Reflection: Developing a Conceptual Understanding Pollution Tolerant Macroinvertebrates - Section 2: Guided Practice


Unlike the pollution-sensitive macroinvertebrates the students learned about in the prior lesson, the presence or absence of these macroinvertebrates in the stream ecosystem may not tell us much about water quality. Pollution-tolerant macroinvertebrates can live in polluted water, but are also often found in healthy streams. When introducing these macroinvertebrates to students, I make sure to note that finding some of these macroinvertebrates in the water does not indicate poor water quality unless we find only these macroinvertebrates and no pollution-sensitive species. This is a tricky concept for students and may require repeated discussions to build shared understanding of this key distinction between the two groups of macroinvertebrates. In subsequent lessons, students will draw on this understanding to make judgments about water quality based on the species of macroinvertebrates that they idenitfy. It is key, therefore, to allow students time to process and discuss the differences between these two groups.

  Building Background Knowledge
  Developing a Conceptual Understanding: Building Background Knowledge
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Pollution Tolerant Macroinvertebrates

Unit 5: Macroinvertebrates
Lesson 4 of 6

Objective: SWBAT identify and describe pollution tolerant macroinvertebrates.

Big Idea: Pollution tolerant macroinvertebrates can live in a variety of environments.

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Science, Environmental Education, observations, insects, Streams, benthic macroinvertebrates
  55 minutes
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