This is part 1 of a three part lesson series about healthy water and healthy streams. All fourth graders in my district participate in a week long healthy water program.
I begin this lesson by asking students to talk with a partner and list as many ideas as they can about what keeps water healthy. I ask students to list ideas they have about what they can do to ensure our water (drinking and streams) stays healthy.
I tell students that we all need clean water. We drink it. We fish, swim, boat and enjoy it in our streams and lakes. It irrigates our crops, is used by our businesses, and helps keep our yards and parks green. I tell students that in our county, the The Lewis and Clark County Water Quality Protection District has worked to preserve, protect, and improve water quality since 1992.
In this introductory lesson, I tell students that we will be watching and observing stream water in order to tell if the stream is healthy. Before we can decide if it is healthy, I tell students that we must learn a few water facts.
I begin by playing this short video.
At the end of this video, I ask students to talk with a partner about things they noticed in the video. I let students talk for about one minute. Next, I ask students to share with the entire class things they noticed about the video. I lead students to understand that water is life. We need it to survive.
For most of this lesson, students spend time reading a comic science magazine provided by our Lewis and Clark County Water Quality Protection District. Students read the magazine with a partner.
You can see in this photo below students reading the Water Watchers magazine.
Listen in on these students as they discuss what they've read in the magazine.
When students are finished with reading the magazine, they then work with their partner to complete a crossword worksheet to reinforce the new vocabulary introduced. This is also an important fourth grade reading skill, referring to the test to locate answers. You can listen in as these students make sense of new words and find answers within the text.
To wrap up this lesson, I quickly go over the correct answers to the crossword puzzle. I ask students if there are any of the vocabulary words that don't understand and help clear up any misunderstanding.