The purpose of this lesson is to introduce students to the basics of water quality, sources of pollutants, and the types of pollutants that can be found in water.
I often find it difficult for students to engage with some environmental issues. I think for many the problem seems far from home, or too big to take on. To address this, students will have the chance to look at the health of their own watershed, and to research a pollutant to gain a better understanding of water quality issues, sources, solutions, and concerns.
The students will do a reading to ensure they have a basic understanding of key vocabulary, and will then explore the EPA's Surf Your Watershed page, will will allow them to access and interpret data specific to their area. The Surf Your Watershed activity ties back in to the hook at the end, asking student to think about why the river accident happened, and whether or not those same attitudes still exist.