Week 9: Watersheds
Last week we learned all about how plastic is made and how bad it is for the environment. A very interesting post showed up on my facebook and I had to share it with you.
There has been a lot of talk in these past lessons about plastic in the ocean. Well do you really think all plastic in the ocean comes from people on beaches and boats and people throwing their trash away in the ocean?
The answer is no. SO where does all this trash come from? It has to come from somewhere.
This week we will take an in depth look at watersheds and maybe we’ll find the answer to the questions above.
Research: What is a watershed?
Group activity to understand what a watershed is and where the garbage and pollutants go.
- Make a landscape out of any material that you can find. For example, take a large piece of butcher paper and crumble it into a ball. This represents the landscape.
- Take a spray bottle of water or use a plastic cup with a few holes in it.
- Make it rain over all of the landscape and watch where the water drains to.
- Now add some food coloring. The is represents dirty rain water. Sprinkle it over the landscape. Observe where it drains to.
- Now sprinkle some soil or sprinkles over the landscape. These represent pollutants and trash. Spray again with water. Where do these all flow towards?
What are some observations you made about where the water and pollutants drain towards.
Community Connection: Surf Your Watershed
Use the internet and find what watershed you live in.
Now imagine that you are a plastic bottle or any type of plastic trash and you start your journey in your watershed. How can you end up in the ocean and what ocean can you land in?
Just like when you are searching on Google Maps for an address it gives you turn by turn directions, we want you to make a list “directions” by tracing your bottle from your address to the ocean and even see if it is possible.
Once you have done your address try a friend or relative in another state and see where it ends up.
Pollutants in Watersheds
We can’t ignore the fact that plastic isn’t the only item polluting the watersheds. Make a list of other times that can pollute our watersheds.
- Where do these items come from?
- Who is using these items?
- What can we do to reduce these pollutants?
Watersheds of North America
Let’s take a look at the watersheds of North America and see where they take us.
Make a list of rivers that drain into the Pacific Ocean and contribute to the great pacific garbage patch. These might not only be North American Rivers.
List the rivers, their length and their origin.
BEST Connection – Know your neighbors
Let’s see how much you know about BEST.
Where are the BEST hubs located?
What watersheds do they belong to?
Maybe look at four or five hubs and see where they are located and what watersheds they fall under.
Bloom’s Taxonomy: add, create, explore, evaluate, generate, include, identify, list, observe, reflect, review, subdivide, use, and write
Workforce Skills: critical thinking, materials evaluation, reading comprehension, science, writing