Reflection: Grappling with Complexity What is a Watershed? - Section 2: Guided Practice


In this lesson, I provide students with pictures of a variety of different biomes. I ask them to identify how water moves in the environment as the movement of water is a key feature within a watershed. This activity can be a challenging one for students. In some pictures, such as the river and waterfall, the presence and movement of water in the environment is obvious. In other pictures, such as the desert and forest, no water is shown and it may be a challenge for students to identify where water could be found and how it moves throughout the environment. I have chosen these pictures because they create the opportunity for students to engage in productive struggle. As teachers, we know that water impacts every environment and is a key to life on Earth. For students, this fact may not be readily apparent.

In order to support students as they grapple with this complex task, I visit with each group and ask guiding questions to help them move towards a shared understanding of the impact of water on their pictured environment. I encourage them to consider the clouds, what might exist underground, and to think deeply about the vegetation present in each picture. By asking these guiding questions, I ensure that each student group is successful in identifying water in their picture, prior to our group sharing in the second section of the lesson. This reinforces to the students that their perseverance has led to success in the classroom.

  Using Challenging Images to Encourage Deeper Thinking
  Grappling with Complexity: Using Challenging Images to Encourage Deeper Thinking
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What is a Watershed?

Unit 6: Watersheds and Water Quality
Lesson 1 of 10

Objective: SWBAT define a watershed and explain how water collects.

Big Idea: Water in our environment follows a predictable path towards larger bodies of water. What we do in our watershed affects water quality.

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11 teachers like this lesson
Science, Human Impact on Earth, water, Environmental Education
  60 minutes
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