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Sustainability Lesson Clearinghouse

Who Polluted the River?

Lesson Description:

This activity, written by educators from population connection, a nonprofit education group based in washington DC, is designed to engage students in an interactive story to learn how, as human populations have increased and land uses have changed, many of our rivers have become polluted. This example demonstrates that, just as we each contribute to the problem, we can also each be part of the solution. The concept of stewardship could be the focus of a wonderful follow-up discussion from this activity. A list of potential discussion questions is included on the website.

 The student will be able to:
  • list three ways to prevent and clean up water pollution

Lesson Type:
  • Discussion
  • Project

Sustainability Topic:
  • Water
  • Waste Reduction

GEF Program Category:
  • Sustainable Water Challenge
  • Waste Reduction Challenge

Time Needed:
30 minute preparation, 20 minute activity
Standards Addressed:
  • english/language arts 1
  • geography iv-12; v-14
  • science f
  • social studies i-d, ii-b; iii-h

Materials Needed:
  • a clear gallon jar of water
  • a plastic film canister for each student, with label taped to it (canisters are often available for free

School or Group:
Population Connections
Contact Email:
Lesson Documents:
application/pdf PollutedRiver_mar03.pdf
Located in: Creativity

The Sustainability Lesson Clearinghouse is brought to you in partnership with

Center for Green Schools