Inquiry Science Lesson Plan 

Reflection #6

Subject/Gr: Science (Gr.7/8)    Lesson Title: Water Pollution

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.

c.  Examine the significance of water to First Nations and Métis people of Saskatchewan, including water as an essential element of life, transportation, water quality, fishing practices, and treaty rights regarding fishing.

IE7.4 Analyze how ecosystems change in response to natural and human influences, and propose actions to reduce the impact of human behaviour on a specific ecosystem.

b. Propose ecological questions to investigate arising from practical problems and issues (e.g., “What is the impact of clearing land for farming?”, “How could a community prolong the life of its landfill site?”, “How could a community reduce the amount of garbage it produces?”, “What is the impact of a sports field being constructed in a particular location?”).

f. Propose a course of action or defend a given position on a local ecological issue or problem related to natural or human influences on a particular ecosystem, taking into account scientific, societal, technological, and environmental factors.

Modified Indicator:


c. Examine the significance of water to First Nations and Métis people of Saskatchewan, including water as an essential element of life, and the effects of water pollution.


b. Propose an ecological question to investigate arising from practical problems and issues (ex. What is the impact of plastic in our water cycle?)

f. Propose a course of action relating to plastic use and plastics in the ocean.

Key Understandings: (I Can Statements)

* Understand what the significance of water to the First Nations and Métis people of Saskatchewan, including water as an essential element of life and the effects of water pollution.

* Understand that plastic has a very negative effect on our water and ecosystem.

* Personally propose a course of action related to plastic use and plastics in the ocean.

Essential Questions:

 What is the significance of water to the First Nation’s people?

What is the impact of plastic in our water cycle?

What can you do to makes sure you don’t pollute the water cycle?

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 the last two weeks.

–          Students will be marked on their participation in discussion during the lesson. They will also be marked on their “course of action”, which will be related to plastic use and plastics in the ocean.

–          Students will hand in their action plans/pledges at the end of the class.

Stage 3: Build Learning Plan
Set (Warm-up, Focusing the learning):      Time: 5-7 mins

 Say: First of all, I would just like to acknowledge that we are on Treaty 4 land and that I am thankful for the treaties that were made here in Canada.

 PowerPoint Presentation

 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).

Review on Watersheds

–          “A watershed is all of the land, that drains into the same location or body of water”.

–          “It’s like a funnel, collecting all of the water in a specific area and draining into the nearest body of water.”

Development:                                              Time: 30-35 mins

Say: I want to go over the First Nations and Metis peoples’ worldview of water and why they think it is important.

What do First Nations and Metis People Think About Water?

–          First Nations people have a strong spiritual connection with water. Water is considered living and must be respected.

–          Elders give their traditional knowledge through stories and they share stories about how:

–          Water is sacred.

–          Water is given to us by Mother Earth.

–          The respect we give to Mother Earth is to not pollute or waste the waters.

First Nations & Metis Practices with Water

–          First Nations peoples have a variety of cultural and social practices that involve water, like:

–          Places of prayer

–          Bathing

–          Oral stories

–          Purification ceremonies

–          Medicine making

–          Fishing (First Nations people harvested the fish resources of Saskatchewan long before European influence. In the forested areas of the Province, fish were a major contributor to sustaining life.)

First Nations Views on Water Quality

–          Waters are sacred (they provide for us).

–          Waters are a food source (ex. plants and fish).

–          Waters are a way of life, transportation.

–          Provides drinking water on the First Nations land.

How Does Water Pollution Effect the First Nations People?

–          It is damaging to them because they believe water is sacred and should not be polluted and it should be respected because it provides for us.

–          It is damaging towards their cultural and social practices that involve water.

–          They cannot drink the water or fish from it, if it is polluted.

Review: 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.

–          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.

–          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.

 How Do We Personally Pollute the Water Cycle?

 Say: Last class we reflected on how we pollute the water cycle. So what are some of the things you wrote down or talked about last class?

 –          Littering

–          Throwing garbage and plastic into Wascana Lake.

–          Throwing plastic water bottles in the garbage instead of recycling them.

–          Garbage make its way into the water system through rainwater drainage, melting snow, and running rivers.

Plastics in the Water Cycle

Watch Video:

–          What did you think about this video?

–          What stood out to you?

–          Does this video make you want to do something differently about your plastic use?

 Effects of Plastic in the Ecosystem

 Say: Here are some pictures of what plastic has done to certain wildlife in their ecosystems. The fish has died from eating micro plastics, the turtle is stuck in a plastic from pop cans, the bird on the upper right has died from being filled on plastics, and the swans in the picture on the bottom are eating a plastic bag.

The Great Pacific Garbage Patch

Watch Video:

–          What do you think of this video?

–          80% of the plastic comes from land sources. (From streams and rivers… that’s from us…).

–           Gyre: An Ocean Gyre is a circular ocean current. The gyre that the garbage patch is situated in marks the area of the patch, holds it together and keeps it moving.

 What Can You Do to Help Reduce Water Pollution?

–          How can we stop water pollution from getting worst?

–          What can we do to make sure we stop polluting the water cycle?

–          How can one person make a difference? (It starts with you!)

 Examples of What You Can Do to Respect Our Environment

–          Use Reusable bags (Stop using or taking plastic bags from the stores).

–          Stop using plastic straws (Use a reusable stainless steel or glass straw).

–          Use a reusable water bottle.

–          Avoid buying plastic bottles (Pop bottles).

–          Recycle the few plastic bottles you do use.

–          Pack your lunch in reusable containers or bags.

–          Use matches instead of disposable plastic lighters or invest in a refillable metal lighter.

–          Reuse containers for storing leftovers or buying in bulk.

–          Give up gum (Gum is made of synthetic rubber, aka plastic).

–          Throw my garbage in a garbage can.

Action Plan: Make a Pledge!                                         (10 Mins)

Say: Why do you think it would be a good idea to make a pledge? (It’s a way of showing our respect to the Earth. Pledging that we will do better. Reminding us that we must take care of the environment.)

–          Make a Pledge to not pollute the Water Cycle!

–          On a piece of paper, trace your own hand, then write out 5 things that you can personally do to help reduce pollution in the water cycle. You can write one pledge on every finger.

–          Ex. Write… “I, (*Insert Name*) pledge to: (do these actions to reduce the pollution in the water cycle.)”

–          You have 10 minutes to complete this task.

Learning Closure:                                           Time: 5 mins

Closing: Share Your Pledges

Say: Let’s hear some pledges. Who would like to share with the class, one of their pledges?

–          You can share your pledges with your classmates, family, and friends.

–          Share with them, why you are making a pledge to help reduce pollution in the water cycle.

Get the students to hand in their pledges at the end of the class.


–          PowerPoint Presentation on Water Pollution.

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 saying, “If you can hear me clap once”. 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.

–          While students are working on their pledges, walk around the class to make sure they are staying on task.

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 make their own pledges and create a creative piece on how they will do something differently, so that they will not harm or pollute the water cycle.