Unit Overview 

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.

Service Experience 
Students may present their findings to a school audience and request student pledges toward change. Learners may write letters to individuals in government, business and industry, and nonprofits to encourage supporting clean water actions.
Lessons in This Unit 
Unit: 
Are You a River Keeper?
Lesson 2 of 4
Grades: 
6
7
8

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.

Unit: 
Are You a River Keeper?
Lesson 3 of 4
Grades: 
6
7
8

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.

Unit: 
Are You a River Keeper?
Lesson 4 of 4
Grades: 
6
7
8

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.