Freshwater

Distance Learning Module

 

Clean water is one of Earth's most important natural resources. All the planet's organisms need water. Check out this Distance Learning Module to learn even more about freshwater and why it is important!

Below you will find links to videos, experiments, and articles on all things freshwater. If you would like to complete the entire module - it will take about a month. If you are looking for a more focused lesson, the module includes four main units: The Water Cycle, Watersheds, Animals and Plants in Freshwater, and Water Issues. Follow the links below for activities and more within each section.

 

 

Introduction to Freshwater:

Materials needed: five 2-liter bottles, scissors, duct tape, ruler, permanent marker, pebbles, water, and a notebook


 

The Water Cycle:

This sub unit includes activities that should take about three days to complete. 

 

Part One (1 to 1 1/2 hours):

  • Watch the first 4:30 of Freshwater Live                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              
  • Read "Under Where?" from our Freshwater edition (pages 107-116)                                                                                                                                                                                                                              
  • Answer the reflection section questions found in the article - review your answers here                                                            .                
  • Build a Water Cycle Cube - complete the FACTivity in "Under Where?"                                                                                        .
  • Write a story about a water dropelt's progress through the water cycle 

Materials needed: Water cycle cube (template provided in FACTivity), paper, pencils, scissors, tape or glue

 

 

Part Two: (2 days, 1 hour for set up, 1 day of waiting to collect data):

  • Read "Flow Down" from our Natural IQ edition (pages 27-37)                                                                                                       .
  • Answer the reflection section question found in the article                                                                                                       .
  • Complete the alternate FACTivity from "Under Where?" (page 121) - compare a house plant's and an indoor plant's use of water

Materials needed: potted house plant, saucer, small plastic bag, water, paper, pencil


 

 

Watersheds:

This sub unit includes activities that should take 4-5 days to complete.

 

Part One (2 hours):

  • Watch a ten minute clip from Freshwater Live (5:26-15:37) for an introduction on watersheds                                                     .
  • Read "Green Means Clean" from our Freshwater edition about conducting a national assesment of U.S drinking watershed quality (pgs. 51-57)                                                                                                                                                       .
  • Answer the reflection section questions as you read - review your answers here                                                                         .
  • Complete the FACTivity from "Green Means Clean" to determine which land cover surface best protects water quality 

Materials needed: 3 paint roller pans, a shovel, kitchen oil, 2 gallons of water in plastic jugs, a garden sprinkler can, red/blue food coloring

 

Part Two (1 to 1 1/2 hours):

  • Read "Carribean Cruise" from our Freshwater NI about course particulate organic matter in streams over time (pgs. 42-54)                                                                                                                                                                                                   .
  • Answer the reflection section questions as you read - review your answers here                                                                           .
  • Complete the FACTivity from "Carribean Cruise" and determine what you can learn from gage height and stream flow data overtime 

Materials needed: a pencil and gragh paper

 

Part Three (2 to 3 hours):

  • Read "Did They Make the Gradient?" from our Cimate Change NI about what factors affect stream temperatures                      .           
  • Answer the reflection section questions as you read - review your answers here                                                                           .              
  • Complete the FACTivity from "DId They Make the Gradient?" to test whether the movement of water affets its temperature

Materials needed:  3 clear 1-quart plastic containers, 2 aquarium thermometers 

 

Part Four (10 minutes):

  • Watch two clips from Freshwater Live to wrap up on watersheds (time stamps 13:00-14:59 and 27:06-33:35)

 

Animals & Plants in Freshwater:

This sub unit includes activities that should take about 4 days to complete.

 

Part One (1 to 1 1/2 hours):

  • Watch a ten minute clip from Freshwater Live (from 15:00-26:58)                                                                                                .
  • Read "Time Traveled" from our Freshwater NI about how stream temperature affect the developement of Chinook salmon                                                                                                                                                                                           .
  • Answer the reflection section questions as you read - review your answers here                                                                          
  • Answer this dicussion/writing prompt: How are the data from "Timed Traveled" and "Did They Make the Gradient?" related? What conclusions can we hypothesize about stream conditions and the ecosystem? What other species might be affected by the stream temperatures and how?

 

Part Two (1 to 1 1/2 hours):

  • Read "Toad-ally Awesome" from our Ecosystem Services NI about how flooding affects the reproduction of toads along the Rio Grande                                                                                                                                                                               
  • Answer the reflection section questions as you read - review your answers here                                                                              
  • Brainstorm a list of ecosystem services or benefits provided by waterways. Then research waterways in your area and identify how those waterways affect the plants and animals living near them.
 
Part Three (1 to 1 1/2 hours):
  • Read "Knocked Out by Trout" from our Invasive Species NI about how nonnative trout in stocked lakes affect the local tree frog population                                                                                                                                                                         
  • Complete the FACTivity in "Knocked out by Trout" to research and debate whether lakes and streams should be stocked, modify lesson for the number of students necessary 

 

Part Four (1 1/2 to 2 hours):

  • Read "Swimming Upstream" from our Tropical NI about how to balance needs of shrimp and people in tropical streams, especially regarding dam-building                                                                                                                                                  
  • Answer the reflectionsection questions as you read                                                                                                                       
  • Complete the FACTivity ( pg. 11-12) in "Swimming Upstream" to model how river shrimp get caught in pipes or escape downstream 

 

Water Issues:

This sub unit includes activities that should take about 2 to 3 days to complete.

 

Part One (1 1/2 to 2 hours):

  • Watch a five minute clip from Freshwater Live (16:55 - 19:48) to introduce some of the water issues facing us today
  • Read the "Full Throttle Model" monograph (pg. 11-29) about modeling changes to land use within watersheds to help identify and prioritize watersheds with low water quality which need restoration 
  • Answer the reflection section questions as you read - review your answers here
  • Complete the FACTivity in the "Full Throttle Model" (pg. 30-31) and create a model to study how fish might react to water turbidity
Materials needed: clear plastic container, tape, scissors, paper clip, spoon, 1 cup of soil, and water 
 
 
Part Two (2 to 3 hours):
  • Choose one of the following articles to read:
  • Use the Thin and Thick Graphic Organizer to take notes on questions that arise during the reading 
  • Write a persuasive essay about on of your thick questions 
  • *modifications: eliminate class discussion components and discuss findings with your student/child; help them choose and develop one of their "thick" questions for the writing assignment*
  • Watch a 12 minute clip from Freshwater Live (34:29 - 46:20) to wrap up water issues
 

 

Conclusion to Freshwater:

  • Conclude the rain gauge FACTivity
  • Complete the Final Assesment for this module (can be used at the end of the whole module or the end of the sub-units)