The Effects of Water Pollution on Local Ecosystems
Teacher Note: Depending on the length of class time available, this lesson may take 2-3 sessions to complete.
Students assess the requirements for sustaining healthy local ecosystems.
Steps to the Lesson
- Discuss key vocabulary
- Students complete food web activity
- Class discussion on predictions and questions
- View video and complete key ideas and evidence sheet
- Students in small groups read and discuss articles
- Students share key ideas and evidence from the articles with whole class
- Students complete independent tasks
Goal: Students will analyze information and identify the effects of water pollution on a local food web.
Task: Students will demonstrate their understanding of a healthy ecosystem by drawing and labelling a visual presentation or writing an essay. (Note: These are two examples of a final assessment of learning. There are many other options for students to demonstrate learning such as video, drama, models etc.)
Key vocabulary to discuss: artery, seabed, effluent, silt, seafood availability, development, erosion, accumulated, ecosystem (Definitions)
Activate Prior Knowledge: Students complete a food web activity.
Predict: Using A/B partners, predict and discuss what would happen to the previous food web if one/two elements were eliminated due to water pollution.
Question: Think about your community. What are some questions you have about water pollution and local ecosystems?
Video: Students watch the following video and track their thinking using the key ideas and
Reminder: It is important to stop throughout the video and give students (A/B partners) opportunity to talk or respond to the video.
Click above to view video in Mac OSX (Quicktime)
(Video Length: 2 mins)
Click above to view video in Windows (Media Player)
(Video Length: 2 mins)
Print out the following articles on water pollution:
- Kashechewan: Water crisis in Northern Ontario
- CN Rail spill sterilized B.C. river
- Heavy rains dirty West Coast water supply
- Ending a Toxic Nightmare
Small Group Activity
In groups of 3-4 read and discuss the implications of their article and the impact on local food webs. Groups report back to the class on their conclusions resulting from the discussions. Possible formats for this process include:
- Students collect key ideas and details on chart paper to present to the class
- Students collect key ideas and details and share orally with class
- Students use the carousel strategy to share articles
Students will demonstrate their understanding of a healthy ecosystem by drawing and labelling a visual presentation or writing an essay. (Note: These are two examples of a final assessment of learning. There are many other options for students to demonstrate learning such as video, drama, models etc.) It is recommended that teachers develop criteria for the assignment with the students.
Students complete an individual reflection sheet.
Extend learning or next lesson
Do the following lab experiment on water pollution and filtration.
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