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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Resources > development  
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The Good Old Days Lesson

In this lively simulation, U.S. presidents from 1800, 1850, 1900, 1950 and 2006 compare resource use, wealth, health, education and more with some interesting facts and symbols of quality of life. Students participate in a simulation game that illustrates the change in population and wealth in the United States from 1800-2006.

Subject(s): Mathematics, Science, Social Studies
Type(s): Lessons and Activities
Level(s): Middle School, High School
Keywords: population growth, land use, development, erosion

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Rain Barrel Math Activity

Students will use math to determine the surface area of there roof, number of rain barrels that could be filled, and the average rainfall that can be collected to water a garden.

Subject(s): Mathematics, Science, Technology
Type(s): Lessons and Activities
Level(s): Elementary School, Middle School
Keywords: development, stormwater, green development

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Dead Zones: What Can You Do Lesson

Students will discuss how future changes in land use and climate may affect dead zones and exploring the trade-offs associated with human activities and their consequences. Students will then summarize what they have learned about the dead zones and create a public service announcement about what people can do to help decrease the size and duration of dead zones.

Subject(s): Science
Type(s): Lessons and Activities
Level(s): High School
Keywords: climate change, development, habitat and niche, restoration, dissolved oxygen

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Dead Zones and Coastal Eutrophication PowerPoint Presentation

This PowerPoint presentation discusses the causes and consequences of dead zones.

Subject(s): Science
Type(s): Multimedia
Level(s): High School
Aligned with the following standard(s): National Science Education
Keywords: pollution, land use, development, habitat and niche, water quality, fish, dissolved oxygen

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NOAA Estuaries 101 Curriculum - Life Science Module 2: Nutrients in an Estuary

In this activity, students model estuaries, artificially enriching both fresh and salt water samples with different amounts of nutrients and observing the growth of algae over a several weeks. They relate their results to the phenomenon of algae blooms in estuaries. They then analyze data for different sites at the Guana Tolomato Matanzas National Estuarine Research Reserve(GTMNERR) in Florida to discover the relationships between nitrogen, chlorophyll, and dissolved oxygen. Finally, they study how nutrients cycle through an estuary and suggest recommendations for reducing nutrient inputs to estuary waters.

Subject(s): Mathematics, Science
Type(s): Lessons and Activities
Level(s): High School
Aligned with the following standard(s): National Science Education
Keywords: nitrogen and carbon cycle, pollution, point source, non-point source, photosynthesis, development, stormwater, water quality, dissolved oxygen, Nutrients and Eutorphication

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Designing a Resilient Community Activity

Students participate in project-based learning over several days as they assess their community's ability to respond to crises that threaten both natural and human systems. Then they develop ideas for redesigning their community to be more resilient.

Subject(s): Social Studies
Type(s): Lessons and Activities
Level(s): High School
Keywords: development, green development, smart growth

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Youth Action Guide for the Study and Stewardship of Community Riparian Areas

Holding onto the GREEN Zone is an Earth Science and life science curriculum with a focus on science inquiry and experiential learning. Using questioning, analysis,observation, and investigation,learners will enhance their knowledge of science, boost their critical thinking skills, learn the importance of preserving and restoring vital riparian ecosystems, and have fun. When young people become involved in investigating the GREEN Zone, they are better prepared to take action on local watershed issues now and in the future. They also gain the opportunity to exercise their rights and responsibilities as citizens and community members. Both a leader guide and a student action guide are provided. Correlations are provided to National Science Education Content Standards, NAAEE Excellence in Environmental Education—Guidelines for Learning, and 4-H Youth Development Guidelines.

Subject(s): Mathematics, Science
Type(s): Curriculum Guide, Lessons and Activities
Level(s): Elementary School, Middle School, High School
Aligned with the following standard(s): National Science Education
Keywords: pollution, point source, non-point source, water cycle and movement, photosynthesis, wetland, land use, food web, adaptation, watershed, agriculture, development, stormwater, air pollution and fossil fuels, aquatic grass SAV, ecosystem and biomes, erosion, experiments and investigations, forest, habitat and niche, identification, sediment, soil and rocks, water quality, student action

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Riverworks Discovery: Wheel House Log Book

The Hudson, Delaware, Susquehanna, Potomac, and James Rivers are some of the most important in the Mid-Atlantic region. These historic rivers contribute to our nation’s economy, history, and culture. This information and activity packet provides content on watersheds, early exploration of the region, the history of water travel and trade, and more.

Subject(s): Language Arts, Mathematics, Science, Social Studies
Type(s): Lessons and Activities
Level(s): Elementary School
Keywords: boats, canoes and kayaks, development, air pollution and fossil fuels, culture and watermen, John Smith and colonial times, litter, trash and recycling, Native American, restoration, transportation

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Stream Cleaner

Use different BMP practices to reduce the amount of pollution coming from farms and urban areas into the local stream. (Just click visitor when the site opens). An associated lesson plan and West Virginia standards correlations are available here: http://www.cacaponinstitute.org/PDF/Pollution%20Curriculum%20Lesson%20Plan.pdf

Subject(s): Mathematics, Science, Technology
Type(s): Lessons and Activities, Multimedia
Level(s): Middle School
Aligned with the following standard(s): West Virginia
Keywords: pollution, non-point source, watershed, agriculture, development, forest, water quality

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Decision Matrix

Teach your students how difficult it can be to be a city planner through this interactive online game. The provided link is for the lesson plan associated with this activity. The module itself is available via the following URL: http://www.cacaponinstitute.org/CILearning/DM/DM.html

Subject(s): Science, Social Studies
Type(s): Lessons and Activities, Multimedia
Level(s): High School
Aligned with the following standard(s): West Virginia
Keywords: land use, development, green development

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Chesapeake Bay FieldScope Activity: The Human Footprint in the Watershed

Students explore how humans have shaped the landscape in the Chesapeake Bay watershed. Students work with map layers in the National Geographic's FieldScope tool to consider land development patterns and development trends over time, in order to investigate why people settled where they did.

Subject(s): Science, Social Studies, Technology
Type(s): Lessons and Activities, Multimedia, Supplies
Level(s): Middle School, High School
Keywords: land use, watershed, development, Geography

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Virginia's Natural Resource Education Guide: Virginia's Soil Resources

The information provided in this packet helps students learn about what soil is, what soil horizons are, and some of the problems associated with soil (erosion, water clarity, etc). A lesson plan on how soil can filter water and another on how non-point source pollution can be prevented are included.

Subject(s): Science
Type(s): Lessons and Activities
Level(s): Elementary School, Middle School
Aligned with the following standard(s): Virginia
Keywords: non-point source, land use, development, erosion, sediment, soil and rocks, water quality

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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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Pennsylvania Land Choices - An Educational Guide

Pennsylvania Land Choices is a national recognized award winning educational program developed by the DCNR State Parks to provide professional development for teachers, conservation and community leaders to understand the role of the citizen and local communities in making decisions that benefit conservation and sustainable community character. The program connects social studies and science in the 6 – 12 grades through place-based service learning, conservation and local government. The activities provide inquiry-based opportunities and hand-on activities that encourage service learning for the benefit of students and their community. Lessons are aligned to the Pennsylvania state academic standards and feature SAS protocols.

Subject(s): Science, Social Studies
Type(s): Curriculum Guide, Lessons and Activities
Level(s): Middle School, High School
Aligned with the following standard(s): Pennsylvania
Keywords: nitrogen and carbon cycle, pollution, non-point source, water cycle and movement, population growth, wetland, land use, watershed, agriculture, development, stormwater, air pollution and fossil fuels, water and energy conservation, erosion, green development, transportation, water quality, wildlife, economics, student action

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Chesapeake Bay FieldScope Website

Explore National Geographic's interactive online map of the Chesapeake Bay. Learn about land use by exploring real-time data and interactive map layers. Your class can also conduct stream studies and enter their data online to use some cool analysis tools, and to share data with other schools.

Subject(s): Science, Social Studies, Technology
Type(s): Multimedia, Data
Level(s): Middle School, High School
Keywords: pollution, population growth, wetland, land use, watershed, agriculture, development, ecosystem and biomes, forest, water quality, water testing

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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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Discover the Chesapeake

This portion of the Chesapeake Bay Program's website is one of the best Chesapeake Bay-related informational resources around. It features Bay 101 video clips, a Bay FAQ, a Bay glossary and provides information on the Bay ecosystem, history, and watershed. The website also includes one of the most comprehensive Field Guides to the Chesapeake Bay, completely available online!

Subject(s): Science, Social Studies
Type(s): Multimedia, Books and Publications
Level(s): Early Learning, Elementary School, Middle School, High School
Keywords: watershed, blue crab, development, biodiversity, culture and watermen, ecosystem and biomes, habitat and niche, John Smith and colonial times, restoration, water quality, wildlife, fish

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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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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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NOAA Get Smart: Smart Growth Lesson

What is Smart Growth, and what advantages does it have compared to other approaches to community development? Teach your students with this lesson! Upon completing this lesson, students will be able to describe the concepts of sustainability and Smart Growth, identify at least three benefits that may be expected from Smart Growth, and discuss at least three different perspectives on Smart Growth that might be found among stakeholders in a coastal community

Subject(s): Science, Social Studies, Technology
Type(s): Curriculum Guide, Lessons and Activities, Multimedia
Level(s): High School
Aligned with the following standard(s): National Science Education
Keywords: population growth, development, green development, smart growth

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NOAA Do You Have Change?: Coastal Change Analysis Lesson

In this lesson students will learn how scientists can monitor changes in the ways land is used in coastal areas. During the lesson, students will explain how satellite imagery can be used to monitor land use change, construct a change table to summarize land cover information, and use a change table to make inferences about land use changes in a coastal region.

Subject(s): Science, Social Studies
Type(s): Curriculum Guide, Lessons and Activities, Data
Level(s): High School
Aligned with the following standard(s): National Science Education
Keywords: population growth, land use, development

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NOAA Who Moved The Beach: Shoreline Erosion

In this lesson students will learn the primary causes and impacts of coastal erosion, and how should human communities respond to this process. In this lesson students will identify coastal erosion as a natural process, explain how human activity can increase the risks associated with coastal erosion, and identify options for reducing risks caused by coastal erosion, and discuss the advantages and problems associated with these options. Students will also analyze and interpret beach elevation data, and make inferences from these data about the relative vulnerability of different beaches to coastal erosion.

Subject(s): Science
Type(s): Curriculum Guide, Lessons and Activities, Data
Level(s): High School
Aligned with the following standard(s): National Science Education
Keywords: land use, development, erosion, sediment, soil and rocks, tides

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Development and the Nature of the Water Cycle

In this interactive, students investigate the controversy surrounding the development of a huge mall on the banks of the Dwight River in the fictitious town of Bayville. Through their investigation, they learn about the water cycle, the effects that development 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): Middle School
Aligned with the following standard(s): Maryland
Keywords: water cycle and movement, development, green development, smart growth, economics

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Who Killed SAV Lesson

Students will investigate the major causes of aquatic grass (SAV) decline. Students will examine four major causes of bay grass decline and evaluate the level to which certain natural and human factors led to the decline of bay grasses.

Subject(s): Language Arts, Science, Social Studies
Type(s): Lessons and Activities
Level(s): Elementary School, Middle School, High School
Aligned with the following standard(s): Virginia
Keywords: development, aquatic grass SAV, water quality

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Does it Soak Right In Lesson

Students will which types of land surfaces allow water to soak in, and which cause water to run off the ground. Students will predict the percolation properties of various land surfaces and test various land surfaces and measure and compare the percolation rates.

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: water cycle and movement, watershed, development, stormwater

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