Copper Creek in Scott County. There are many other creeks, also called tributaries.

 

These smaller creeks flow into the Clinch River. The Clinch River is part of a larger watershed called Upper Tennessee River Watershed that flows from Virginia to Tennessee. Do you know where the water flows after that? From the Tennessee River to the Ohio River to the Mississippi River before emptying into the Gulf of Mexico.

 

Watersheds are affected by different types of pollution, or harmful things, that can make the rivers dirty. There are two main types of pollution that we will talk about in this lesson.

 

Instruction

Tell the students that they will be learning about two types of pollution: point source pollution and nonpoint source pollution.

 

Point source pollution comes from pipes. You can remember point source because you can point to it. You can see the pollution coming from pipes.

 

Nonpoint source pollution comes from all over the land and can’t be identified as originating from one place. That’s why this pollution is called nonpoint. You can’t point to it. The pollution becomes mixed with rain and flows over the land before flowing into a larger body of water.

 

Follow the lesson, “Where the Water Falls,” as included in Our Own Backyard: Environmental Education Activities for Russell County, Virginia that was produced by the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation. This is available for download from www.TeachTheClinch.com

 

If time allows, take the children outside to follow the “At the Preserve” extension.

 

As an alternative to making the watershed model, consider borrowing the EnviroScape® model from the Estonoa Learning Center in St. Paul. The Learning Center has three different models available for checking out: Point and Nonpoint Source Pollution Watershed, Landfill and Wetlands. Contact Terry Vencil at [email protected]

Assessment

Ask the students to describe both point source and nonpoint source pollution.

 

Ask students to draw a picture of a watershed and show specific examples of point source and nonpoint source pollution.

 

Lesson Plan

Solving Littering Problems

 

Grade Levels:

7, 8

 

Subject(s):

Physical Science, English, History & Social Science

 

Virginia SOLs:

PS.1, English 8.4 and 8.6, History & Social Science (Civics) 7.1, 7.4, 7.7

 

Materials Needed:

Dilemma Cards

 

Time Needed:

1 class period

 

Summary

Students will be assigned different roles and will analyze a variety of littering dilemmas based on their perspectives.

 

Objectives

I can discuss sources of litter and analyze how to solve littering problems.

 

Warm-Up / Pre-Assessment

Talk about litter. Ask for a definition of litter (trash in the wrong place). Tell students that littering is illegal, harms animals and makes the landscape unsightly.

 

Instruction

Follow the lesson from Pollution Solutions entitled,” Dilemmas! You Make the Decision” as found on Virginia Naturally website at

[+ http://www.dcr.virginia.gov/environmental-education/education-resources-for-teachers+] and www.TeachTheClinch.com.

 

Assessment

Ask students to write about one of the littering dilemmas and describe a way to solve the littering problem. Ask students to share and discuss these strategies for solving litter problems.

 

Lesson Plan

Spot the Poopin’ Scoopin’ Dog

 

Grade Levels:

K-4

 

Subject(s):

Science

 

Virginia SOLs:

K.7, 1.5, 2.5, 3.6, 4.5

 

Materials Needed:

Fuzzy craft sticks, pony beads in white, yellow, blue, red, green, pet waste brochure, picture of yellow dog, picture of a storm drain

 

Time Needed:

30 minutes

 

Summary

Pet waste is a significant pollutant to waterways. Students will learn that pet waste needs to be scooped and placed in a trash can and not left on the ground. Students will make a bracelet to remind them of this lesson.

 

Objectives

I can explain why pet waste needs to be scooped and not left on the ground.

 

Warm-Up / Pre-Assessment

Ask the students if they have pets at home. Does anyone have a dog? Do you ever take your dog for a walk? Ask if anyone scoops up their dog’s poop. Tell them that this lesson will show why we need to scoop up pet waste and not leave it on the ground.

 

Instruction

Go to Upper Tennessee River Roundtable’s website, www.uppertnriver.org to view the “Pet Waste, Water Quality & Your Health” brochure and the pet waste poster. Read the contents prior to teaching this lesson. Print a copy of the dog poster to use as you tell the story in this lesson, or request a poster from Upper Tennessee River Roundtable.

 

Tell the children that pet waste is pollution. Give a definition of pollution, such as pollution is something that is harmful and can hurt land and water. Animal waste, such as dog poop, can contain germs (bacteria) that can make people sick. When animals poop and no one picks it up, the poop can wash into streets and into storm drains that empty in creeks and rivers. Show the picture of the storm drain to the students. When a lot of rain falls, the water washes pollution into the storm drains. The storm drains carry the pollution to our creeks and rivers, making the Clinch River Watershed dirty.

 

Tell the children that some people mistakenly think that animal waste, such as dog poop, is good fertilizer. Ask the children to describe how fertilizer is used. Fertilizer makes plants grow. But dog poop is not good for plants, especially garden plants that produce food for us to eat. Animal waste contains bacteria and should not be used as fertilizer for our plants.

 

Animal waste also can produce low oxygen levels in rivers, which can kill fish. For older students, you can use more of the facts in the brochure and go into more detail.

 

Tell children that pet waste stations, in other words, trash cans for pet poop, have been placed in some parks within the Clinch River Watershed. These pet waste cans have little bags that people can use to scoop up the poop. Tell students that we should never pick up the animal waste with our bare hands. Always use some type of plastic bag. Bags with animal waste should be put into trash cans.

 

Tell the students the following story. Give the students one of each of the different colors of beads and a fuzzy craft stick. Tell the students that as you say a color, they need to pick up that color bead and put it onto their stick. At the end of the story, they will have enough beads for a bracelet to remind them of the story.

 

Story: Today we’re talking about pet waste or pet poop. Do you see the dog on the poster? What is the dog doing? Scooping up his poop. Can dogs really scoop up their poop? No, we have to help dogs with the scooping. I’m going to tell you a story to help you remember.

 

The dog pictured on this poster is Spot. Spot is white. This white bead stands for Spot. Spot is picking up poop with a yellow scoop. The yellow bead stands for the scoop. Spot is scooping up the poop because he wants to keep the rivers clean. Pet poop makes our rivers dirty, so we need to scoop it up and put it in a trash can to keep the water clean. The blue bead stands for water.

 

Spot wants to keep the water clean because he loves the earth. We’ll use a red bead to show that Spot loves the earth and a green bead for the earth.

 

Can you help Spot keep our water clean? What will you do?

 

Help students finish their bracelets by wrapping the fuzzy sticks ends around each other. You may need to cut them shorter for younger students.

Assessment

Ask students to tell the story of Spot by looking at their bracelets.

 

Lesson Plan

Total and Fecal Coliforms

 

Grade Levels:

8-12

 

Subject(s):

Science, Ecology, Biology, Earth Science, English/Language Arts

 

Virginia SOLs:

LS.11, BIO.2, ES.1, ES.8

English 8.6

 

Materials Needed:

See NPS lesson guide

 

Time Needed:

1-3 × 60-minute class periods

 

Summary

In this lesson students will learn about fecal coliform and sources of fecal pollution in watersheds. Students will construct a filter designed to reduce fecal pollution and/or complete reading and literacy-boosting activities using directed readings associated with fecal pollution issues.

 

Objectives

I can describe sources of fecal coliform in the Clinch River Watershed.

 

I can analyze how to reduce fecal sources of pollution in the Clinch River Watershed.

 

Warm-Up / Pre-Assessment

Begin by leading a brief discussion (include higher scaffolding for younger students) about sources of fecal coliform. Discuss common sources of fecal coliform. Ask students about the difference between total and fecal coliform. Explain, as necessary.

 

Instruction

Follow the instructions in the “Water Quality: Fecal Coliform” lesson from the National Park Service for implementing this lesson. The lesson includes potential reading and laboratory activities.

 

To complete this lesson, some water testing equipment can be borrowed from regional environmental organizations (i.e., Upper Tennessee River Roundtable) or agencies (i.e., Soil and Water Conservation District or Department of Environmental Quality). Some student-grade equipment also can be acquired inexpensively online.

 

Alternatively, should time or resource constraints prevent water testing activities, distribute selected student reading sheets included with the lesson for students to read independently or in small groups. These reading sheets may be used to support literacy and reading SOLs by using KWL charts with students, creating jigsaw activities/groups, and/or conducting a “read aloud” with portions of the readings.

 

Extensions:

It is recommended that you invite a guest speaker from a local college or university (i.e., UVA-Wise or Emory & Henry College), an environmental organization (Upper Tennessee River Roundtable, Project Estonoa), or agency (i.e., local Soil and Water Conservation District or Department of Environmental Quality) to speak to your class about local sources of fecal pollution and plans to address it.

Assessment

If the filter activity is used, compare filter efficiencies among different groups and lead a discussion about why some filters are more efficient. Use the differential filtering as a learning opportunity for the group.

 

If literacy activities are implemented, ask students to synthesize the notes that they have taken using a KWL chart or to synthesize the findings of each group member during the jigsaw activity. Questions generated during a KWL activity that are not answered can be used to create additional inquiry-based lessons if time permits.

 

Lesson Plan

Can You See Water Pollution?

 

Grade Levels:

3-6

 

Subject(s):

Science

 

Virginia SOLs:

3.1, 4.9, 5.7, 6.5

 

Materials Needed:

5 clear empty water bottles, bottled water, tap water, white vinegar, food coloring, stream water, permanent black marker

 

Time Needed:

1 class period

 

Summary

Students will figure out whether or not they can determine if stream water is polluted just by looking at the water.

 

Objectives

I can explain which of my two senses I can use to determine if stream water is polluted by observing different kinds of water.

 

Warm-Up / Pre-Assessment

Before students arrive, prepare five bottles of water as directed in the lesson, “Can You See Water Pollution” from the Izaak Walton League’s Hands on Save Our Stream” lesson book. The lesson also is available online at [+ http://www.iwla.org/publications/outdoor-america/article/outdoor-america-2015-issue-1/youth-activity-can-you-see-water-pollution+].

 

Although the lesson recommends putting the water into glasses, water bottles with caps work best to avoid spilling the contents. Bottles can be used over again for repeating the lesson for more than one class.

 

As an alternative idea, you can substitute white vinegar for rubbing alcohol.

 

Label each bottle cap either A, B, C, D, E.

 

Instruction

Talk about water pollution and how streams and rivers in the Clinch River Watershed suffer from pollution. Ask if the students ever go fishing, swimming or boating in the Clinch River Watershed. When they go, what have they observed about the water. Was it clear? Muddy? Did it look clean or polluted?

 

Complete the rest of the lesson in the Izaak Walton League guidebook or the online lesson. Ask students which of their five senses they should use to determine if the water in each bottle is polluted. They should use their sense of smell and their sense of sight. Emphasize that they must never taste anything that is unidentified because it could be dangerous.

 

Be careful with the bottles. Do not leave the bottles unattended. When doing the lesson, only you should be handling the bottles. Hold each bottle so students can smell the liquid if they want to do that. Then proceed with the next bottle.

 

Assessment

Ask students to answer discussion questions at the end of the lesson. Time permitting, use some of the questions to lead a class discussion and use the remainder for independent practice.

 

Lesson Plan

Best Management Practices: Where has all the Topsoil Gone?

 

Grade Levels:

5-9

 

Subject(s):

Science, Earth Science, Biology

 

Virginia SOLs:

5.7, 6.7, LS.11,

ES.8, BIO.8

 

Materials Needed:

3 clear glass jars

2 aluminum roasting pans

1 hand spade

1 spritzer bottle

Simulated grass, soil, sod (see lesson)

 

Time Needed:

30 minutes – 1 hour (additional time if completing the presentation)

 

Summary

In this lesson, students will investigate the causes of erosion and will learn about best management practices that can help prevent erosion. Students will complete additional library research about erosion and will present their findings to the class.

 

Objectives

I can describe how erosion occurs in the Clinch River Watershed using an erosion model.

I can analyze methods for improving eroded areas in the Clinch River Watershed.

 

Warm-Up / Pre-Assessment

Provide the following bell ringer to students as a warm-up.

#
p<>{color:#000;}. What is erosion?

#
p<>{color:#000;}. What causes erosion?

#
p<>{color:#000;}. How can humans prevent or reduce erosion?

 

Instruction

Read the background information about erosion in the lesson “Where Has All the Topsoil Gone?” from Our Own Backyard: Environmental Education Activities for Russell County, Virginia that was produced by the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation.

This lesson is available free as a downloadable PDF from www.TeachTheClinch.com. You may teach this introductory matter to students through explicit instruction or allow students to complete internet research to learn more about erosion.

 

Then, follow the instructions for the activity in “Where Has All the Topsoil Gone?” to demonstrate best management practices to students. When possible, use water samples from streams and creeks within the Clinch River Watershed.

 

Ask students to prepare a presentation (in small groups) about how best management practices (BMPs) work. Students can complete additional library or internet research on BMPs and then make PowerPoint presentations, Prezi presentations, or Google Slides presentations. Invite local environmental stakeholders to class to hear the students present.

Assessment

The presentation can serve as the summative assessment for this lesson. Incorporate formative assessment throughout the lesson by asking students to use thumbs up/thumbs down to indicate whether or not they understand material presented. As needed, incorporate think-pair-shares to help students digest and discuss new material.

 

Lesson Plan

How litter travels

 

Grade Levels:

3, 4, 5

 

Subject(s):

Health, Science,

English

 

Virginia SOLs:

Health 3.19

Science 3.1, 3.10, 4.1, 4.8,

English 3.7,4.7

 

Materials Needed:

Small boxes, packing tape, photos and labels

 

Time Needed:

30 minutes

 

Summary

Students will pretend to be a plastic bag that is blown about the Clinch River Watershed and discuss how litter travels.

 

Objectives

I can describe how a piece of litter travels in aquatic environments.

 

Warm-Up / Pre-Assessment

A lesson entitled, “Preventable Journey” accompanies this introduction and may be used to teach how litter travels. This lesson is available online in the environmental education curriculum, Pollution Solutions, on the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality website or may be downloaded from www.TeachTheClinch.com or http://www.deq.virginia.gov/ConnectWithDEQ/

[+ EnvironmentalInformation/PollutionSolutions.aspx+]

 

As an alternative lesson, consider borrowing the “Traveling through your Watershed” kit provided by the Southwest Virginia Environmental Education Team (SWEET) to local Soil and Water Conservation Districts through a DEQ grant 16313 to Upper Tennessee River Roundtable. The kit has a customized “Preventable Journey” lesson already assembled that substitutes mussels for turtles and river for bay to be more suitable for the Clinch River watershed.

 

The “Traveling through your Watershed” kit includes other watershed-based lessons and resources, such as a net, magnifiers, macroinvertebrate cards, posters, and more.

 

If you are outside of the Upper Tennessee River Basin, you may wish to prepare boxes and signs for each of nine stations as described in, “Preventable Journey,” online at the Department of Environmental Quality website: [+ www.deq.virginia.gov/ConnectWithDEQ/EnvironmentalInformation/PollutionSolutions.aspx+]

 

Instruction

Prepare the students for the activity by asking for a definition of litter. (Trash in the wrong place). Tell each student that they will be pretending to be a piece of litter. You may set up the activity area prior to beginning the lesson or ask students to assist with the setup.

 

Follow directions in the lesson.

Assessment

Make a chart as described in lesson and ask each student where they “traveled” through the watershed. Ask why students stayed in certain places instead of moving to another place.

 

Ask students to write a short essay about how litter travels and about how to prevent littering.

 

Lesson Plan

Plants with Wet Feet

 

Grade Levels:

K-9

 

Subject(s):

Science, Earth Science, Ecology

 

Virginia SOLs:

K.7, 1.4, 2.4, 3.6, 4.4, 4.9, 5.7, 6.7, LS.9, ES.8

 

Materials Needed:

Paint roller pan, modeling clay, aluminum roasting pan, carpet scarps, four jars of clean water, four jars of soil; additional materials needed for in-class extension

 

Time Needed:

1 hour for lesson and 1 hour for extension activity

 

Summary

Students will examine the benefits of wetlands and discover how these places, whether they are naturally occurring or constructed, soak up pollution and help keep waterways clean.

 

Objectives

I can describe how wetlands function to reduce flooding.

 

I can explain how wetlands in the Clinch River Watershed filter pollution.

 

Warm-Up / Pre-Assessment

Start a discussion about wetlands by showing students photos of wetlands. What are wetlands? Ask for a definition. (Wetlands are just what the word sounds like, lands that are wet. Wetlands are usually filled with water all the time or the soils are always wet. Wetlands host plants that like wet feet, or in other words, plants that thrive in a very wet or flooded environment).

 

Ask students if they have seen wetlands or if they know where any wetlands are located in the Clinch River Watershed. Tell the students that there are 2,649 acres of wetlands in the Clinch River Watershed (according to The Clinch River: A World Class Treasure). Ask students if they have visited Wetlands Estonoa in St. Paul. Tell students they will participate in an activity to demonstrate ways that wetlands are beneficial.

 

Instruction

Follow the lesson plan entitled, “Wetlands in a Pan,” from Virginia State Parks guide, Your Backyard Classroom, found at [+ http://www.dcr.virginia.gov/environmental-education/backyard-classrooms+].

 

In this lesson, students will observe the teacher creating a miniature model of a wetlands in a paint roller pan. For the extension activity, divide students into groups and have each group make a wetland in a paint pan. The extension is recommended for students in grades three and up.

 

If allowed, make arrangements to visit Wetlands Estonoa in St. Paul where Team Estonoa, a high school student group, worked to receive grant money to restore the wetlands and to build a learning center. The center and wetlands are open for field trips.

 

As an alternate idea to making the wetland in a pan, the Estonoa Learning Center has an EnviroScape Wetlands® model that is available for checkout. For more information, contact Terry Vencil at [email protected]

 

Assessment

Ask students to describe two benefits of wetlands.

 

 


Teach the Clinch

  • ISBN: 9781370305537
  • Author: Christopher Anama-Green
  • Published: 2016-12-28 21:35:26
  • Words: 21597
Teach the Clinch Teach the Clinch