Lesson Plans

The Michigan Tech GlobalWatershed GK-12 program makes its field-tested lesson plans on water-related topics available to school teachers and the general public for free.  These lesson plans have been developed using the 5E (engagement, exploration, explanation, elaboration, and evaluation) Instructional Model. The lesson plans are organized into integrated modules, but individual lesson plans and activities can be used on their own. The modules are found In the following tables, organize by appropriate level: middle school and high school.



 
 

Middle School Lesson Plans

 
   
 
Title/Description Discipline Author Unit Overview Supporting Materials
Exploring Natural Populations
This unit is designed to allow students to explore concepts presented in their text through the use of inquiry and real-world data collection techniques.
Ecology Davis, Josh View PDF Download ZIP File
Earth System Science (ESS) Analysis and Model
Students learn the interconnections between components of ES and how to study human-ecological interactions.
Earth Science Gagnon, Valoree View PDF Download ZIP File
What is Water?
Students use the ESS framework to study the meaning of water from natural and cultural viewpoints.
Earth Science Gagnon, Valoree View PDF Download ZIP File
Energy and Matter in Aquatic Ecosystems
This unit will introduce some of the basic concepts of ecosystem science at the 6th grade curriculum level.
Science Goble, Cameron View PDF Download ZIP File
Matter, Energy & Green Energy
The purpose of this unit is to provide teachers with a variety of activities for their students to actively explore the properties and principles of matter and energy. 
Science Goble, Cameron View PDF Download ZIP File
Watershed Connections
Students learn how to conduct scientific investigations and conduct an investigation based on leaf pack experiments.
Earth Science Harless, Meagan   Download ZIP File
Groundwater and Biogeochemical Connections
Students learn about groundwater and biogeochemical aspects through small group activities, scientific investigations.
Earth Science Harless, Meagan View PDF Download ZIP File
Mapping Topography and Watersheds
Students are introduced to maps and map types, with a focus on mapping topography and watersheds.
Earth Science Lechner, Hans View PDF Download ZIP File
Schoolyard Volcanoes*
Students examine the processes, energy and morphology involved in volcanic eruptions and development.
Earth Science Lechner, Hans View PDF Download ZIP File
Monitoring and Managing Invasive Species: Middle School Science
Students will be introduced to invasive species and how they cause both economic and ecological harm. They will learn monitoring techniques and create a management plan for managing spotted knapweed.
Science Matthys, Tony View PDF Download ZIP File
The Science Behind the Shouting: Teaching controversial topics in life science.
This unit contains introductory lessons to topics which are commonly misunderstood and/or are controversial within the general public. This unit will give students a scientifically based introduction to the topics of evolution, climate change, bioengineering and wildlife management.
Science Matthys, Tony View PDF Download ZIP File
Watershed Hydrology and Earth System Interactions
Students learn concepts of water movement and storage as well as the interaction of water with other earth systems.
Science
Earth Science
Van Grinsven, Matt View PDF Download ZIP File
Water Quality
This unit emphasizes the importance and limited availability of groundwater to humans and the issues related to contamination, detection, and remediation.
Science
Watch, Lindsey View PDF Download ZIP File
What is Sustainability and How to Assess Sustainability
Students learn the concepts of sustainability, sustainability issues, and sustainability assessment methods.
Science
Yang, Melanie View PDF Download ZIP File
Oceans and Sustainability
Students learn about the importance of oceans to humans' sustainability.
Science
Yang, Melanie View PDF Download ZIP File
         
 
     
     
 

High School Lesson Plans

 
 
Title/Description Discipline Author Unit Overview Supporting Materials
Ecology: trophic levels, populations, & nutrient cycling
Students will understand the role of nutrient cycling in aquatic ecosystems within trophic level and populations.
Ecology Coble, Ashley View PDF Download ZIP File
Introduction to ROV (Remotely Operated Vehicle) Building
Students are introduced to the principles and steps for building remotely operated vehicles (ROVs).
Remotely Operated Vehicles (ROVs) Dykstra, Marcel View PDF Download ZIP File
Documenting ROV Building
Students develop an information system that documents a building project, in this case, remotely operated vehicles (ROVs).
Various Projects Dykstra, Marcel View PDF Download ZIP File
Watershed Ecology
Students are introduced watershed ecology issues including climate change, species restoration, and human impacts.
Biology,
Environmental Science, Earth Science
Holtgren, John "Marty"   Download ZIP File
Humans Dimensions of Natural Resources
Students explore human attitudes towards natural resources using a native perspective and the example of forest management.
Local History,
Ecology,
Earth Science,
Environmental Science
Kozich, Andrew   Download ZIP File
Understanding and Improving Water Quality In Our Landscape
Students gain knowledge of human practices that affect water quality and how to reduce human impacts.
Biology,
Science Elective
Bergman, Brenda Gail View PDF Download ZIP File
Our Active Role In Healthy Ecosystems
Students learn about human role in healthy ecosystems and connections between climate, sustenance, and bodies.
Biology,
Science Elective
Bergman, Brenda Gail View PDF Download ZIP File
Genetics, Ethics, and Evolution
In this unit students will use their knowledge of genetics to think critically about the interface of science and society.
Biology Coble, Ashley View PDF Download ZIP File
Nutrient Cycling in Terrestrial Ecosystems
Students investigate the role of soil in nutrient cycling and plant growth.
Biology Davis, Josh View PDF Download ZIP File
Designing a Scientific Investigation
Students design and conduct a field survey to assess the viability of reintroducing an aquatic species in a watershed.
Biology,
Science Elective
Holtgren, John "Marty" View PDF Download ZIP File
The Fossil Record
Students use fossils to explain the earth's past and current conditions using fossil ordering and geologic reconstruction.
Biology Holtgren, John "Marty" View PDF Download ZIP File
Wetlands 101
Students apply beginning and advanced ecological concepts to understand the importance of wetland to humans, wildlife, and other ecosystems.
Biology,
Science Elective
Jackson, Meral View PDF Download ZIP File
Wetlands, Carbon and Climate Change
Students learn the role wetlands play in maintaining air and water quality and providing critical habitat.
Biology,
Science Elective
Jackson, Meral View PDF Download ZIP File
Human Impacts to Water Resources
Students explore natural aspects and human impacts for wetlands and streams using classroom and field investigations.
Ecology, Biology,
Earth Science,
Environmental Science
Kozich, Andrew View PDF Download ZIP File
 
     

*Disclaimers

Some of the lesson plans involved activities in the field which should be supervised by adult teachers familiar with the potential dangers involved with taking soil, water, or related samples. Students should be advised of those risks by the teacher(s) as a part of the lesson.  Michigan Tech disclaims all warrantees and each user assumes all risks of injury, agrees not to sue and to hold Michigan Tech harmless from any injury suffered as a result of implementing this lesson plan.

The Trashcan Volcano activity should be supervised by adult teachers familiar with the potential dangers involved in working with chemicals.  This activity can be extremely dangerous if done by anyone without proper training, and should not be attempted without the presence of a qualified, trained adult.  Michigan Tech disclaims all warrantees and each user assumes all risks of injury, agrees not to sue and to hold Michigan Tech harmless from any injury suffered as a result of implementing this lesson plan.

     
 
     
   
 
 
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Michigan Tech Center for Water & Society
Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering
1400 Townsend Drive
Houghton, MI 49931
906.487.3372
 

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Michigan Technological University
1400 Townsend Drive
Houghton, Michigan 49931-1295
906.487.1885