Are You a River Keeper?
Focus question: What does it mean to be a good steward of the earth?
Use observation, research, and science to determine the health of a local river. Students focus on the history of, reasons for, and possible solutions to an issue in a waterway in their community. Learners become aware of global clean water issues and identify different ways the four sectors of society can be agents for change. Students may take action through a demonstration or letter writing, as well as personal commitments to change.
The purpose of the lesson is to enable students to fully understand and apply fundamental methods of testing water quality. This will include the collection, display, and interpretation of student data. Learners will understand that they are stewards of our water system and act responsibly for the common good.
Instructors Notes: This lesson may be presented using an on-site water testing experiential lesson or an in- class water quality testing class session. Both require safety equipment which must be obtained and at hand before the experiments. The teacher needs to demonstrate the use of goggles, gloves if necessary, and the testing equipment. The instructor should model recording the data as well as use of the equipment. Your local school should have access to pH test kits. If not, there are many sources such as www.hydroponics.net to obtain the test kits.
This lesson will focus on the effect the speed of water has on erosion rate and the deposition of sediment with learners using inference to draw conclusions. Learners will relate commons, stewardship and the roles of all sectors in reducing rates of erosion in rivers and lakes. Learners will relate what their responsibility is to give of their time, talent or treasure, and take action in preserving and protecting lakes and rivers.
This lesson will focus on the history, reasons, and possible solutions of excessive sedimentation in the south branch of the Muskegon River. Writing and performing a short theatrical activity through a LITWIS activity, learners will develop an awareness and pledge commitment to involvement in conservation of our waterways.
Instructor Note: While specific to the Muskegon River, other water systems may be substituted with the same procedures followed.
This lesson explores the roles of government, nonprofits, businesses/farms and households in responding to water quality issues. Students will review why water is a scarce natural resource, human causes of water pollution, and possible agents of change in water quality. Students will then identify what it is that each sector can do to be an agent of change. Finally, students will investigate nonprofit organizations involved in safeguarding waterways and become proactive in efforts to act as stewards.