Alaska Sea Grant

Investigations

Investigation 5 - Make Your Own Watershed

Class Time Required 3 - 4 class periods
Materials Needed
  • several 9” x 12” aluminum baking pans, plastic trays, or shallow planting trays
  • clay, play dough, or salt dough
  • Student-collected gravel, twigs, grasses
  • Watercolor paints, brushes, and paper
  • Construction paper
  • Scissors
  • Glue
Teacher Preparation Gather a variety of materials for students to use as they create their representation of a watershed.
Prior Student Knowledge Students will be demonstrating the knowledge they acquired about watersheds and salmon habitat in Investigations 1-4.
Vocabulary
Science GLEs Addressed

2nd grade: SB2, SC2, SC3, SD1

3rd grade: SA1.1, SA1.2, SA2.1, SA3.1, SD2.1, SG4.1

4th grade: SA1.1, SA1.2, SA 2.1, SA3.1, SC1.1, SC2.2, SC3.1

Other GLEs Addressed

Reading, Writing, Math

Investigation 5Overview: Students demonstrate their understanding of watersheds and the salmon's journey by building and describing a model of a watershed that could produce salmon. They write narrative stories about the journey of a salmon through their personal watershed, and explain and present to the class.

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Investigation 4 - Fish Finders

Class Time Required 3-4 class periods + field trip
Materials Needed
  • Thermometer (one per group if possible)
  • Fine mesh net (for macroinvertebrate samples - one per group if possible)
  • Digital camera(s)
  • Pencils
  • Chart paper/markers, or chalkboard
Teacher Preparation Find a local aquatic habitat for the field trip. It may be a stream, lake, estuary, or other area that might provide habitat for fish. Visit the site to determine the boundaries of your investigation, and to get ideas for student investigation—what should they notice?

Set a date and take care of logistics for the field trip: permission, volunteers, transportation, snacks, water, bathroom facilities.
Prior Student Knowledge Students should have practice in using thermometers.
Vocabulary  
Science GLEs Addressed

2nd grade standards: SA1, SA2, SA3, SB2, SC2, SC3, SD1

3rd grade GLEs: SA1.1, SA 1.2, SA2.1, SA3.1, SD2.1, SG2.1, SG4.1

4th grade GLEs: SA1.1, SA1.2, SA2.1, SA3.1, SC1.1, SC2.2, SC3.1,  SG2.1

Other GLEs Addressed

Reading, Writing, Math

Investigation 4Overview: In this investigation, students explore the needs of salmon at each stage of their life cycle, and then go into the field to investigate a local aquatic habitat and its potential as salmon habitat. They observe the physical characteristics of a local area and determine whether they think it is sufficient to sustain salmon.

NEW! Fish Finders investigation aligned with the NGSS.” and link to the NGSS-aligned Fish Finders.

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Investigation 3 - A Salmon's Life Journey

Class Time Required 10-15 class periods
Materials Needed
  • KWL Chart Image
  • Life Cycle Cards 1 per student or pair Image
  • Large piece of white drawing or construction paper
  • Science notebooks
  • Children’s books about the salmon life cycle
  • Salmon life cycle posters
  • Scissors, glue, pencils, crayons
Teacher Preparation

Read through the instructions and background/resource information.

KWL Chart Image

Life Cycle CardsImage

Collect resources

Load websites onto class computers as needed

Prior Student Knowledge From Investigations 1 and 2, students should have an understanding of what a watershed is and be able to identify various features of a watershed. They should understand that watersheds, rivers, wetlands and the one big ocean of the world are an interconnected system. Some knowledge of predators and simple food chains is also necessary.
Vocabulary Alevin, Fry, Parr marks, Redd, Smolt, Spawn, Watershed
Science GLEs Addressed

2nd grade: SA1, SA2, SA3, SB2, SC2, SC3, SD1

3rd grade:  SA1.1, SA1.2, SA2.1, SA3.1, SC1.2, SC3.2, SD2.1, SG4.1

4th grade: SA1.1, SA1.2, SA2.1, SA3.1, SC1.1, SC2.2, SC3.1, SC3.2

Other GLEs Addressed

Reading, Writing, Math

A Salmon's Life JourneyOverview: Students investigate salmon life cycle stages and their relationship to parts of the watershed. They use cards to generate questions and ideas, and work cooperatively to research the salmon’s life journey through a watershed, answer the questions and gather evidence for their claims. They share and discuss their findings with the class, and demonstrate their knowledge by making posters.

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Investigation 2B - Dirty Water Clean Water

Class Time Required  3 class periods
Materials Needed  
Teacher Preparation Arrange for guest speaker.
Prior Student Knowledge  
Vocabulary Evaporation, Glacier , Precipitation, Water cycle
Science GLEs Addressed

2nd grade: SA1, SA2, SB2, SD1

3rd grade : SA1.1, SA1.2, SA2.1, SB3.1, SD2.1, SE1.1, SG4.1

4th grade: SA1.1, SA1.2, SA2.1, SB3.1 

Other GLEs Addressed

Reading, Writing, Math

Investigation 2Overview: In this investigation, students develop understanding of the water cycle through two separate activities.

In the previous activity 2A: Water Cycle Simulation, students took part in a simulation of water moving through the water cycle through various paths, visiting eight stations around the classroom. They recorded and reflected on their journey and then built simple water cycle models using ziplock bags or jars.

In Activity 2B: Dirty Water/Clean Water, students learn about water pollution and wastewater treatment through a visit from a local “expert,” and make posters or presentations to share and clarify their understanding.

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Investigation 2 - Where does our water go?

Class Time Required 4 Class Periods
Materials Needed
  • Science notebooks
  • Reading: A Water Cycle story
  • Station signs
  • Station cubes
  • Nine different colored beads—enough for 10-12 beads per child
  • A piece of wire for each student to thread the beads onto.
  • Two large glass jars OR a ziplock bag per student
  • Tape
  • Warm sunny window, heat lamp, or other heat source
  • Ice (optional)
Teacher Preparation Read through all of the instructions for the activity. Choose a suitable water cycle story for your students. Print and prepare the cubes and signs for the game. Locate large level location to play the game. Practice making a water cycle model with jars or ziplock bags.
Prior Student Knowledge  
Vocabulary Condense, Convection, Estuary, Evaporate, Glacier, Infiltration, Precipitation, River, Runoff, Soil, Transpiration, Water cycle
Science GLEs Addressed

2nd grade: SB2, SD1

3rd grade: SB3.1, SD1.2, SD2.1, SE1.1, SG4.1

4th grade: SB3.1

Other GLEs Addressed

Reading, Writing, Math

Investigation 2Overview: In this investigation, students develop an understanding of the water cycle through two separate activities.

In Activity 2A: Water Cycle Simulation, students take part in a simulation of water moving through the water cycle through various paths, visiting eight stations around the classroom. They record and reflect on their journey and then build simple water cycle models using ziplock bags or jars.

In Activity 2B: Dirty Water/Clean Water, students learn about water pollution and wastewater treatment through a visit from a local “expert,” and make posters or presentations to share and clarify their understanding.

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