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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Where Do the Critters Live Lesson

Students use real-time ocean temperature data to predict the distribution of marine organisms. This web-based activity uses ocean temperatures to determine the distribution of marine organisms. In this exercise, you will investigate the influence of ocean temperature on marine organism distribution.

Subject(s): Science
Type(s): Lessons and Activities
Level(s): High School
Keywords: climate change, weather, experiments and investigations, habitat and niche, fish, Temperature

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Local Weather and the Ocean Activity

Students will use current and yearly average temperature data to assess how the ocean affects air temperatures.

Subject(s): Science
Type(s): Lessons and Activities
Level(s): High School
Keywords: water cycle and movement, weather, Temperature

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Chesapeake Exploration

NOAA’s Chesapeake Exploration is a new and innovative collection of online activities for middle and high school students that brings the science of the Chesapeake Bay to life. Chesapeake Exploration gives teachers and their students unprecedented access to lessons designed around real-time observational data from the Chesapeake Bay Interpretive Buoy System. Inside a virtual classroom, Chesapeake Exploration guides students through an engaging investigative process that explores natural and human systems and cycles and the ways in which they interact throughout the Bay and its watershed. Teachers can create a unique online environment for their classrooms, including locking parameters such as date/time so all students use the same data sets and storing student answers online for easy grading. Using Chesapeake Exploration, students can (1) Query observational platforms throughout the Bay from their classroom or home; (2)Use National Geographic's Fieldscope to investigate the natural and human systems in the Bay's watershed and answer geospatial questions; and (3) Populate "dynamic worksheets" that ask them to think through scientific principles related to water quality and weather phenomena using current observation data.

Subject(s): Mathematics, Science, Social Studies, Technology
Type(s): Lessons and Activities, Data, Posters and Maps
Level(s): Middle School, High School
Keywords: weather, watershed, stormwater, habitat and niche, water quality, water testing, salinity, fish, Geography, Temperature

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Chesapeake Bay Interpretive Buoy System (CBIBS) - Investigations

Scientists measure Bay water temperatures, turbidity (clearness of the water), and other "indicators" to monitor the health of the Chesapeake Bay. "Indicators" give us information about the quality of Bay waters. If you have ever wondered how muddy waters impact underwater plants in the Chesapeake, or how steamy summer temperatures affect water quality, explore the interactive investigations provided on this NOAA website. These short activities use real-time and stored data from the CBIBS to help you answer these and other water quality questions.

Subject(s): Mathematics, Science, Social Studies, Technology
Type(s): Multimedia, Data
Level(s): Elementary School, Middle School, High School
Keywords: weather, water quality

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NOAA Estuaries 101 Curriculum - Earth Science Module 4: Extreme Weather and Estuaries

Students investigate how hurricanes can affect NERRS estuaries. Students begin by studying the North Carolina National Estuarine Research Reserve (NCNERR) in the Cape Fear area with Google Earth and predict which areas of the reserve might be more vulnerable to the onslaught of high winds, heavy rain and storm surge than others. Then students monitor and interpret the changes in water quality factors day by day as a severe storm approaches, strikes the estuary, and then dissipates.

Subject(s): Science
Type(s): Lessons and Activities
Level(s): High School
Aligned with the following standard(s): National Science Education
Keywords: weather, watershed, water quality

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Estuarine Currents Lesson

During this lesson, students can observe a demonstration or conduct an experiment that models density-driven currents. Following completion of this lesson, the students will be able to relate water temperature and salinity to the formation of estuarine currents.

Subject(s): Science
Type(s): Lessons and Activities
Level(s): High School
Aligned with the following standard(s): New York
Keywords: weather, experiments and investigations, water quality, salinity, Temperature

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Climate Change, Wildlife, and Wildlands Teacher Toolkit

The new Climate Change, Wildlife and Wildlands Toolkit for Formal and Informal Educators is an update of the popular, award-winning Climate Change, Wildlife and Wildlands Toolkit for Teachers and Interpreters. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, in partnership with seven other federal agencies 1, developed the kit for classroom teachers and informal educators in parks, refuges, forest lands, nature centers, zoos, aquariums, science centers, etc., to teach middle school students about how climate change is affecting our nation's wildlife and public lands and how everyone, even kids, can become climate stewards.

Subject(s): Science
Type(s): Curriculum Guide, Lessons and Activities
Level(s): Middle School, High School
Keywords: pollution, climate change, population growth, wetland, land use, weather, air pollution and fossil fuels, biodiversity, forest, habitat and niche

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Air Quality Index Toolkit for Teachers

This Toolkit provides teachers with easy-to-use and engaging lesson plans, additional activities, and other resources to teach students about the connections between air quality, health, weather, and other related science topics, as well as actions students can take to protect their health and reduce air pollution.

Subject(s): Science
Type(s): Curriculum Guide, Lessons and Activities
Level(s): Early Learning, Elementary School, Middle School
Aligned with the following standard(s): National Science Education
Keywords: weather, air pollution and fossil fuels, water and energy conservation

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Acid Rain: Where Have All the Rainbows Gone Lesson

Using a Soil pH lab, students will investigate the source, mechanism of formation, form, and effect of acid precipitation. Over the course of four class periods (40-45 minutes each), students will develop a basic understanding for the pH scale, the mechanism for acid precipitation formation, and the underlying social and economic issues beneath the problem.

Subject(s): Science, Social Studies
Type(s): Lessons and Activities
Level(s): High School
Aligned with the following standard(s): Pennsylvania
Keywords: pollution, acid rain, weather, air pollution and fossil fuels, experiments and investigations, water quality

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NOAA Tides and Water Levels Tutorial

Maritime activities throughout the world depend on accurate tidal and current information for safe operation. NOAA's National Ocean Service collects, studies and provides access to thousands of historical and real-time observations as well as predictions of water levels, coastal currents and other data. The Tides and Waters Levels Tutorial is an overview of the complex systems that govern the movement of tides and water levels. The Roadmap to Resources complements the information in the tutorial by directing you to additional information and data from NOAA and other reliable resources. The Subject Review would be useful for teachers to use as a worksheet for students to answer questions as they go through to tutorial, or could help generate quiz questions. This website also includes a video on storm surges and a podcast on tides.

Subject(s): Science, Technology
Type(s): Lessons and Activities, Multimedia
Level(s): Middle School, High School
Keywords: water cycle and movement, weather, tides

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Wetlands: Here All Year Lesson

Students will investigate the different types of wetlands and their seasonal characteristics. Students will create models of wetland habitats, compare and contrast various types of wetlands and conduct an experiment on a schoolyard puddle. They will analyze the data from the puddle experiment to determine weather's effect on the results.

Subject(s): Language Arts, Mathematics, Science, Social Studies
Type(s): Lessons and Activities
Level(s): Elementary School, Middle School
Aligned with the following standard(s): Virginia
Keywords: wetland, weather, experiments and investigations

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History of a Cookie Lesson

Students will identify the parts of the inner tree from the bark to the pith of the tree and develop a topic of student interest to find a historical event for each growth ring.

Subject(s): Science
Type(s): Lessons and Activities
Level(s): High School
Aligned with the following standard(s): Pennsylvania
Keywords: weather, forest, identification

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When Rain Hits the Land Lesson

Students will conduct an experiment to find out how different land surfaces affect the rate and amount of water that will run off when it hits that surface, looking at erosion and runoff and the impact on waterways.

Subject(s): Science
Type(s): Lessons and Activities
Level(s): Middle School
Keywords: water cycle and movement, weather, erosion, sediment, soil and rocks

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Reading Trees Lesson

Scientists can tell a lot about the conditions of a certain place and time by examining the rings in trees. Studies of trees used by the settlers at Jamestown have shown that the early settlers and their Indian neighbors suffered through a horrible drought. This exercise will let students experience the types of things that scientists look for and learn through the study of tree rings.

Subject(s): Mathematics, Science, Social Studies
Type(s): Lessons and Activities
Level(s): Middle School
Aligned with the following standard(s): Virginia
Keywords: weather, forest, John Smith and colonial times, Native American

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Real-Time Stream Data Map

Use this online map to find real-time river flow and water data through the U.S. Geological Service's river gauge stations. You can download data in the main rivers of the Chesapeake region, including the James, Shenandoah, Potomac and Susquehanna.

Subject(s): Science, Technology
Type(s): Multimedia, Posters and Maps
Level(s): Elementary School, Middle School, High School
Keywords: water cycle and movement, weather, watershed, water quality

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S'cool Students' Cloud Observation Website

Learn about the weather, clouds and climate on this NASA sponsored website.

Subject(s): Science
Type(s): Multimedia
Level(s): Middle School, High School
Keywords: weather

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Rain Storms, Landuse, and Lake Turbidity Lesson

Students will begin to understand the relationships between rainfall, landuse, and turbidity (suspended particulate material) in lakes. Students will identify factors that increase turbidity in lakes and describe and quantify the impacts of major rainfall events on turbidity values in a lake.

Subject(s): Mathematics, Science, Technology
Type(s): Lessons and Activities
Level(s): High School
Keywords: land use, weather, watershed, stormwater, sediment, soil and rocks, water quality

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The Case of the Disappearing Water Lesson

Students learn the concept of evaporation and how it fits into the context of the water cycle.

Subject(s): Science
Type(s): Lessons and Activities
Level(s): Elementary School, Middle School
Keywords: water cycle and movement, weather

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Virginia Estuarine & Coastal Observing System (VECOS)

This site features an interactive map showing turbidity, temperature, salinity, dissolved oxygen, pH and chlorophyll.

Subject(s): Science, Technology
Type(s): Data
Level(s): High School
Keywords: weather, water quality, water testing, salinity, dissolved oxygen, Temperature

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Eyes on Dissolved Oxygen Lesson

With this Eyes on the Bay lesson, students will describe factors that influence dissolved oxygen levels in the Chesapeake Bay, practice using a probe to measure dissolved oxygen and describe things they can do to improve DO level in the bay.

Subject(s): Science, Social Studies
Type(s): Lessons and Activities
Level(s): Middle School
Aligned with the following standard(s): Maryland
Keywords: weather, water quality, water testing, dissolved oxygen, Geography, Temperature

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