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ASSURE Lesson Plan

Watershed Systems
6th Grade
Lesson length: 60 minutes, or one class period
Analyze Learners
Total number of students: 16
Male students: 6
Female students: 10
Students with low learning skills:5
ESL Student:0
Hearing Impaired:0
Visual/Spatial learners: 6
Kinesthetic learners: 7
Verbal/linguistic learners:2
Interpersonal learners: 0
Logical/Mathematical: 1

State Objectives
VA SOL 6.7
Student will investigate and understand the natural process and human interaction that
affect watershed systems. Key concepts include
b) the location and structure of Virginias regional watershed systems;
c) divides, tributaries, rivers systems, and river and stream processes;
d) wetlands;
e) estuaries
Select Media, Materials, and Methods
4 computers with internet for groups to access Google Earth
Projector or Smart board

Composition Notebooks (Journals)
Blue dye
Spray Bottle

UIS 350 ASSURE Lesson Plan: Toni Crawford


As an entire group, the teacher will introduce the topic of watersheds by asking students
what is a watershed? Why might they be important to us? Students will have 1-2 minutes to
write down what they think a watershed is in their journals. After students write their ideas,
the teacher will have a class discussion to get the students different ideas. Next, the teacher
will break the students up into four groups or four. Each group will receive a piece of paper,
cardboard and spray bottle with blue-colored water. The teacher will tell the students to ball
the piece of paper up. The group will choose how much they want to ball the paper up. The
teacher will tell students to unravel the piece of paper, but do not flatten it and place the
paper on top of the cardboard. The students will then pick up the spray bottle and spray the
piece of paper two times and watch the way the water flow. Based on the students
observations, they will write a different definition of what they think watershed might mean
now and as a class, we will discuss their thoughts. The teacher will now show a video from
you-tube explaining what a watershed is, why it is important to us, and the effect that
humans have on watersheds. Using a power point, the teacher will give in-depth
explanations of what watersheds are, why they are important, what are they used for, how
humans influence them and vocabulary terms that students need to use when exploring on
their own with Google maps. When the lecture is complete, students will ask any questions
they may have about the lecture for clarification before moving on to group activities. Since
students were already in groups, one student from the group will get a laptop for the group.
Finally, the teacher will give each group a watershed to research and show the students
how to use Google Earth on the projector or Smartboard.

Utilize Media, Materials, and Methods

4 computers with internet for groups to access Google Earth

Composition Notebook (Journals)
Detailed instructions for students to refer to if needed
Projector or Smart board

The teacher will show students how to use Google Earth to research their chosen
watersheds on the project and will also have a copy of all the directions available at each
group for students to refer to again if needed.
1) Student will launch Google Earth by double-clicking its icon or choosing it from the
programs list under the start menu.
2) In Google Earths menu panel on the left side of the screen, under the option Layer
list, check the box in front of Borders and Labels to turn this layer on.
3) Minimize Google earth and go to the Internet browse to access watershed data.
4) Go to the EDNA-Derived Watershed Atlas Home Page. EDNA Homepage On this
website you will have two choices: one for HTML and one for KML. Make sure to
start with the HTML site. HTML site

UIS 350 ASSURE Lesson Plan: Toni Crawford


5) On the EDNA HTML map page, place the cursor over the name of your group
specific watershed without clicking it to highlight the watershed on the map. Before
searching your group watershed, look at the Chesapeake Bay, Mississippi, Colorado,
Ohio, and Missouri watersheds and write down any questions you have about those
watersheds or any ideas of why their sizes are so different from other watersheds.
6) After exploring the different watersheds, click on your group watershed and save the
.kml file to the documents folder, so you can easily access it again.
7) Re-launch Google Earth. Open the file you downloaded by clicking file then open and
save it to your My Places folder in Google Earth so you can access it when needed.
8) In the search box located on the left side, type in your watershed, wait for Google to
rotate to the place, then zoom out until you see the entire watershed outline in red.
9) Inside the dialog box that will open, click the View the watershed link to learn
more about your watershed.
10) In Google Earth, in the Layers panel, click the small triangular arrow that points to
the Watershed Layers folder; this will expand the folder, so you can see all the data
layers available to you.
11) The "Watersheds Characteristics" layer shows a button on the map that gives you
access to Web pages about the watershed. Deselect this layer during your Google
Earth exploration.
12) Expand the sub-folders for Landcover, Population, and Streams and turn separate
layers on and off. Use the legends to interpret the colors on the map.
13) Examine the relationships among the layers. Click the name of a layer in the Layers
list and use the transparency slider just below the list to see through your highlighted
14) After some exploration, turn on your Elevation layer and make sure it is not
transparent. Turn landcover and population images off. In the stream layer, turn on
the largest streamsthe ones that have the highest values for CMS (cubic meters
per second). Sequentially add the smaller streams by clicking the boxes for streams
of decreasing size. Note the patterns that develop as you add the smaller streams
that are tributaries to the larger rivers.
15) Turn the smaller stream layers on and off to help you visualize the location of
drainage divides within your watershed. Compare a zoomed in view of the smallest
streams to what you saw in your physical watershed model.
16) Return to the EDNA HTML page and click on Virginias watershed (Chesapeake
Bay) and follow the same procedure to research Virginias watershed.
17) Finally, the students will compare and contrast their group watershed and home
watershed (Virginia) in their journals. Write a description of watershed, including
details about the shape of the lands, rivers, streams, and lakes of each land, how the
land is used, the impact that humans have on the land, and ways humans can make
watersheds better. Be ready to present as a group to the class, so each group can
learn about watersheds all around the country.

UIS 350 ASSURE Lesson Plan: Toni Crawford


Require Learner Participation

Whole Group Lecture:
At the beginning of the class, students will be actively listening to the teacher and respond
to questions as teachers ask about watersheds. Students will respond to questions and ask
any questions they may have before the teacher begins to lecture. The teacher will lecture
using power point and students should actively listen, ask/answer questions, and follow all
directions given by the teacher.

Small Group Build a Watershed Activity:

After students are placed in their groups, each student is responsible for actively
participating in the group activity of making a mini-watershed. Students will listen to
teachers directions by balling up the paper, un-wrinkling it, and using the spray bottle to
spray the paper and watch how the water flows. Based on their observations, students will
write down what their understanding of watersheds is; why they are important? and what
factors play a role in a watershed? Students will participate in a final class discussion about
watersheds before exploring them on Google Earth by actively listening to each other ideas
and actively participating by asking questions and responding to peers and teacher

Small Group Google Earth Watershed Activity:

The teacher will explain the directions and demonstrate the use of Google Earth step by
step. While the teacher is demonstrating the assignment, students will actively listen and
ask any questions that will clarify the assignment directions. The teacher will already have
students in their groups and will assign each of them a watershed to research. Students will
work together as a group to complete all sections of the assignment and when the
designating time is up for research, each group will present their research to the class.
When the groups are presenting, students will remain respectful by listening and paying
attention to other students presentations. After the group presents, students and the
teacher will be allowed to ask questions about the group presentation for further
understanding. Finally, when all groups have presented, one person from the group will be
responsible for making sure the computers are in the correct place, while the remaining of
the students get prepared to transition to the next class.

UIS 350 ASSURE Lesson Plan: Toni Crawford


Evaluate & Revise

Student Performance:
The students will be evaluated by their group work, research, understanding of watersheds
by using Google Earth and group presentations at the end of class. In the group
presentations, students should be able to demonstrate their understanding of natural
processes and human interactions that affect watersheds, the location and structure of
Virginias watershed and other watersheds around the country based on their group
research using Google Earth.
Students will receive an evaluation of Exceptional, Competent, or Needs Improvement.
1) Excellent means students understanding was above and beyond expectations. They
have a thorough understanding of the topic; explained it to their peers in detail; and
was able to answer all the students and teacher questions regarding their watershed
research topic.
2) Competent means students understand the topic and meets expectations. They have
a good understanding of the material; could have had a clearer explanation to peers;
and was able to answer some questions from students and teacher regarding their
watershed research topic.
3) Needs Improvement means students did not understand the topic and did not meet
expectations. They have little to no understanding of the material; did not have a
clear explanation for peers; and was not able to answer any questions from the
students or teacher regarding their research topic.

Instructor Performance:
While the students are working in their groups, the teacher will walk around and evaluate
each group based on their conversations and understanding of the assignment. The teacher
will be able to know if the lesson needs to be retaught or if students gained an
understanding of the topic. When the students complete their presentations, the teacher will
know if the students understand the information and meet the VA SOL before moving on to
a new topic. Based on the group presentations, the teacher will know if students need to
revisit the lesson and will be able to determine what the students need to review in the
upcoming class.

Media Performance:
The media that is used should help students gain an understanding of watersheds because
they can see and study watersheds all over the country. Students should be able to access
Google earth and complete their research using the directions that are given to them to
explore the different watersheds around the country. The students should be able to explore
Google Earth on their own and have a full understanding of the purpose of the assignment.
When students understand the usage and integration of Google Earth for the assignment;
how it helps them learn about watersheds; and the resources that it gives them, then the
integration of media was effective.

UIS 350 ASSURE Lesson Plan: Toni Crawford



VDOE: Science Standards of Learning Resources. VDOE: Virginia Department of

Education Home,

EDNA Derived Watersheds for Major Named Rivers. USGS: United States

Geographical Survey,

Whats a Watershed? Explore Your Watershed in Google Earth. Earth Labs,

UIS 350 ASSURE Lesson Plan: Toni Crawford