Alaska Sea Grant

Teacher Resources

Bibliography and Resources

Watersheds
U.S. Geological Survey site has explanations of each component of the water cycle and diagrams at various sizes that can be downloaded and printed out, including the diagram without text. The site also has the story of a drop of water and a printer-ready placemat of the water cycle for kids.

Environmental Protection Agency's definition of a watershed is “that area of land, a bounded hydrologic system, within which all living things are inextricably linked by their common water course and where, as humans settled, simple logic demanded that they become part of a community.” This site also has a watershed illustration.

To find information about your watershed, go to EPA’s Surf Your Watershed. You can locate your watershed by city name, zip code, or a point-and-click map tand then retrieve information about organizations who focus their efforts on education, monitoring, and/or protection of the health of the watershed and follow the links to information specifically about your watershed, including information about other websites specific to your watershed, and background on all aspects of watershed science and water pollution.

Compare watershed or water supply observations with another community or even another school via the Internet. The Global School Net Foundation hosts a Project Registry as a way to find project partners from afar.

Allow students to play the Watershed Game at Minnesota’s Bell Museum, to learn more about why watersheds are important and how they can be protected.

 


Water Cycle

Kidzone - The water cycle explained for kids plus downloadable worksheets or posters in color or black-and-white of the water cycle and each stage of the process.

Enchanted Learning is another source for water cycle diagrams (with and without text) and explanations.

Online stories:
Water drop story  Follow a drop through the water cycle

EPA Water Cycle Informational Animation. Very good and simple explanation.

Water cycle bracelet. This activity provides students the opportunity to review the water cycle and use the related vocabulary as they create a bracelet with beads representing the parts of the water cycle.

Water cycle song. An easy song using water cycle vocabulary, sung to the tune of "Clementine."

USGS Water Science School This site has information about a variety of water related topics, including the water cycle, earth's water, and more.

Print resources:
Dream Journey, Alaska Wetlands and Wildlife, 2007, p. 105.
The Snowflake: A Water Cycle Story by Neil Waldman.
A Drop Around the World by Barbara McKinney.
Water Dance by Thomas Locker.


Water Treatment
Virtual tours of wastewater treatment plants in other locations:

Additional information related to wastewater and wastewater treatment:

What Happens After the Flush?


Salmon

One of the best sources of information about all aspects of salmon in Alaska is a full-color book by the Alaska Department of Fish and Game: Alaska’s Wild Salmon. This book was distributed free of charge to all Alaska schools and should be in your school library. Chapter 2 is about Pacific Salmon biology and provides information about salmon life histories and food webs.

Cyber Salmon focuses on the salmon, habitat, and people in the Yukon River drainage. The fish section links to descriptions of the life cycle of each species of salmon and excellent color photos and illustrations of all life history stages. The text is suitable as teacher background but not for reference material for this grade level.

The Salmon Story. This site has easy-to-read information and photos about each stage of the salmon life cycle

Life Cycle of an Alaska Salmon. Great photos and information about each stage of the life cycle.

Alaska’s Salmon Habitats. This site shows the different areas of the watershed where salmon spend some part of their life.

StreamNet. This PDF has a nice life cycle image, salmonid fact sheets, and salmon life history profiles.

Salmon Life Cycle stages. This is similar to the one in Investigation 3, except the images are all the same size. It can be used to create cards, if desired.

Volume VI of the Alaska Sea Week Curriculum Series, Fish and Fisheries, is a great resource for background, activities, and graphics. The units are listed below:

Unit 1: Fish: Their Appearance, Behavior and Classification

Unit 2: Fish Species (includes salmon life cycle activities)

Unit 3: Fish in the Field (includes watershed activities)

Unit 4: Fishing Then and Now

Unit 5: Life on the Seas and Rivers

Unit 6: Fish as Food

Unit 7: Fisheries and the Future

 

Print Resources 

Life Cycle of a Salmon by Bobbie Kalman.
Life Cycle of a Salmon by Angela Royston.
Salmon Stream by Carol Reed-Jones.
A Salmon for Simon by Betty Waterton.
Swimmer by Shelly Gill.
Red Tag Comes Back by Fred Phleger.
 
Salmon Games
Hooks & Ladders (playground game). 
 
Find Your Way (online)

Alaska Grade Level Expectations

This unit was written with 3rd grade in mind, but can easily be adapted for other grades. Standards Addressed for 2nd grade, and GLEs for grades 3 and 4 are included here.

Science | Reading | Writing | Math

Science

 

Science: 1st and 2nd GLEs

Investigation

1

2

2B

3

4

5

Science as Inquiry and Process

SA Students develop an understanding of the processes and applications of scientific inquiry.

x

 

x

x

x

 

SA1 Students develop an understanding of the processes of science used to investigate problems, design and conduct repeatable scientific investigations, and defend scientific arguments

x

 

x

x

x

 

SA2 Students develop an understanding that the processes of science require integrity, logical reasoning, skepticism, openness, communication, and peer review.

x

 

x

x

x

 

SA3 Students develop an understanding that culture, local knowledge, history, and interaction with the environment contribute to the development of scientific knowledge, and that local applications provide opportunity for understanding scientific concepts and global issues.

 

 

 

x

x

 

Concepts of Physical Science

SB2 Students develop an understanding that energy appears in different forms, can be transformed from one form to another, can be transferred or moved from one places or system to another, may be unavailable for use, and is ultimately conserved.

 

x

x

x

x

x

Concepts of Life Science

SC Students develop an understanding of the concepts, models, theories, facts, evidence, systems, and processes of life science.

 

 

 

x

x

x

SC2 Students develop an understanding of the structure, function, behavior, development, life cycles, and diversity of living organisms.

 

 

 

x

x

x

SC3 Students develop an understanding that all organisms are linked to each other and their physical environments through the transfer and transformation of matter and energy.

 

 

 

x

x

x

Concepts of Earth Science

SD Students develop an understanding of the concepts, processes, theories, models, evidence, and systems of earth and space sciences.

x

 

x

x

x

x

SD1 Students develop an understanding of Earth’s geochemical cycles.

x

x

x

x

x

x

SD2 Students develop an understanding of the origins, ongoing processes, and forces that shape the structure, composition, and physical history of the Earth.

x

 

 

 

 

 

History and Nature of Science

SG Students develop an understanding of the history and nature of science.

x

 

 

 

 

 

SG4 Students develop an understanding that advancements in science depend on curiosity, creativity, imagination, and a broad knowledge base.

x

 

 

 

 

 

 

Science: GLEs for Grade 3

Investigation

1

2

2B

3

4

5

The student demonstrates an understanding of the processes of science by:
[3] SA1.1 asking questions, predicting, observing, describing, measuring, classifying, making generalizations, inferring and communicating.

x

 

x

x

x

x

The student develops an understanding of the processes of science by:
[3] SA1.2 observing and describing their world to answer simple questions.

x

 

x

x

x

x

The student will demonstrate an understanding of the attitudes and approaches to scientific inquiry by:
[3] SA2.1 answering, “how do you know?” questions with reasonable answers.

x

 

x

 

x

x

The student demonstrates an understanding that interactions with the environment provide an opportunity for understanding scientific concepts by:
[3] SA3.1 observing local conditions that determine which plants and/or animals survive. (L)

 

 

 

x

x

x

The student demonstrates an understanding of the interactions between matter and energy and the effects of these interactions on systems by:
[3] SB3.1 recognizing that temperature changes cause changes in phases of substances (e.g., ice changing to liquid, water changing to water vapor, and vice versa)

 

x

x

 

 

 

The student demonstrates an understanding of how science explains changes in life forms over time, including genetics, heredity, the process of natural selection and biological evolution by:
[3] SC1.2 describing how some traits (e.g., claws, teeth, camouflage) of living organisms have helped them survive as a species.

 

 

 

x

 

 

The student demonstrates an understanding that all organisms are linked to each other and their physical environments through the transfer and transformation of matter and energy by:
[3] SC3.2 organizing a simple food chain of familiar plants and animals. (L)

 

 

 

x

 

 

The student demonstrates an understanding of geochemical cycles by:
[3] SD1.2 describing the water cycle to show that water circulates through the crust, oceans, and atmosphere of Earth.

x

x

x

 

 

 

The student demonstrates an understanding of the forces that shape the Earth by:
[3] SD2.1 identifying and comparing a variety of Earth’s land features (i.e., rivers, deltas, lakes, glaciers, mountains, valleys, and islands).

x

x

x

x

x

x

The student demonstrates an understanding of how to integrate scientific knowledge and technology to address problems by:
[3] SE1.1 identifying local problems and discussing solutions. (L)

 

x

x

 

 

 

The student demonstrates an understanding that advancements in science depend on curiosity, creativity, imagination, and a broad knowledge base by:
[3] SG4.1 asking questions about the natural world.

x

x

x

x

x

x

 

 

Science: GLEs for Grade 4

Investigation

1

2

2B

3

4

5

The student demonstrates an understanding of the processes of science by:

[4] SA1.1 asking questions, predicting, observing, describing, measuring, classifying, making generalizations, inferring, and communicating.*

x

 

x

x

x

x

The student develops an understanding of the processes of science by:
[4] SA1.2 observing, measuring and collecting data from explorations and using this information to classify, predict, and communicate.

x

 

x

x

x

x

The student will demonstrate an understanding of the attitudes and approaches to scientific inquiry by:
[4] SA2.1 supporting their ideas with observations and peer review. (L)*

 

 

x

x

x

x

The student demonstrates an understanding that interactions with the environment provide an opportunity for understanding scientific concepts by:
[4] SA3.1 identifying the local limiting factors (e.g., weather, human influence, species interactions) that determine which plants and animals survive. (L)*

 

 

 

x

x

x

The student demonstrates an understanding of the interactions between matter and energy and the effects of these interactions on systems by:
[4] SB3.1 explaining that temperature changes causechanges in phases of substances (e.g., ice changing to liquid water and liquid water to water vapor).

 

x

x

 

 

 

The student demonstrates an understanding of how science explains changes in life forms over time, including genetics, heredity, the process of natural selection, and biological evolution by:
[4] SC1.1 showing the relationship between physical characteristics of Alaskan organisms and the environment in which they live.

 

 

 

x

x

x

The student demonstrates an understanding of the structure, function, behavior, development, life cycles, and diversity of living organisms by:
[4] SC2.2 describing the basic characteristics and requirements of living things.

 

 

 

x

x

x

The student demonstrates an understanding that all organisms are linked to each other and their physical environments through the transfer and transformation of matter and energy by:
[4] SC3.1 identifying examples of living and non-living things and the relationship between them (e.g., living things need water, herbivores need plants).

 

 

 

x

x

x

The student demonstrates an understanding that all organisms are linked to each other and their physical environments through the transfer and transformation of matter and energy by:
[4] SC3.2 Identifying a simple food chain and diagramming how energy flows through it and describing the effects of removing one link.

 

 

 

x

 

 

The student demonstrates an understanding of the bases of the advancement of scientific knowledge by:
[4] SG2.1 recognizing the need for repeated measurements.

 

 

 

 

x

 

Reading

Reading: Grade 3 GLEs

Investigation

1

2

3

4

5

[3] 1.4.1 The student restates/summarizes information by retelling or dramatizing a story  after reading it (L)

x

[3] 1.4.2 The student restates/summarizes information byrestating information after reading a text or identifying accurate restatements

x

[3] 1.5.1 The student demonstrates an understanding of main idea by  identifying the main idea or central concept in various types of texts

x

[3] 1.6.1 The student follows written directions by completing a simple (1–-2 step)task by following written directions (L)

x

[3] 1.10.1 The student connects themes by making connections between a text and personal experiences…., experiences of others

x

x

[3] 1.10.2 The student connects themes by locating details in text to illustrate relevant connections to personal experience, experience of others, or other texts

x

 

Reading: Grade 4 GLEs

Investigation

1

2

3

4

5

[4] 2.4.1 The student restates/summarizes information by retelling a story in correct sequence or identifying the correct sequence of events in a story (L)

x

[4] 2.4.2 The student restates/summarizes information by restating and summarizing information after reading a text or identifying accurate restatements and summaries

x

[4] 2.5.1 The student demonstrates an understanding of main idea by identifying the main idea or central concept in various types of texts*

x

[4] 2.5.2 The student demonstrates an understanding of main idea by locating information in narrative and informational text to answer questions related to main ideas or key details

x

[4] 2.5.3 The student demonstrates an understanding of main idea by identifying or describing related experiences to support understanding of a main idea (L)

x

[4] 2.10.1 The student connects themes by identifying author’s message, theme, or purpose (e.g., helping others brings great rewards)

x

[4] 2.10.2 The student connects themes by identifying themes in texts and making relevant connections to personal experiences, experiences of others, or other texts

x

 

Reading: Grade 5 GLEs

Investigation

1

2

3

4

5

[5] 2.4.1 The student restates/summarizes information by restating and summarizing main ideas or events in correct sequence after reading a text (e.g., paraphrasing, constructing a topic outline, using graphic organizers) or

identifying accurate restatements and summaries of main ideas or events or generalizations of a text

x

[5] 2.5.1 The student demonstrates an understanding of main idea by identifying the main idea or central concept in various types of texts*

x

5] 2.5.2 The student demonstrates an understanding of main idea by locating information in narrative and informational text to answer questions related to main ideas or key details*

x

[5] 2.5.3 The student demonstrates an understanding of main idea by identifying or describing related experiences and events to support understanding of a main idea (e.g., what event in history is similar to this one) (L)

x

[5] 2.10.1 The student connects themes by identifying author’s message, theme, or purpose, stated or implied

x

[5] 2.10.2 The student connects themes by identifying themes in texts and making relevant connections to personal experiences, experiences of others, or other texts*

x

 

Writing

Writing: Grade 3 GLEs

Investigation

1

2

3

4

5

3] 1.1.1 The student writes about a topic by writing complete sentences with a subject and a predicate

x

x

x

[3] 1.1.2 The student writes about a topic by writing a paragraph on a single topic with two or more supporting details

x

x

[3] 1.1.3 The student writes about a topic by writing a story or composition

x

x

[3] 1.2.1 The student writes for a variety of purposes and audiences by choosing the appropriate organizational structure to match a purpose and audience (e.g., letters and notes, recounts, stories, and poems) (L)

x

x

x

[3] 1.2.2 The student writes for a variety of purposes and audiences by using expressive language when responding to literature or producing text (e.g., journals, pictures supported by text or poetry) (L)

x

x

[3] 1.3.1 The student writes and edits using conventions of Standard English by writing a variety of complete, simple sentences (i.e., statement, question, exclamation)

x

x

x

[3] 1.3.2 The student writes and edits using conventions of Standard English by identifying and/or correcting

mistakes in spelling (e.g., grade appropriate, high-frequency words) (L)

x

[3] 1.3.3 The student writes and edits using conventions of Standard English by identifying and/or correcting

mistakes in punctuation at the end of sentences and capitalization (i.e., beginning of sentences and proper nouns)

x

[3] 1.3.4 The student writes and edits using conventions of Standard English by rewriting handwritten work

to improve legibility, if necessary, when producing final drafts (L)

x

[3] 1.4.1 The student revises writing by rearranging and/or adding supporting details to improve clarity.

x

[3] 1.4.2 The student revises writing by giving/receiving appropriate feedback about written work (L)

x

[3] 1.5.1 The student documents sources by listing sources or authors and titles of books and other materials when used as references in written work (L)

x

 

 

 

Writing: Grade 4 GLEs

Investigation

1

2

3

4

5

[4] 2.1.1 The student writes about a topic by writing a paragraph that maintains a focused idea and includes

details that support the main idea

x

x

4] 2.1.2 The student writes about a topic by organizing ideas logically (L)

x

x

x

4] 2.1.3 The student writes about a topic by writing a story or composition with a beginning and middle and ending with a concluding statement (L)

x

x

[4] 2.2.2 The student writes for a variety of purposes and audiences by writing in a variety of nonfiction forms using appropriate information and structure (i.e., personal letters, recounts, descriptions or observations)

x

x

x

4] 2.2.3 The student writes for a variety of purposes and audiences by using expressive language when responding to literature or producing text (e.g., writer’s notebook, memoirs, poetry, plays, or lyrics) (L)

x

x

[4] 2.3.1 The student writes and edits using conventions of Standard English by writing a variety of simple

and complex sentences including the conjunctions and, or, but, or because

x

x

x

[4] 2.3.2 The student writes and edits using conventions of Standard English by identifying and/or correcting

mistakes in spelling (e.g., grade appropriate, high frequency words and contractions) (L)

x

[4] 2.3.3 The student writes and edits using conventions of Standard English by identifying and/or correcting

mistakes in punctuation (i.e., end of sentences, commas in dates, salutations and closings in letters, and commas

in series) and capitalization (i.e., book titles, beginning of sentences, and proper nouns)

x

[4] 2.3.4 The student writes and edits using conventions of Standard English by identifying and/or correcting

usage mistakes in subject/verb agreement (L)

x

[4] 2.4.1 The student revises writing by rearranging and/or adding details to improve focus and to support main ideas

x

[4] 2.4.2 The student revises writing by giving/receiving appropriate feedback and using established criteria

to review own and others’ written work (e.g., peer conferences, checklists, scoring guides, or rubrics) (L)

x

[4] 2.5.1 The student documents sources by giving credit for others’ information by citing title and source

(e.g., author, storyteller, translator, songwriter, or artist) (L)

x

 

 

 

Writing: Grade 5 GLEs

Investigation

1

2

3

4

5

[5] 2.1.1 The student writes about a topic by writing more than one paragraph stating and maintaining a focused idea and including details that support the main idea of each paragraph

x

x

[5] 2.1.2 The student writes about a topic by using paragraph form: indents or uses paragraph breaks (L)

x

x

[5] 2.1.3 The student writes about a topic by organizing ideas logically to establish clear relationships within and between paragraphs (e.g., using transition words or phrases that reveal order or chronology) (L)

x

x

x

[5] 2.1.4 The student writes about a topic by writing a concluding statement

x

x

x

[5] 2.2.2 The student writes for a variety of purposes and audiences by writing in a variety of

nonfiction forms using appropriate information and structure (i.e., step by- step directions, descriptions, observations, or report writing)

x

x

x

[5] 2.2.3 The student writes for a variety of purposes and audiences by using expressive language when responding to literature or producing text (e.g., writer’s notebook, memoirs, poetry, plays, or lyrics)* (L)

x

x

[5] 2.3.1 The student writes and edits using conventions of Standard English by varying the beginnings,

lengths, and patterns of sentences to improve flow and to enhance meaning of writing (L)

x

[5] 2.3.2 The student writes and edits using conventions of Standard English by identifying and/or correcting

mistakes in spelling (e.g., grade appropriate, high frequency words, homophones, and contractions)

x

[5] 2.3.3 The student writes and edits using conventions of Standard English by identifying and/or correcting

mistakes in punctuation (i.e., end of sentences, commas in dates, salutations and closings in letters, and commas in a series) and capitalization*

x

[5] 2.3.4 The student writes and edits using conventions of Standard English by identifying and/or correcting

mistakes in usage (i.e., subject/verb agreement, verb tense, sentence fragments and run-on sentences, and

possessives) (L)

x

[5] 2.4.1 The student revises writing by rearranging and/or adding details to improve focus, to support main ideas, and to make sequence clear

x

[5] 2.4.2 The student revises writing by giving/receiving appropriate feedback and using established criteria

to review own and others’ written work (e.g., peer conferences, checklists, scoring guides, or rubrics)* (L)

x

[5] 2.5.1 The student documents sources bygiving credit for others’ ideas, images, and information by citing title

and source (e.g., author, storyteller, translator, songwriter, or artist) (L)

x

Math

Math: Grade 3 GLEs

Investigation

1

2

3

4

5

[3] S&P-1 The student demonstrates an ability to classify and organize data by [designing an Investigationand collecting, recording L], organizing, displaying, or explaining the classification of data in real-world problems using bar graphs, and [Venn diagrams L]

x

x

[3] N-1 The student demonstrates conceptual understanding of whole numbers to one thousand by reading, writing, ordering, or [counting L] (M1.1.1)

x

[3] N-3 The student demonstrates conceptual understanding of whole numbers to one thousand by using appropriate representations of ordinal or cardinal numbers (M1.1.4)

x

[3] MEA-4 The student demonstrates understanding of measurable attributes by selecting an appropriate unit of English, metric, or non-standard measurement to estimate length, time, weight, or temperature

x

[3] MEA-6 The student demonstrates ability to use measurement techniques ……….in real-world contexts by

measuring length to the nearest half-inch.

x

 

Math: Grade 4 GLEs

Investigation

1

2

3

4

5

[4] S&P-1 The student demonstrates an ability to classify and organize data by [designing an Investigationand collecting L], organizing or displaying, using appropriate scale, data in real-world problems, using bar graphs, tables, charts, or diagrams with whole numbers up to 25

x

x

[4] N-1 The student demonstrates conceptual understanding of whole numbers to ten thousands by reading, writing, ordering, or [counting L]

x

[4] MEA-4 The student demonstrates understanding of measurable attributes by selecting an appropriate unit of metric measurement to estimate length, weight, or temperature

x

[4] MEA-5 The student demonstrates ability to use measurement techniques ……….in real-world contexts by measuring length to the nearest half-inch [or centimeter L]

x

 

Math: Grade 5 GLEs

Investigation

1

2

3

4

5

[5] S&P-1 The student demonstrates an ability to classify and organize data by [designing an investigationand collecting L], organizing, or displaying, using appropriate scale, data in real-world problems, using bar graphs, tables, charts, diagrams, or line graphs with whole numbers up to 50

x

x

[5] N-1 The student demonstrates conceptual understanding of whole numbers to millions by reading, writing, ordering, or [counting L]

x

[5] MEA-4 The student demonstrates ability to use measurement techniques by measuring temperature or weight using appropriate tools (L)

x

[5] MEA-8 The student demonstrates ability to use measurement techniques by measuring length to the nearest 1⁄4 inch or centimeter

x

(L) Some GLEs have been identified as Local. They are for local assessments and will not be on a state assessment.
* PSGLEs repeated with no changes across grade levels are marked with asterisks.

Master Materials List

Student Handouts

Items for Group Display

Material Items

Facility/Equipment Requirements

Investigation 1: Where Does My Water Come From?

Science notebooks 

 

At least one of the following books: River of Life by Debbie S. Miller, Go Home, River by James Magdanz, Where the River Begins by Thomas Locker

Butcher paper, newsprint, or white copy paper

Water-soluble color markers (not permanent ink)

Spray bottle(s) filled with water

Chart paper and markers or chalkboard for graphing activity

Colored pencils or markers for student maps

Classroom location where crumpled watersheds can be sprayed with water

Investigation 2: Where Does Our Water Go?

Nine different colored beads—enough for 10-12 beads per child

A piece of wire for each student to thread the beads on, bent into a small loop at one end (to be converted to a bracelet when finished)

Two large glass jars OR a ziplock bag per student

 

 

Reading: A Water cycle story

Station signs: Image Animal, Cloud, Glacier, Groundwater, Lake, Ocean, Plant, River, Soil

Cubes for stations: Image Animal, Cloud, Glacier, Groundwater, Lake, Ocean, Plant, River, Soil
(Cardstock is not recommended for cubes. Best printed on 28–32# heavyweight paper, and then "laminated" using packing tape.)

Tape

Heat lamp, or other heat source, if a warm, sunny window is not available

Ice (optional)

Warm sunny window

Investigation 3: A Salmon's Life Journey

Science notebooks

Life Cycle CardsImage

 

KWL Chart Image

Large piece of white drawing or construction paper

Children’s books about the salmon life cycle

Salmon life cycle posters

Scissors, glue, pencils, crayons

 

 

Investigation 4: Fish Finders

Salmon Needs Chart (or have students copy into notebooks) Image

Water Investigation Worksheet Image

Science notebooks

 

 

Thermometer (one for each group if possible)

Fine mesh net (for macroinvertebrate samples - one per group if possible)

Digital camera(s)

Pencils

Chart paper/markers, or chalkboard

Apppropriate fieldtrip location

 Investigation 5: Make Your Own Watershed

Criteria for watersheds that was created during Engagement part of this investigation

 

A variety of materials for students to use to create their watersheds

9” x 12” aluminum baking pans, plastic trays, or shallow planting trays, clay, glue, play dough, or salt dough clay

Student-collected gravel, twigs, grasses

Watercolor paints, brushes, and paper

Construction paper, scissors, glue

Place to present watersheds

Teacher Background

New! Webinar for K-12 educators: “It Takes a Watershed . . . to Grow a Salmon” Review of Alaska salmon life cycles, use of different parts of the watershed, and salmon-human connections, and recent research about potential climate change impacts on salmon habitat. Presenters are Laurel Devaney, retired U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service fisheries education specialist, and Sue Mauger, Science Director, Cook InletKeeper. Teaching tips on use of the information in teaching Alaska Seas and Watershed units at various grade levels are included. 3/21/2016

Investigation 1

The first lesson in this unit focuses on two concepts: (1) the water cycle and (2) the watershed. Both concepts are included in science textbooks.

The water cycle involves precipitation, evaporation, and condensation.

Useful Web sites to provide additional background information and downloadable diagrams include U.S. Geological Survey site for explanations of each component of the water cycle and diagrams at various sizes that can be downloaded and printed out, including the diagram without text. The site also has the story of a drop of water and a printer-ready placemat of the water cycle for kids.

Kidzone. The water cycle explained for kids plus downloadable worksheets or posters in color or black and white of the water cycle and each stage of the process.

Enchanted Learning is another source for water cycle diagrams (with and without text) and explanations.

USGS Water Science for Schools has a variety of resources, including a downloadable coloring book showing the journey of a drop of water.

Precipitation falls as rain or snow into water, or it may fall on the land where it evaporates again or returns to the ocean by running over the land or through the soil to streams or other water bodies. The watershed concept focuses on this relationship between water and land. Following the straightforward understanding that water moves downhill and questions about where the water they drink every day comes from and where it goes, students can begin to understand that all water drains off the land back into streams and that all streams flow to the ocean.

Environmental Protection Agency's defiintion of a watershed is “that area of land, a bounded hydrologic system, within which all living things are inextricably linked by their common water course and where, as humans settled, simple logic demanded that they become part of a community.” This site also has a watershed illustration.

To find information about your watershed, go to EPA’s Surf Your Watershed. You can locate your watershed by city name, zip code, or a point-and-click map. You can then retrieve information about organizations that focus their efforts on education, monitoring, and/or protection of the health of the watershed, and follow the links to information specifically about your watershed, including information about other Web sites specific to your watershed, and background on all aspects of watershed science and water pollution.

Investigation 2

For background information about the water cycle,

What is a Septic Tank? is a lesson/activity to create a model septic tank.

Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation On-Site Septic brochure. 

Investigation 3

The Alaska Department of Fish and Game has downloadable PowerPoint presentations on fish habitat, watersheds, and people on their webpage It Takes a Watershed to Raise a Fish

Cyber Salmon focuses on the salmon, habitat, and people in the Yukon River drainage. The fish section links to descriptions of the life cycle of each species of salmon and excellent color photos and illustrations of all life history stages. The text is suitable as teacher background but not for reference material for this grade level.

Investigation 4

A wealth of background information is available for teaching about Alaska salmon. This unit has a focus on salmon as ecological connectors. The first part of the unit focuses on the cycling of water, but salmon also cycle in the form of the nutrients they transfer between land and sea. When they migrate to the sea as juveniles they bring nutrients from the watershed, and when they return they bring the nutrients from the ocean to the streams where they die after spawning. The nutrients cycle through predation and decomposition, eventually nourishing the roots of plants that grow in the watershed. Salmon habitat in the watershed is thus both about where salmon meet their needs and about where salmon are doing their ecological work of transferring nutrients.

The Alaska Department of Fish and Game has downloadable PowerPoint presentations on fish habitat, watersheds, and people on their webpage It Takes a Watershed to Raise a Fish

U.S. Fish and Wildlife’s Cyber Salmon focuses on the salmon, habitat, and people in the Yukon River drainage. The fish section links to descriptions of the life cycle of each species of salmon and excellent color photos and illustrations of all life history stages. The text is suitable as teacher background but not for reference material for this grade level. The people section links to a history of the occupation of Alaska by people and salmon fisheries with a good selection of historical photographs.

Sample Rubric

Rivers to the Sea and Back Again

Investigation 1

Science Notebook Sample Rubric: Watershed and Water Sources

What Makes for a Good Science Notebook?

Adapted from http://www.sciencenotebooks.org 

  Strong Okay Needs More Thinking
Water Flow and Water We Drink In my science notebook, I have good thinking about where and why the colors flowed where they ended up. I have detailed information on where my drinking water comes from. I use and clearly understand the term “watershed.” In my science notebook, I show where the colors flowed and where they ended up. I have information on where my drinking water comes from. I use the term “watershed.” In my science notebook, I have some missing pieces. Entries have been started or notes have been taken, but it’s hard to follow my own thinking and hard for someone else to understand.
Asking Questions To get ready for a visit with an expert, I have written questions that will help me understand things I don’t yet know about my drinking water or our watershed. The questions come from the work in my science notebook. To get ready for a visit with an expert, I have written questions that will help me understand things I don’t yet know about my drinking water or our watershed. I may have written a question or two but they don’t seem to come from my own written thinking.
About my Thinking (Reflection) In my science notebook, I have lots of thinking about what I have drawn and recorded. This section of my notebook shows how I have added to, changed, or revisited my thinking. I do this through using different colored pens or pencils, writing in the margins, and/or adding clearly labeled sections. In my science notebook, I have done the required drawing and responses, but it can be hard to find new thinking, or questioning. The science notebook shows only recording and not much or no thinking.
Scientific Drawing Required drawings are MOSTLY large, accurately labeled, and have specific detail. Required drawings are there but may have incorrect labels, or may not be carefully drawn or drawn with good detail. Drawings are missing or seem so rushed that they are hard to understand.
Notebook Organization Sections are labeled and dated. They are entered in the table of contents. My handwriting is USUALLY the best I can do. I have my notebook ready every time I need it. Sections are mostly labeled and dated. They are entered in the table of contents. My handwriting is USUALLY the best I can do. I have my notebook ready nearly every time I need it. Labels and dates of entries are hard to find and/or not entered in Table of Contents. My handwriting is often hard to read. I have my notebook ready only some of the times I need it.
 
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