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8th Grade Water Quality Module

Summary of Whole Module:

We have developed a week long module that fully addresses the KCAS science standard 08-LS2-4.  The lesson plans are structured on the inquiry based 5E model and encourage the inclusion of creativity and 21st Century technology, however if the technology is not available, additional information is provided to augment the lesson plan.

Though each lesson could be used as a stand alone lesson with only minor modifications needed to augment information missed, it is only through using the entire module would the students get all of the information needed to fully address the standard 08-LS2-4.   This module reviews sources of pollution and then looks in detail at the effects of pollution on abiotic and biotic aspects of an aquatic community. The students learn how to conduct some water quality tests.  They are introduced to benthic macro-invertebrates and these organisms can be used as water quality indicators.  The students then compare a mock stream at two different points in time.  They are given information on how and why the stream has changed and evaluate the changes in the macroinvertebrate community.  To sum up all the information the students have learned, the student then creatively present their argument on how changes to the stream caused changes to the macroinvertebrate community and populations.   There is also an optional lesson plan for a capstone field trip in which the students are able conduct a habitat and water quality assessment in a real world situation using the knowledge and skills they acquired through the lesson plan.

Documents Used for Whole Module

Most documents are day specific.  Please see below section for these documents.  Some documents can be produced one time and used through out the module.  See the links below for these documents: 

Environmental Studies Notebook - a notebook for the students to record data and observations each day.

Optional - Vocabulary List - a reference list for teachers and/or students.

Outline of Daily Lesson Plans: 

The day of the lesson plan is a  a link to all of pertinent documents to the individual lesson.  In the documents section there is are links to every document needed to implement the lesson effectively.   

Day 1:

Summary: 

Students will explore a watershed to discover how pollution can affect the water quality.  They will identify point source and nonpoint source pollutants. 

Documents:

Lesson Plan

Learning Target

Power Point

Voting Paddles - for students to vote if pollutant is a point or non-point source pollution.

Environmental Studies Notebook - a notebook for the students to record data and observations each day.

Optional - Vocabulary List -  for teacher and/or student reference

Day 2:

Summary: 

Students will learn how abiotic factors, such as pH, water temperature, turbidity, dissolved oxygen, and nitrates influence water quality and how that water quality impacts aquatic life.  Using LaMotte dissolved oxygen kits, the students will determine the dissolved oxygen for the 2 water samples and record the information in their Environmental Studies Notebook.  Students will learn how to use the Northern Kentucky University’s educational Water Quality app on an iPad to analyze and input data.

Documents:

Lesson Plan

Learning Target

Power Point

Kishi's Story

Optional - Water Quality Parameters Information Sheet - only needed if not using the Water Quality App. 

Need to print only if have not previously printed.   

Environmental Studies Notebook - a notebook for the students to record data and observations

Optional - Vocabulary List -  for all days for teacher and/or student reference

Day 3:

Summary: 

This lesson is similar to the lesson in Day 2.  The focus of this lesson is on benthic macroinvertebrates as indicators of water quality, rather than the chemical parameters.  Information on macroinvertebrates of the Greater Cincinnati area will be introduced. The concept that each type of macroinvertebrate has a different pollution tolerance is introduced. Students will identify macroinvertebrates by physical characteristics, feeding habits and pollution tolerance.

Documents:

Lesson Plan

Learning Target

Power Point

What Macro Am I Activity

Macroinvertebrate Evaluation

Need to print  only if have not previously printed.   

Environmental Studies Notebook - a notebook for the students to record data and observations

Optional - Vocabulary List -  for all days for teacher and/or student reference

Day 4:

Summary: 

This lesson plan takes the content knowledge learned in Day 2 and Day 3 and applies those concepts in an assessment of water quality in a mock stream during two separate periods in time. This activity is based on realistic situations and enables the students to investigate the consequences of land management practices on streams and the biotic communities dependent on them.

Documents:

Lesson Plan

Learning Target

Power Point

Mock Stream Stories

Macro ID Key

Macroinvertebrates for Mock Stream

Mock Stream Answer Key

Images to show how to set up mock streams.  

Mock Stream 1

Mock Stream 2

Mock Stream 3

Mock Stream 4

Need to print only if have not previously printed.   

Environmental Studies Notebook - a notebook for the students to record data and observations

Optional - Water Quality Parameters Information Sheet - only needed if not using the Water Quality App.

Optional - Vocabulary List -  for all days for teacher and/or student reference

Day 5:

Summary: 

The students will analyze a stream and its benthic macroinvertebrate community and populations at two distinct periods of time.  They will create an argument based on the information they learned in previous lesson plans about how pollutants impact macroinvertebrates populations, the description of how the stream has changed and the differences in the population observed.  The arguments will be presented in a group format in which equal participation and creativity in presentation is encouraged while still being a comprehensive, well thought out and supported argument.

Documents:

Lesson Plan

Learning Target

Power Point

Macroinvertebrates

Mock Streams

Need to print only if have not previously printed.   

Environmental Studies Notebook - a notebook for the students to record data and observations

Optional - Vocabulary List -  for all days for teacher and/or student reference

Day 6:

Summary: 

Students will participate in a field trip that will put together all of the knowledge and skills they have gained through out the week to determine the water quality of a local water way.  They will take measurements of abiotic factors and conduct a habitat and benthic macroinvertebrate.  The students will have an opportunity to use the  Water Quality app in a real world situation.

Documents:

Lesson Plan

D.O. LaMotte Instructions

Field Study Notebook

Need to print only if have not previously printed.  

Optional - Water Quality Parameters Information Sheet - only needed if not using the Water Quality App.

Optional - Vocabulary List -  for all days for teacher and/or student reference