Inquiry Science Lesson Plan 

Reflection #5

Subject/Gr: Science (Gr.7/8)    Lesson Title: Watersheds & Water Systems

Teacher: Lila Gaertner

Stage 1: Identify Desired Results
Outcome(s)/Indicator(s)/Treaty Outcomes and Indicators:

WS8.1 Analyze the impact of natural and human-induced changes to the characteristics and distribution of water in local, regional, and national ecosystems.

d.      Apply the concept of systems as a tool for interpreting the structure and interactions of water systems by constructing representations of systems such as the water cycle, watersheds, and continental drainage basins and showing interrelationships between parts of the system.

Modified Indicator:

d. Discuss and understand what watersheds are, what watershed Regina is a part of, where Regina gets its water, the water systems that Regina uses.

Key Understandings: (I Can Statements)

* Understand what a Watershed is.

* Understand what watershed Regina is a part of.

* Understand where Regina gets its water.

* Understand the water systems that Regina uses.

Essential Questions:

 What is a Watershed?

What does Regina’s water systems look like?

Stage 2: Determine Evidence for Assessing Learning
 –          There will be some review questions to start off the class. If students are actively engaged and participating, then it will be evident that they remember the lesson from last week.

–          Students will be marked on their participation in discussion during the lesson.

–          There will be small group and large group discussion.

Stage 3: Build Learning Plan
Set (Warm-up, Focusing the learning):      Time: 5 mins

 Review of Water Distribution

Ask: What percentage of Earth’s water is Freshwater? (3%)

–          Of that percent, how much is of the water on the Earth’s surface is usable by humans? (1% is usable, this comes from lakes, rivers, and streams)

–          What is water distribution? (Water distribution is the process of bringing water to its consumers.

–          Distribution of water resources is usually overseen by a government agency. (Our water is overseen by the Saskatchewan Water Security Agency.)

 Review of the Water Cycle

–          The water on Earth is constantly going through the water cycle.

–          It is evaporating, being stored in the atmosphere, precipitating, infiltrating, and being stored in the ground as groundwater.

–          It is also running off into streams, rivers, and lakes (Fresh water storage).

Development:                           Time: 20 mins

PowerPoint Presentation

What is a Watershed?

Is it a Shed that holds water?

Why does it matter that we have a healthy watershed?

–          Having a healthy watershed matters because use it for drinking, recreation, and business. Food, products, and tourism depend on clean water and healthy watersheds. If the watershed gets polluted, it can carry the pollution down the rivers into the bigger lake where the water is collected and can pollute the entire ecosystem along the way. Our actions directly affect the water we and the plants and animals we live with rely on.

What Watershed is Regina a Part of?

Regina is a part of the Wascana Creek Watershed.

 What Does Regina’s Water Cycle & Water Distribution Look Like?

How does it get to our homes?

Our water is overseen by the Saskatchewan Water Security Agency.

Where Does Our Water Come From?

–          It comes from Buffalo Pound Lake, which is a small shallow lake on the Qu’Appelle water system.

–          They provide drinking water for Regina and Moose Jaw.

–          Drinking water is used for a lot of things like washing clothes, washing our hands, washing dishes, showering, and flushing the toilet.

–          Buffalo Pound is not a part of Regina’s watershed, but is a part of the Upper Qu’Appelle Watershed.

Buffalo Pound Lake

Buffalo Pound Lake is 29 km x 1km wide. It has a depth of 3 meters and the volume is 90 million cubic meters. (1 cubic meter = 1,000 liters)

Buffalo Pound Water Treatment Process

–          There is a huge and very long process that our water goes through before it is drinkable.

–          This system is designed to remove impurities such as algae, bacteria, clay particles and dissolved organic materials. The objective of this treatment is to produce water that is clear, colourless, odour-free, aesthetically pleasing and safe to drink.

–          The total capacity of water that this plant goes though is 205 million liters/day. On a hot summer day, it pumps on average 185 million liters/day. On a cold winter day, the demand for water goes down, so it pumps 100 million liters/day.

Brain Break: Lakes, Oceans, Streams (Rock, Paper, Scissors)           (5 mins)

  • This is the Massive Version of Rock, Paper, Scissors
  • Lakes (Rock – crumple into a ball still standing).
  • Oceans (Paper – Stand with arms & legs spread out wide).
  • Streams (Scissors – two arms waving back and forth in front of you.)
  • Lakes beat Streams
  • Oceans beat Lakes
  • Streams beat Oceans

Where Does Our Water Go After We Use It?

–          Our used water goes through the Regina Wastewater Treatment Plant.

–          Our water is cleaned and then put back into Wascana Creek, which then makes its way to Wascana Lake in Regina.

–          Regina uses on average 75 cubic meters of water/day. (Or 75, 000 liters/day)

Where is it on the Map?

Regina’s Wastewater Treatment Plant is West of Regina –  on Dewdney Ave

 What Happens when our Water Cycle is Polluted?

Water would not be great to drink, it could damage the different species in our ecosystem or even kill them, it would take longer to clean for us to be able to use it and drink it. The process of cleaning the water would take longer and use up more energy. Would you want to swim in this?

Why is Wascana Lake So Polluted?

People throw their garbage in Wascana Lake

There is a massive amount of goose poo in the lake.

Water flows down in a watershed and the wastewater that we use gets put back into Wascana Lake after being cleaned at the Reina Wastewater Treatment plant.

 What Can Pollute Our Water?

–          Sewage & Fertilizer (Sewage, in small quantities breaks down naturally, but in large quantities it reduces the amount of oxygen in the water. When too much oxygen is removed, the polluted area can’t support sea life. These areas are known as “dead zones,” and there are more than 400 of them around the world, causing major damage to the health of the oceans.

–          Acid Rain (When fossil fuels are burned, they release compounds that interact with the H20 in the air, creating a modified version of the raindrop—one that includes nitric and sulfuric acid, which pollutes the water and ground that’s affected by the rain. Too much of those acids hinders plant growth, and soil damage.

–          Toxic Chemicals (From oil, gas, acid rain, & garbage/plastic). Some of these toxic chemicals are released by accident, ex. Oil spills. Others are released by factories, large companies and even vehicles, ex. Gas & acid rain. While others are carelessly dropped on the ground by humans, ex. Garbage/plastics. Toxic chemicals and compounds from agricultural runoff, mining waste, paved roads, and industrial activity also make their way into the water system —through rainwater drainage, melting snow, and running rivers.

 Learning Closure:                Time: 3-5 mins

 Reflection Question:

Get the students to personally write down their answer on a piece of paper.

How Have You Polluted the Water Cycle?

Then share your answer with a neighbor.

Then share answers as a class. (If anyone wants to share).

Facts About Nature Works Plastic Cups

  • Made from Ingeo nature plastic. Aka. Made from plants, not oil.
  • 50% less non-renewable energy
  • 75% fewer greenhouse gas emissions
  • Sugar from plants to polymer chains
  • Does not biodegrade in a regular landfill.

–          PowerPoint Presentation on Watersheds and Water Systems.

Management Strategies:

–          Explain to the students that it is important to be actively listening to instructions and following them in class.

–          If the students are too loud, get their attention by clapping a pattern that they are supposed to repeat. Repeat the pattern until they are all quiet. Then continue with the lesson.

–          Ask for respect and their attention if students are too loud. Wait until they settle down.

Safety Considerations:

–          Make sure the students are aware of their personal space.

Possible Adaptations/ Differentiation:

–          There will be visual and auditory learning in the PowerPoint Presentation and YouTube Videos.

–          The videos are helpful for the visual and auditory learners.

–          Students are able to talk with their neighbor about the discussion questions before the larger group as a full class. This way, the shy students will still be involved in discussion.

Stage 4: Reflection
This is a lesson that connects to last week’s lesson on the Water Cycle. The hope is that students will be able to apply what they know from last week’s lesson to this lesson. They will also be learning more information that will help prepare them for the lesson next week.