1 Day 1 watershed lesson
Introduction to Watersheds
Grades 4th -7th
Standards: Science: Environment and Ecology: Watersheds and Wetlands: 4.2.4-4.2.7
Hook: What is a watershed?
Ask students if they are familiar with the term watershed. Ask students to offer suggestions or ideas on what a watershed might involve? (Water; a shed is something that holds things). Record responses on the board.
Explain: We will be looking at a model of a watershed, but before we begin I have an Educreations video that I created to give you a basic introduction. (Share Educreation video with the whole class on the large screen. While students are viewing video, teacher will set-up foam model and spray bottles with water. Be sure that model drains into a sink or other receptacle.)
After educreation video call students over to the model. Ask student to explain, based on the video, what they now know about watersheds.
Guided instruction and exploration:
Point to a certain slope on the model and ask students to predict where rainfall hitting that spot will flow. Have a volunteer test the prediction by spraying water onto that slope. Make predictions at other points and test those points.
Ask a volunteer to trace the boundaries of the largest watershed in the model. Ask other volunteers to trace the other, smaller, watersheds in the model.
Explain the concept of source and stream order. Have several different volunteers each identify a first order stream in the watershed. Ask students to recall the Educreations video they just saw and guess the stream order of French Creek.
After students return to their seats, have them write their own definition of a watershed. Ask each student to draw a picture of a watershed. This can also be done on the iPad in small groups. If done on the iPad, students could share their drawings on the Apple TV.
Are there still watersheds in Kansas and Iowa where it is flat? Yes, all water drains somewhere, even if the slope isn’t very steep it will still flow or pool somewhere. The longer it stays on land, the more likely it is to be absorbed into the ground.