Teaching Resources

Teaching environmental issues in your classroom is a critical component of providing your students a Meaningful Watershed Educational Experience. Discover a wealth Chesapeake Bay related books, multimedia, curriculum guides, individual lesson plans and online data sources.

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Seasons of a Chesapeake Bay Waterman Activity Guide

An activity guide designed to promote an understanding of the lives of historic and contemporary Chesapeake Bay watermen.

Subject(s): Social Studies
Type(s): Curriculum Guide
Level(s): Elementary School, Middle School
Aligned with the following standard(s): Maryland
Keywords: oyster, blue crab, culture and watermen

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Check Up Maryland Teacher's Guide

Check Up is a teacher's guide for grades 6-12 that provides teachers and students with information to enable them to identify and implement natural resources planning and management strategies that are both environmentally sensitive and economically sound. Students conduct natural resource assessments at their school and learn first hand how to better live in harmony with the natural environment by conserving energy and water, and reducing waste.

Subject(s): Science, Social Studies
Type(s): Curriculum Guide
Level(s): Middle School, High School
Aligned with the following standard(s): Maryland
Keywords: water and energy conservation, litter, trash and recycling, renewable resource, restoration, schoolyard habitat

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Biofilms and Biodiversity Lesson

Students will gain an understanding of the term biodiversity by investigating some samples of biofouling communities collected from the Inner Harbor water of the Chesapeake Bay. Identify some Chesapeake Bay macroinvertebrates. Perform a biodiversity index to estimate the diversity of the biofouling community. Increase their awareness of the scientific research being performed to better understand biofilm interactions with biofouling communities.

Subject(s): Mathematics, Science
Type(s): Lessons and Activities
Level(s): Middle School, High School
Aligned with the following standard(s): Maryland
Keywords: biodiversity, stream study, water quality, wildlife

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Eyes on the Bay Curriculum

These resources and lesson plans were developed to support science and environmental studies educators in integrating these topics within the regular curriculum when studying Maryland's Chesapeake Bay and Coastal Bays. The goal is to integrate student learning of science concepts with the use of technology and current scientific data. In this lesson series, the Eyes on the Bay website is used to gather information and interpret data. Each lesson can be used individually or as a complete package to teach water quality concepts. Educators may adapt any of the lessons to meet their specific needs. Lessons focus on salinity, dissolved oxygen, and harmful algal blooms and are aligned to Maryland Voluntary State Curriculum (Grades 6-8 & Grades 9-12).

Subject(s): Science
Type(s): Curriculum Guide, Data
Level(s): Middle School, High School
Aligned with the following standard(s): Maryland
Keywords: experiments and investigations, water quality, water testing, salinity, fish, dissolved oxygen, Geography, Temperature, Nutrients and Eutorphication

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"On the Air" Curriculum Units 1-7

The On the Air curriculum facilitates the understanding of air pollution by studying: Criteria Air Pollutants, the Air Quality Index, Ozone, Particulate Matter, the Health Effects of Air Pollution, Community Sources and Solutions of Air Pollution and Climate Change. Each unit consists of the following: activity description, curricular ties, time needed, learning objectives, materials needed (kit), teacher preparation, teacher background reading, teacher demonstration procedures, activity procedures, technology connections, student handout, student packets and student worksheets.

Subject(s): Language Arts, Mathematics, Science, Social Studies, Technology
Type(s): Curriculum Guide, Lessons and Activities
Level(s): Middle School
Aligned with the following standard(s): Maryland, Virginia, District of Columbia
Keywords: climate change, acid rain, air pollution and fossil fuels

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Watershed Works Teacher Guide

The Watershed Works Guide will present students with opportunities to learn how water sculpts the earth's surface to create watersheds and the landforms they see in their daily lives, how these processes support distinct but interdependent ecosystems and how they relate to modern environmental problems on our coasts.

Subject(s): Science, Social Studies
Type(s): Curriculum Guide
Level(s): High School
Aligned with the following standard(s): Maryland
Keywords: watershed, development, erosion

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Project Learning Tree Curriculum Guide

The Project Learning Tree Curriculum Guide is a collection of 96 hands-on interdisciplinary activities that bring the environment into your classroom. The guide is designed so you can use a single activity or many over the course of a quarter or school year. Each activity includes an overview, background content and a teachers' step-by-step guide. The guide's five main themes are diversity, interrelationships, systems, structure and scale, and patterns of change.

Subject(s): Art, Language Arts, Mathematics, Science, Social Studies, Technology
Type(s): Curriculum Guide
Level(s): Early Learning, Elementary School, Middle School, High School
Aligned with the following standard(s): Maryland, Virginia, New York, West Virginia, District of Columbia, Delaware, National Science Education, Pennsylvania
Keywords: pollution, land use, watershed, air pollution and fossil fuels, biodiversity, forest

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Oystering on the Chesapeake - Explorations 6 - 10

The Oystering on the Chesapeake Curriculum is series of multi-disciplinary lesson plans designed to introduce students in grades 4, 5, and 6 to the economic, environmental, and cultural significance of the oystering industry of the Chesapeake Bay. This includes explorations Oyster Wars, In the Can, Mystery of the Disappearing Oyster, Oyster Times, and It's About Time.

Subject(s): Science, Social Studies
Type(s): Curriculum Guide, Lessons and Activities
Level(s): Elementary School, Middle School
Aligned with the following standard(s): Maryland
Keywords: oyster, culture and watermen

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Oystering on the Chesapeake - Explorations 1 - 5

The Oystering on the Chesapeake Curriculum is series of multi-disciplinary lesson plans designed to introduce students in grades 4, 5, and 6 to the economic, environmental, and cultural significance of the oystering industry of the Chesapeake Bay. These explorations include On board a Skipjack, Dead Reckoning, Payday!, From Bay to Table, and A Day in the Life of an Oyster Packinghouse.

Subject(s): Science, Social Studies
Type(s): Curriculum Guide, Lessons and Activities
Level(s): Elementary School, Middle School
Aligned with the following standard(s): Maryland
Keywords: oyster, culture and watermen

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Maryland Project WET Training and Curriculum Guide

After completion of a six hour training, educators are given a free Project WET curriculum and activity guide packed with 91 hands-on activities that cross many disciplines in the study of water and water resources - chemistry and physics, life science, earth systems, natural resource management, history and culture. During the workshop educators learn how to incorporate local issues into the lessons. Perfect for 4-H Youth Development, Scouts, and other youth organizations as well, the goal of Project WET is to facilitate and promote the awareness, appreciation, knowledge, and stewardship of water resources through the development and dissemination of classroom ready teaching aids.

Subject(s): Art, Language Arts, Mathematics, Science, Social Studies, Technology
Type(s): Curriculum Guide
Level(s): Early Learning, Elementary School, Middle School, High School
Aligned with the following standard(s): Maryland
Keywords: pollution, watershed, biodiversity, culture and watermen, ecosystem and biomes, water quality, wildlife

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Gateways to Conservation II Curriculum Guide (Grades 6-8)

Pickering Creek published this guide with the help of the National Park Service's Chesapeake Bay Gateways. Explore 134 pages full of hands-on learning activities and background information to help students and teachers explore the outdoors in conjunction with a nearby nature center, while gaining an understanding of their relationship with the Chesapeake Bay.

Subject(s): Science, Social Studies
Type(s): Curriculum Guide
Level(s): Middle School
Aligned with the following standard(s): Maryland
Keywords: pollution, wetland, adaptation, watershed, biodiversity, ecosystem and biomes, erosion, experiments and investigations, habitat and niche, restoration, sediment, soil and rocks, water quality, water testing, wildlife

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Gateways to Conservation Curriculum Guide (Grades 1-5)

Pickering Creek published this guide with the help of the National Park Service's Chesapeake Bay Gateways. Explore 183 pages full of hands-on learning activities and background information to help students and teachers explore the outdoors in conjunction with a nearby nature center, while gaining an understanding of their relationship with the Chesapeake Bay.

Subject(s): Science
Type(s): Curriculum Guide
Level(s): Elementary School
Aligned with the following standard(s): Maryland
Keywords: pollution, water cycle and movement, wetland, land use, food web, watershed, agriculture, water and energy conservation, ecosystem and biomes, erosion, experiments and investigations, forest, habitat and niche, litter, trash and recycling, renewable resource, schoolyard habitat, stream study, water quality, water testing, wildlife, student action

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Healthy Water, Healthy People

Healthy Water, Healthy People is an innovative water quality education program sponsored by Project WET and the Hach Scientific Foundation. The goal of Healthy Water, Healthy People is to make complex concepts of water quality relevant and meaningful for you and those you teach. The program offers hands-on activities, an Educator’s Guide, testing kits, training, and much more. The Healthy Water, Healthy People Educator’s Guide, geared at Grades 6-12, contains twenty-five hands-on activities that are ideal for teaching complete water quality units as well as a supplement to existing curriculum.

Subject(s): Language Arts, Mathematics, Science, Social Studies
Type(s): Curriculum Guide, Lessons and Activities, Supplies
Level(s): Middle School, High School
Aligned with the following standard(s): Maryland
Keywords: pollution, watershed, restoration, water quality, water testing

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Where Do We Grow From Here

Where Do We Grow From Here, produced by the State of Maryland, is a teacher’s resource guide on growth and its impacts in Maryland. This package of resources and lesson plans was developed to support social studies and science teachers in integrating these topics within the regular curriculum. The guide includes a discussion of issues-based instruction; sample lesson plans; additional resource materials; and examples of action or service learning projects. It is accompanied by a website that contains the text of this guide, an electronic copy of Picture Maryland, as well as the data, maps, and other resources referenced in each lesson.

Subject(s): Mathematics, Science, Social Studies
Type(s): Curriculum Guide, Lessons and Activities
Level(s): Middle School, High School
Aligned with the following standard(s): Maryland
Keywords: pollution, population growth, land use, air pollution and fossil fuels, water and energy conservation, renewable resource, smart growth, student action

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"Be Part of Something Big!" Curriculum

This curriculum guide, produced by Maryland DNR, is designed for Grades 3-8 and provides educators and students the opportunity to gain hands-on experiences with water quality monitoring. This series of activities is designed to help your class or student group learn more about the Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries. Topics addressed defining and identifying watersheds, the Chesapeake Bay and its tributary streams and rivers, problems associated with excess nutrients, chemical and biological characteristics of stream, and how to assess the health of a local stream. The curriculum guide also includes action strategies students can take to improve water quality in their local streams, and ultimately, the Chesapeake Bay such as trash clean ups, stream buffer plantings, and personal conservation measures.

Subject(s): Science, Social Studies
Type(s): Curriculum Guide, Lessons and Activities
Level(s): Elementary School, Middle School
Aligned with the following standard(s): Maryland
Keywords: point source, non-point source, land use, watershed, water and energy conservation, habitat and niche, litter, trash and recycling, restoration, water quality, water testing, student action

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Green Eggs and Sand

Green Eggs and Sand is a Tri-State Horseshoe Crab/Shorebird Education Program. The curriculum, designed for middle and high schools students, was developed by coastal managers and teachers from Maryland, New Jersey, and Delaware. Teacher workshops are held on the spawning of the horseshoe crab, the interrelationships with other species and how management decisions are made. The first three curricular modules were designed so you can introduce your students to the lives of horseshoe crabs, their extraordinary history, ecological niche, and interrelationships with other species. The fourth and culminating module integrates all this information to prepare students to confront the multi-faceted challenge of managing horseshoe crabs, a natural resource. Parts of this curriculum may be used independently. Optional extension activities are included to increase your flexibility. The curriculum interdisciplinary with lessons that integrate one or more of the following subjects: history, science, language arts, reading, and math.

Subject(s): Language Arts, Mathematics, Science, Social Studies
Type(s): Curriculum Guide, Lessons and Activities
Level(s): Middle School, High School
Aligned with the following standard(s): Maryland, National Science Education
Keywords: food web, habitat and niche, predator prey relationships, restoration, wildlife

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TEAM DNR

TEAM DNR is a volunteer program, organized by the Maryland Department of Natural Resources, that is dedicated to educating elementary and middle school students about the Chesapeake Bay and other natural resource issues in Maryland. TEAM DNR currently offers schools four different classroom programs and one outdoor program. Each program has pre and post visit activities to enhance the experience of your students. These programs are available upon request of the classroom teacher or school administrator.

Subject(s): Science, Social Studies
Type(s): Lessons and Activities
Level(s): Elementary School, Middle School
Aligned with the following standard(s): Maryland
Keywords: pollution, point source, non-point source, population growth, land use, watershed, oyster, culture and watermen, experiments and investigations, habitat and niche, predator prey relationships, restoration, stream study, water quality, water testing, wildlife, fish

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Raising Horseshoe Crabs in the Classroom

The Raising Horseshoe Crabs in the Classroom program was developed and is implemented by MD DNR's Environmental Stewardship Division and Fisheries Service to educate students about horseshoe crabs and the management of this important species. This project provides equipment, Teachers' Guide and horseshoe crab eggs to schools for students to learn the ecological, medical and historical importance of the vanishing species.

Subject(s): Science
Type(s): Curriculum Guide, Lessons and Activities, Supplies
Level(s): Early Learning, Elementary School, Middle School, High School
Aligned with the following standard(s): Maryland
Keywords: watershed, experiments and investigations, predator prey relationships, restoration, wildlife

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Captain John Smith's Map of the Chesapeake Bay Lesson

Students will learn how to interpret a primary sources, John Smith's map and excerpts from Smith's journal. They will then identify places on a map that show John Smith's routes and identify map elements. Keywords: John Smith, history, map

Subject(s): Science, Social Studies
Type(s): Lessons and Activities
Level(s): Elementary School, Middle School
Aligned with the following standard(s): Maryland
Keywords: land use, John Smith and colonial times, Native American

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Captain John Smith 400 Project: Curriculum Guide

In conjunction with the Maryland State Department of Education and the Maryland Geographic Alliance, the Sultana Project has developed a curriculum unit based around the history of John Smith's 1608 voyage and the world of the early 17th century Chesapeake. The Captain John Smith Curriculum Unit consists of eight separate lesson plans designed for 4th and 5th grade students. The unit is aligned with goals and outcomes from the Maryland State Department of Education's voluntary state curriculum.

Subject(s): Language Arts, Science, Social Studies
Type(s): Curriculum Guide
Level(s): Elementary School, Middle School
Aligned with the following standard(s): Maryland
Keywords: population growth, land use, development, ecosystem and biomes, forest, John Smith and colonial times, Native American, renewable resource, water quality, wildlife

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Native Americans of the Chesapeake Bay Lesson: Using Primary and Secondary Sources

This is a great resource. Students will interpret primary and secondary sources to gather information about the American Indian tribes present in the Chesapeake Bay region in the 16th and 17th centuries. They will then identify basic elements in American Indian culture at point of first contact in the Chesapeake region such as clothing, agricultural practices, architecture, cooking techniques and diet.

Subject(s): Language Arts, Social Studies
Type(s): Lessons and Activities
Level(s): Elementary School, Middle School
Aligned with the following standard(s): Maryland
Keywords: John Smith and colonial times, Native American

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H2Oh No!

In this interactive, students investigate the controversy surrounding the development of a huge mall on the banks of the Dwight River in the fictional town of Bayville. Through their investigation, they learn about the water cycle, the effects that urbanization can have on the environment (especially the waterways), and the complexities of balancing economic need and environmental protection.

Subject(s): Science
Type(s): Lessons and Activities
Level(s): Elementary School, Middle School
Aligned with the following standard(s): Maryland
Keywords: water cycle and movement, development, air pollution and fossil fuels, water and energy conservation

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Meal Deal Teachers Guide

In this interactive, students play a card game that simulates food chains that exist within the Chesapeake Bay ecosystems. In doing so, they learn about the interconnectedness of the various creatures living in the Bay. Finally, they extrapolate their knowledge to answer the questions: Are all creatures in the Bay equally important? What difference does it make if one organism disappears from the ecosystem? And what difference does it make if an invasive species enters the food chain?

Subject(s): Science
Type(s): Lessons and Activities
Level(s): Elementary School, Middle School
Aligned with the following standard(s): Maryland
Keywords: oyster, blue crab, predator prey relationships, fish

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Here There Be Monsters

Is there really a sea monster prowling through the Chesapeake Bay? Are people mistaking another animal such as a manatee or sturgeon for a sea monster? Or, is the mysterious and elusive Chessie the sea monster, just a product of some wild imaginations? Using the Here There Be Monster's Bayville interactive, students will explore the facts and fiction of the legend of Chessie, using their own powers of investigation and deductive reasoning to make an informed judgment about whether or not Chessie is real. In the process, they’ll also learn about what kinds of animals can really survive in the Chesapeake Bay’s habitat. The completion of the interactive, worksheets, and final assessment will take two class periods.

Subject(s): Language Arts, Science
Type(s): Lessons and Activities
Level(s): Middle School
Aligned with the following standard(s): Maryland
Keywords: fish

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Mega Mall Debate: Environment v. Economic Development

What impact can a proposed mega mall have on a suburban town's local river? Why are residents in the town engaging in a hot debate about this new mall? Using the Bayville interactive, H20hNo! students investigate both sides of a controversial debate over a new mega mall planned for the town of Bayville, and then report how the proposed mall will impact the town river.

Subject(s): Science, Social Studies
Type(s): Lessons and Activities
Level(s): Middle School
Aligned with the following standard(s): Maryland
Keywords: water cycle and movement, development, water quality, economics

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