Developer(s) Name:Gerald Billingsley
School:Kilmer Middle School
Approximate Time Frame:Variable - 1 week to whole year project
Description of Lesson (includes context):
This lesson is most appropriate for small to medium-sized groups.
This lesson has students identify and research a local problem and
decide what actions they as citizens need to take to improve their
community. Although this lesson focuses on stream preservation and
the Chesapeake Bay Act,
Students will learn about the responsibilities of citizenship through a community service project by doing research and inquiry into the condition of a local stream near their school or neighborhood using geographic, Internet, and observational resources to analyze the present condition of the stream and determine if problems exist which may relate to the Chesapeake Bay Act, to decide what action(s) should be taken to ameliorate any such problems, and to create a report, which includes visual documentation of conditions, appropriate for submission to local or state agencies.
Students will include data gathered using the Internet, a digital camera, and/or photographs scanned into the report drafted and edited with word processing software.
This project can be extended by creating and carrying out an action plan to solve problems and/or establishing a program of regular monitoring, and documenting these actions with additional pictures.
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- What is the objective of this lesson?
FCPS POS Standards:
8.1Students will identify and understand the rights and responsibilities of citizens of
the United States.
8.5.1Students will be able to acquire information from a variety of sources.
What will we examine as evidence of students' knowledge and/or skill?
recommendations about the stream which will include:
- Maps of the area they have surveyed (topographic and aerial)
- A description of the conditions they observed, documented by photographs
- An analysis of existing and/or possible problems for the
quality of the stream, and its
possible effects on the Chesapeake Bay.
- Recommendations for actions to solve the problems.
What exactly will the students and teacher do during the lesson?
- Form groups using size guidelines set forth by the teacher.
- Use USGS topographic maps to locate, identify, and choose a
section of a local stream
- Locate and print aerial maps of the stream area from the USGS
- Become familiar with how to do a stream survey by studying the
materials provided by
the teacher and by visiting the following Internet sites:
The Chesapeake Bay Foundation ( www.savethebay.cbf.org)
Save Our Streams of MD ( www.saveourstreams.org)
Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay ( www.acb-online.org)
- Using notebook, map, and camera, survey the stream, looking
for existing and
potential problems that may affect the quality of the water. Note the location of the
problems on the map and document problems by photograph, using either conventional
or digital camera.
- Contact local and state agencies that may have information
about the group's stream,
possible sources of pollution,local water quality, and any water source protection
efforts. Suggested Internet sites:
Fairfax County Government ( www.co.fairfax.va.us)
Department of Environmental Quality ( www.deq.state.va.us)
Dept. of Conservation and Recreation ( www.state.va.us/~dcr/dcr_home.htm)
Virginia Resources Authority(804) 644-3100
- Draft the report using a word processor. Be sure to:
(2)Describe the section of the stream;
(3)Identify the problems observed and their causes;
(4)Include any relevant information from government or organizational sources; (5)Recommend solutions;
(7)Download any digital photographs (in JPEG) and appropriate section of the
- Decide which government official or agency should receive your report.
- Edit and finalize the report.
- Determine the availability of technology. Decide if digital or
conventional cameras (or
both) will be used.
- Send a letter home to parents explaining the project,
emphasizing the need for students
to obtain permission to survey streams on private property.
- Introduce the students to a problem solving method they can
use to organize the project
(e.g., Edward DeBono's PISCO method).
- Obtain the following materials before starting the project:
- Demonstrate for students how photos are scanned and how
digital pictures are
downloaded for inclusion in the final report.
What options in presentation(s) and/or response(s) are suggested in order to provide the opportunity for all students to demonstrate achievement of the benchmark(s) and indicator(s)?