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 > Social Studies   > Elementary School  
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Zero Footprint Youth Calculator

Use EE Week's online carbon footprint calculator to estimate your carbon dioxide emissions resulting from your daily activities, such as household electricity use, food choices and transportation.

Subject(s): Social Studies
Type(s): Multimedia
Level(s): Elementary School, Middle School, High School
Keywords: air pollution and fossil fuels, water and energy conservation

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Waterways

As a result of this lesson, students develop a map that identifies waterways that have been important in the transportation of goods and people in the United States. Students will use color to show how the use of waterways has changed over time, and will diagram the methods of water travel through history.

Subject(s): Language Arts, Social Studies
Type(s): Lessons and Activities
Level(s): Elementary School
Keywords: boats, canoes and kayaks, culture and watermen, John Smith and colonial times, Native American, transportation

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What Is a Wood-and-Bark Shelter Lesson

Students learn about how the Powhatan people used wood and bark from nature to create a shelter that would protect them from the outside weather. They then participate in a group activity where they discuss how the American Indians traded corn with the settlers and helped the settlers plant corn for food.

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

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Transportation of the Powhatan Indians of the Eastern Woodlands Lesson

Students learn how the Powhatan Indians used canoes to navigate the waterways of Virginia and then create their own paper canoes.

Subject(s): Art, Social Studies
Type(s): Lessons and Activities
Level(s): Elementary School
Aligned with the following standard(s): Virginia
Keywords: Native American, transportation

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The Water Sourcebook: Grade Level 3-5

This environmental education program from the US EPA explains the water management cycle using a balanced approach showing how it affects all aspects of the environment.All activities contain hands-on investigations, fact sheets, reference materials, and a glossary of terms. Activities are organized by objectives, materials needed, background information, advance preparation, procedures, and resources. This resource is divided into five chapters: Introduction to Water, Drinking Water and Wastewater Treatment, Surface Water Resources, Ground Water Resources, and Wetlands and Coastal Waters.

Subject(s): Mathematics, Science, Social Studies
Type(s): Curriculum Guide, Lessons and Activities
Level(s): Elementary School
Keywords: pollution, water cycle and movement, acid rain, wetland, land use, watershed, water quality, Drinking Water

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Shelters of the Powhatan Indians of the Eastern Woodlands Lesson

Students learn about Powhatan tribe homes and construct their own wood and bark house.

Subject(s): Art, Social Studies
Type(s): Lessons and Activities
Level(s): Elementary School
Aligned with the following standard(s): Virginia
Keywords: forest, Native American

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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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Turning the Tide on Trash: A Learning Guide on Marine Debris

Educators, parents, students, and researchers can use NOAA's “Turning the Tide on Trash” as they explore the serious impacts marine debris can have on wildlife, the environment, our well being, and our economy. This interdisciplinary guide can be used as a stand-alone teaching tool, or individual activities within the guide may be used to supplement work in other subject areas. Students searching for science fair projects can also adapt some of these lessons into research projects.

Subject(s): Art, Language Arts, Mathematics, Science, Social Studies
Type(s): Curriculum Guide
Level(s): Elementary School, Middle School, High School
Keywords: litter, trash and recycling, restoration, water quality, wildlife, tides

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Means of Survival for the Powhatan Indians of the Eastern Woodlands Lesson

Students learn about the Powhatan Indian way of life and how they survived as fisherman, hunters, and farmers. They also learn that James River was important to the Powhatan tribes in providing both food and transportation.

Subject(s): Social Studies
Type(s): Lessons and Activities
Level(s): Elementary School
Aligned with the following standard(s): Virginia
Keywords: forest, Native American

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EPA - Turning the Tide on Trash: Marine Debris Curriculum Guide

The three units in this learning guide are designed to increase students' awareness of the impacts of marine debris and teach them pollution prevention techniques. At the same time, the activities strive to inspire an appreciation of the ocean. This guide may be used as a stand-alone teaching tool or individual activities may be used to supplement work in other subject areas.

Subject(s): Art, Language Arts, Mathematics, Science, Social Studies
Type(s): Curriculum Guide
Level(s): Elementary School, Middle School
Keywords: pollution, water and energy conservation, litter, trash and recycling, tides

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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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Beyond Jamestown: Virginia Indians Yesterday and Today Teacher Guide

This teacher guide explores Virginia Indian history from the Indian perspective and shows that Virginia Indian cultures are vibrant and thriving. Activities include pottery making, corn husk dolls and three sister gardening.

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

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Go Fish Lesson

Students share a bowl of goldfish crackers to simulate even and uneven consumption of limited resources.

Subject(s): Mathematics, Science, Social Studies
Type(s): Lessons and Activities
Level(s): Elementary School
Keywords: population growth, renewable resource

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Surface Water Sourcebook

The Water Sourcebooks contain 324 activities for grades K-12 divided into four sections: K-2, 3-5, 5-8, and 9-12. Each section is divided into five chapters: Introduction to Water, Drinking Water and Wastewater Treatment, Surface Water Resources, Ground Water Resources, and Wetlands and Coastal Waters. This environmental education program explains the water management cycle using a balanced approach showing how it affects all aspects of the environment.All activities contain hands-on investigations, fact sheets, reference materials, and a glossary of terms. Activities are organized by objectives, materials needed, background information, advance preparation, procedures, and resources.

Subject(s): Art, Language Arts, Mathematics, Science, Social Studies
Type(s): Curriculum Guide
Level(s): Elementary School, Middle School, High School
Aligned with the following standard(s): National Science Education
Keywords: pollution, water cycle and movement, wetland, watershed, stormwater, green development, habitat and niche, water quality, water testing, Drinking Water

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How Slaves Found Their Way North

Students learn about natural and human-made clues that helped slaves find their way north through the Underground Railroad. For example, they will learn environmental factors, such as how migrating birds fly north in the summer, can help with navigation. Then they create a quilt with clues about routes to freedom.

Subject(s): Social Studies
Type(s): Lessons and Activities
Level(s): Elementary School
Keywords: African American, Underground Railroad, Geography

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The Underground Railroad Route

Students will identify slave states and free states during the time of the Underground Railroad, explore the challenges of escaping, and choose the route they would have taken. They will discuss the environmental and physical features of the land that made the journey difficult and use maps and other geographic representations, geospatial technologies, and spatial thinking to understand and communicate information.

Subject(s): Social Studies
Type(s): Lessons and Activities
Level(s): Elementary School
Keywords: African American, Underground Railroad, Geography

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Introduction to the Underground Railroad

Students will learn about the Underground Railroad and why slaves used it. They will also learn how to use maps and other geographic representations, geospatial technologies, and spatial thinking to understand and communicate information. This resource also connects to National Council for Social Studies Curriculum Standards, Theme 2: Time, Continuity, and Change.

Subject(s): Social Studies
Type(s): Lessons and Activities
Level(s): Elementary School
Keywords: African American, Underground Railroad, Geography

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The Water Sourcebook: Grade Level K-2

This environmental education program from the US EPA explains the water management cycle using a balanced approach showing how it affects all aspects of the environment.All activities contain hands-on investigations, fact sheets, reference materials, and a glossary of terms. Activities are organized by objectives, materials needed, background information, advance preparation, procedures, and resources. This resource is divided into five chapters: Introduction to Water, Drinking Water and Wastewater Treatment, Surface Water Resources, Ground Water Resources, and Wetlands and Coastal Waters.

Subject(s): Mathematics, Science, Social Studies
Type(s): Curriculum Guide, Lessons and Activities
Level(s): Early Learning, Elementary School
Keywords: water cycle and movement, watershed, stormwater, water and energy conservation, water quality, salinity, Drinking Water

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Global Water Supply: Elementary School Curriculum

Stand-alone lesson plans are part of larger units that cover a broad scope of subjects including English, science and technology, and social sciences like geography, civics and economics. Classroom activities cover everything from poetry seminars and vocabulary-building worksheets to science and math lessons about potable water availability. Activities are aligned to national standards.

Subject(s): Language Arts, Mathematics, Science, Social Studies, Technology
Type(s): Curriculum Guide
Level(s): Elementary School
Aligned with the following standard(s): National Science Education
Keywords: water cycle and movement, water and energy conservation, water quality, Drinking Water

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A Teachers Guide to Delaware State Parks: Field Trips and Outreach Opportunities

Delaware State Parks are great places for students and teachers to explore nature and history. With 16 parks, five historic sites and many natural areas, Delaware State Parks offer you a comprehensive view of our state’s natural and historical heritage. This resource contains an overview of Delaware State Park field trip and outreach programs, as a printable PDF.

Subject(s): Science, Social Studies
Type(s): Lessons and Activities
Level(s): Early Learning, Elementary School, Middle School, High School
Aligned with the following standard(s): Delaware
Keywords: land use, watershed, wildlife, Outdoor Activity

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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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Mapping Watersheds

How does topography shape a watershed? In this activity, students label major rivers and outline watersheds on a world map. They compare the shapes of various watersheds and discuss how topography influences their shapes.

Subject(s): Science, Social Studies
Type(s): Lessons and Activities, Posters and Maps
Level(s): Elementary School, Middle School
Keywords: watershed, Geography

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The Underground Railroad - Online Interactive

You are a slave in Maryland in the 1800s. Can you escape? Learn what challenges slaves faced in National Geographic's online, interactive Underground Railroad adventure.

Subject(s): Social Studies
Type(s): Multimedia
Level(s): Elementary School
Keywords: culture and watermen, African American, Underground Railroad

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Virginia's Natural Resource Education Guide: Virginia's Public Policy & Environmental Management

Check out these great lesson plans! This information and activity packet discusses the environmental quality and pollution, and the management and public policies that seek to address them. Two lesson plans are also included. In the "Pollution Prevention Audit Activity," students predict types of waste produced and analyze ways to decrease it. In the "Sum of the Parts: From the James River to the Chesapeake Bay" lesson plan, students will map and collate different land uses in a simulation “puzzle” exercise that shows the cumulative effects of each land use on water quality.

Subject(s): Science, Social Studies
Type(s): Lessons and Activities
Level(s): Early Learning, Elementary School, Middle School
Aligned with the following standard(s): Virginia
Keywords: pollution, land use, watershed, air pollution and fossil fuels, litter, trash and recycling, renewable resource, water quality, economics

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

This document provides students with information on forested lands in Virginia, and the benefits of forests. Forest ecology, the economic value of Virginia's forests, the role of streamside forests, and managing and conserving healthy forests are all covered. The literature also explains how trees grow and how students can tell the age of a tree.

Subject(s): Science, Social Studies
Type(s): Books and Publications
Level(s): Elementary School, Middle School
Aligned with the following standard(s): Virginia
Keywords: watershed, erosion, forest, economics

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