Environmental and Outdoor Education (EOE) Model Lesson - Stream Monitoring

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These model lessons were created by teachers participating in the Minnesota Department of Education's 2011-13 project, "Integrating Environmental and Outdoor Education into Grades 7-12" with funding from the Minnesota Environment and Natural Resources Trust Fund as recommended by the Legislative-Citizen Commission on Minnesota Resources.

Title of lesson: Stream Monitoring

Content area: Environmental Science, Ecology
Grade level: 9-12
Learning objective: Students will be able to successfully:
- Measure stream width and depth
- Measure water temperature
- Identify habitat and influences on local stream health
- Measure stream velocity
- Measure stream clarity

Standard or benchmark addressed:
Science - Describe the social, economic and ecological risks and benefits of changing a natural ecosystem as a result of human activity. - Explain how ecosystems can change as a result of the introduction of one or more new species. - Explain how human activity and natural processes are altering the hydrosphere, biosphere, lithosphere and atmosphere, including pollution, topography and climate. - Analyze the benefits, costs, risks and tradeoffs associated with natural hazards, including the selection of land use and engineering mitigation. - Trace the cyclical movement of carbon, oxygen and nitrogen through the lithosphere, hydrosphere, atmosphere, and biosphere. - Describe a system, including specifications of boundaries and subsystems, relationships to other systems, and identification of inputs and expected outputs.

Description of lesson and how it is adapted for EOE:
This lesson involves sampling and collecting data for local stream monitoring. These lesson involve students in the hands on collection and analysis of data and connecting with local and state agencies to communicate data.

Teacher's role:
- Scout local streams and lakes
- Lead students in pre instruction sampling methods
- Lead students in day of sampling methods
- Engage students in collection of multiple data sets and analysis

Other resources needed:
- Waiters - set for 1 per 2-3 students
- 100 ft tape measures - 1 per 2-3 students
- D-nets - 1 per 2-3 students for invert collection
- Thermometers
- Floating object - tennis ball, fishing floats, blow up beach ball, etc.

How students are assessed:
- Formative Unit Test
- Summative journal entries

Time considerations:
- Scouting - 1 class period (70min) with or without class to get a sense of the area of study
- Sampling - 2 class period (70min) for steam characteristics, temperature, velocity, invert sampling, etc.
- Analysis - 2 class period (70min) for group collaboration and analysis

Environmental and Outdoor Education (EOE) Model Lessons are freely available for use by all teachers for educational purposes only.

Michael Jensen, Waconia High School, Waconia, MN
Topic Areas: 
Environmental Sciences
Target Audience: 
Grades 10-12
Grades 7-9
Geographic Location: 
All Minnesota
Enhancements / Connections: 

- Use D-nets for invertebrate collection, biodiversity index study
- Extend stream data collection to local lakes

Date Produced/Published: 
Library loan: 
Is training required?: