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Welcome to the Sustainability Lesson Clearinghouse

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Sustainability Lesson Clearinghouse


Lesson Description:
Every day, Americans use water for drinking, washing, cooking, irrigating crops, and other life-sustaining tasks. With so much dependence on water, it is crucial to understand how land usage in the watershed areas impacts local bodies of water - and subsequently our drinking water.

In this project, students learn about watersheds by researching, mapping, and surveying their local watershed area. They then choose a body of water from within the watershed to determine its health. Along the way, students work with local officials, site monitoring groups, and experts to determine the health of their chosen site. Their findings, along with recommendations of what works and doesn't work in water conservation, serve as the core of their student-designed public awareness campaign!
Lesson Type:
  • Project

Sustainability Topic:
  • Water

GEF Program Category:
  • Sustainable Water Challenge

Time Needed:
Up to 1 semester
Standards Addressed:

North American Association for Environmental Education (naaee) Excellence in Environmental Education

  • Guidelines for learning:
  • Strand 1—questioning and analysis skills (guidelines a, b, c, d, e, g) -strand 2.2—the living environment (a, c, d)
  • Strand 2.3—humans and their societies (c, e)
  • Strand 2.4—environment and society (a, b)
  • Strand 3.1—skills for analyzing and investigating environmental issues (a, b, c, d)
  • Strand 3.2—decision-making and citizenship skills (a, b, c, d)
  • Strand 4—personal and civic responsibility (b, c)

Technology Foundation Standards for Students

  • Guidelines for learning:
  • Standard 1: basic operations and concepts
  • Standard 3: technology productivity tools
  • Standard 4: technology communications tools
  • Standard 5: technology research tools.

Materials Needed:
  • What's up in the environment video (optional)
  • Data records (excel, or notebook or log book)
  • Drawing paper and markers, crayons, or colored pencils
  • Software for presentations (all optional) - word; excel; powerpoint; or quark
  • Equipment to document project for final assessment (all optional): camera, video, or audio recorder
  • Site testing kits (vary according to your experiment design), but most likely will include a water and soil testing kit
  • You May be able to borrow kits from your local university, or try the sites listed in resources for cheap or free resources

School or Group:
Contact Email:
Located in: Science

The Sustainability Lesson Clearinghouse is brought to you in partnership with

Center for Green Schools