Lesson Plan

Impact of Human Activities

Alignments:

Grade Levels

Related Academic Standards

Assessment Anchors

Eligible Content

Big Ideas

Concepts

Competencies

Objectives

In this lesson, students examine the effects of human actions over time on aquatic ecosystems. Students will:

  • describe the biotic and abiotic factors of aquatic ecosystems.
  • explain how human use of resources affects the environment.
  • create a public service announcement that describes the impact of various human actions on aquatic ecosystems in Pennsylvania.


Essential Questions

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Vocabulary

  • Community: All of the organisms that live in an area and depend on one another for survival.
  • Runoff: Water from rain or melted snow that flows into bodies of water; may contain fertilizers, pesticides, and other pollutants.
  • Wetland: Transitional areas between aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems that are saturated with water either permanently or seasonally; may be covered partially or completely by shallow pools of water. Includes marshes, swamps, bogs, meadows, mud flats, and other habitats where land and water meet.


Duration

75–90 minutes/2–3 class periods


Prerequisite Skills


Materials

  • three clear plastic bottles filled with water
  • oil, soil, and/or food coloring for “polluting” the water in the bottles
  • funnel
  • Model Wetland (S-7-5-3_Model Wetland.docx)
  • Model Wetland demonstration materials:

o   modeling clay

o   long, shallow baking pan

o   sponge

o   watering can

o   cup of soil

o   jar of muddy water (can use the bottle of muddy water)


Related Unit and Lesson Plans


Related Materials & Resources

The possible inclusion of commercial websites below is not an implied endorsement of their products, which are not free, and are not required for this lesson plan.

  • “The Basics of Water Pollution in Pennsylvania” from Angler & Boater, 2001. Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP)

www.fish.state.pa.us/anglerboater/2001/jf2001/wpollbas.htm

  • Wetland in a Pan

http://sfr.psu.edu/youth/sftrc/lesson-plans/water/6-8/wetland

  • “Some Allegheny County Streams, Rivers, Still Far from Meeting Pollution Standards: Don’t Go Near the Water” by Don Hopey. Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

www.post-gazette.com/pg/05094/482308.stm

  • The Story of Honey Hollow (a primary source document about the effects of agriculture in Pennsylvania through history). ExplorePAhistory.com.

http://explorepahistory.com/odocument.php?docId=127

  • Muddy Waters: A Historical View of Land Use Patterns, Water Quality, and the Conservation Movement (lesson plan including “The Story of Honey Hollow”)

http://explorepahistory.com/lesson_procedure.php?id=26



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