Living in Catchment by mikesanye


									Your Water  Your
   Our Future
  Inter-disciplinary Curriculum Project
                 ESA ~ 289

             H2O Group:
           Rodney Blazely ~ 894624
            Steve Cooke ~ 934394
             Lynn Jarvis ~ 058265
             Lynda Kidd ~ 007676
               Your Water  Your Catchment  Our Future
                                        Hilda Matulin ~ 953837
                                        Ann Schluter ~ 972204

Throughout this unit students will be introduced to the concept of water catchments. They will
recognise and apply ethical considerations in the use of catchments and waterways. Students
will understand that upstream activities can impact upon downstream water quality. They will
understand how to evaluate the health of a local waterway or wetland by measuring and
monitoring water quality and through macro-invertebrate identification. Students will recognise
their responsibility to local catchments by their involvement in an authentic assessment task.
This task will involve the active engagement of students within their local community, to
improve the health of a local waterway.
Generative Topic:

       Your Water  Your Catchment  Our Future
                  What responsibilities do you have to your catchment?

Year Level: 5/6                        Standard: 2-3-4           Length of unit: 6 weeks

Focus Essential:
World Futures - Creating Sustainable Futures
Key Element Outcome:
Understands the environmental principles and ethical issues involved in creating and working
towards sustainable futures (Outcomes and Standards p 27).
Standard 3 Description:
Understands the uniqueness of local ecosystems and takes responsible action to sustain them .
(Outcomes and Standards p18)
Supporting Essentials:
Communicating       - Being literate
                    - Being numerate
                    - Being arts literate
                    - Being information literate
Personal Futures - Being ethical
Social responsibility - Valuing diversity
World Futures - Understanding systems

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             Your Water  Your Catchment  Our Future
Unit Long Understanding Goals:

   1. Students will understand their responsibities in using waterways and ensuring healthy
      What is my role in using and protecting catchments and their waterways?
      Personal Futures - Being ethical
      World futures - Creating sustainable futures

   2. Students will understand how waterways support a diverse range of living organisms
      and how human activity can affect this system.
      What range of life do waterways support and how do they indicate water
      Social responsibility – Valuing diversity
      Communicating – Being literate
      World Futures – Understanding systems

   3. Students will understand how to sample, monitor, and measure water quality and why it
      is important.
      How do scientists monitor freshwater quality?
      Social responsibility – Valuing diversity
      World Futures – Understanding systems
      Communicating – Being numerate

   4. Students will understand how to actively participate in a community project.
      How do I actively engage with the local community to improve the health of
      the local waterway?
      Communicating – Being literate
      World futures - Creating Sustainable Futures
      World futures – Understanding systems
      Social responsibilities – Understanding the past and creating preferred futures

Skills that will be developed:
      Literacy: persuasive texts, reporting, narratives, speaking, listening, four resources.
      ICT-Multi-media: PowerPoint, website creation, publisher.
      Numeracy: measurement, graphing, preparing budgets.
      Arts: Role play, poster creation, colouring, drawing.

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       Your Water  Your Catchment  Our Future
Personal Development: Actively engaging with community, liaising with experts,
working with school community, empathy for non-human systems, working
collaboratively in groups.
SOSE: Social responsibility, acting ethically.
Science and Technology: using scientific equipment, identifying macro-invertebrates

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            Your Water  Your Catchment  Our Future

UGs    Activities / Performances                              Ongoing Assessment
                                                               Notes on Assessment
                                                                 Notes to the teacher
       Tuning In
1, 2                                                          Resources     Picture   Book:    The
       Read the picture book The Wonder Thing to the Wonder Thing by Libby Hathorn,
       class as a large group.                       Illustrated by Peter Gouldthorpe,
       Do not give any introduction to the book or to the 1995.
       unit. Ask the students to determine, during the
       reading what the book is about. Indicate that if
       any student thinks they know the answer, part
       way through the reading, they should keep it to
       themselves and not spoil it for their neighbours.
       The last page of the book indicates that the book
       is about water.
       Read the book again so that the students can
       absorb the pictures and the text together. The
       book shows where water may be found, and
       many pages show where it is not commonly
       considered, but is nonetheless, quite important.
1, 2   Have students fill in the graphical organizer:         Resources    Graphical  Organiser
       „How is water important to me?‟ This may involve       „Why and how is water important to
                                                              me?‟ Created by using Inspiration
       some brainstorming with the entire class so that       software.
       every student has an idea of what is required.
       Focus question may include:
                                                                  This may be used as a formative
          What if there was no water?                             assessment to determine prior
          Where do we find water?                                 knowledge and understanding of
                                                                   the issues surrounding water at
          Where is water absent?                                  the beginning of the unit.

          Is water a unique substance? Why?                      This same graphical organizer
                                                                   may be used at the end of the
          How do we get clean fresh water?                        unit to show the changes in
                                                                   thinking  of  the   individual
          Why is water important to people?                       student.
          Is it important to anything else?
1, 2   If there is a nearby wetland it may be useful to           Use the student‟s responses to
       find out if the students have any connections to it.        assess their prior knowledge and
                                                                   to gauge interest levels.
       If weather and location permit, it might be
       advantageous to take a brief walk to investigate
       the wetlands and ask the students to describe
       what they see, hear and think is important? Have
       they previously studied it or have they been
       involved with any building or maintenance? Most
       schools with farms annexed may have access to a
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          Your Water  Your Catchment  Our Future
       Finding Out                        Ask if any students                           have studied
                                                                    the water cycle before?         Use
1, 2   The Water Cycle. Begin by questioning; What                  student response‟s to assess
       are clouds made of? Then ask the students                    levels of comprehension.          It
                                                                    might be necessary to explain
       where does the cloud water come from? Why?
                                                                    the states of water, (solid, liquid,
       Why can we see clouds but not moisture in the                gas) to reinforce the water cycle.
       air? Through questions and discussion, draw each
                                                                   Formative assessment; ideal for
       step of the water cycle on the white board.                  visual/spatial   learners     and
       Emphasis that a cycle means there is a finite                possibly low literacy students.
       amount of water on the planet. This means we                 The diagram shows with a quick
       could be drinking the same water from the                    glance       if   the     student
       dinosaur‟s epoch.                                            understands the cycle and more
                                                                    specifically    where      certain
       Erase the drawing from the board. Indicate that              processes occur.
       the students are to draw the water cycle (from              Be aware that most students
       memory) and include the following labels in their            consider evaporating water to
       Integrated Studies book:                                     simply „disappear‟! Reinforce that
                                                                    water vapour (gas) is invisible
          Water      vapour,    water     droplets,     rain       but present in all air. Clouds are
           (precipitation = fog, snow,    hail, sleet, mist),       visible because water vapour
           sun, cold air, condensation,   evaporation, lake         condenses into very tiny water
                                                                    droplets. When these „friendly‟
           (stream,     river,   dam),     ocean,     runoff,
                                                                    droplets join and grow bigger,
           groundwater, infiltration.                               gravity acts on them so they fall
       If some of the labels are difficult to fit then a key        from the sky. Clouds are not
       with a descriptive sentence or an explanation
       would be preferable.                                        More            info          at

2, 3   In order to reinforce the concept of the water              Ideal for kinesthetic learners.
       cycle and that the amount of water on earth is              This excellent activity clearly
       finite (closed system) create a miniature                    demonstrates and reinforces the
       terrarium.                                                   water cycle. Students are very
                                                                    engaged and frequently check to
       This is created by re-using a 3 L size clear juice           see how their seeds are growing,
       container (with label removed). Cut the container            compared to their classmates.
       in half so that bottom section is approximately 2           Extension: a few terrariums
       cm higher than the required depth of soil.                   could have no lids so there is no
                                                                    water condensing or „raining‟ and
       Place a 1-2 cm layer of small gravel in bottom of            the terrarium dries (and the
       the container and sprinkle some activated                    plants die).   Where does the
       charcoal on top. Fill to appropriate height (4cm)            water go? Why do you think this
       with potting soil. Place seeds at appropriate depth          happens?
       as per recommended planting instructions and                If garden seeds are used then
       sprinkle with about half a cup of water.                     when the plants become too
                                                                    large for the container, they may
       Now place the top half of the container onto the             be planted at home. Peas and
       bottom and wrap tightly with masking tape (may               beans grow quickly, and are
       write students name here). This should ensure                easily     cultivated,    produce
                                                                    colourful flowers and are highly
       that the container is air tight (with the lid on             productive.
       tightly). Place in a sunny location or as
       recommended by the seed type.
       Over the next 2-3 weeks as the seeds germinate
       and grow, the students should notice water drops

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            Your Water  Your Catchment  Our Future
        forming on the sides of the terrarium. This is
        water that has condensed from the water vapour
        in the air of the terrarium. As it falls down the
        sides it „rains‟ and the seedlings are watered.
        There should be no need to water the terrarium,
        thus demonstrating the closed nature of the water
        cycle. The fact that it doesn‟t need to be watered
        shows that water is recycled constantly within the
        terrarium, just like planet earth.
        Possibly visit Molesworth Environment Centre or
        local waterway.
1, 2,   What is a catchment?
3                                                                 Formative assessment from the
        Introduce students to the concept of a 
                                                                  completed Model catchment
        catchment. Ask questions that will tease out a            diagrams;
        definition of catchment – perhaps use a
                                                                 Land use in the catchment
        dictionary or encyclopaedia.
                                                                  area activity sheet;
        A possible definition: A catchment is an area of
        land that catches rainfall, and directs it to a          Before starting task, ask the
                                                                  students whether they have
        waterway, which eventually flows out to an ocean          studied catchments before. Use
        or lake. Water is the link throughout the                 responses to gauge level of
        catchment. As well as rivers, creeks, lakes and           student understanding of the
        dams, a catchment also includes groundwater,              concept of catchment and vary
        storm water, wastewater, and water-related                language/questions accordingly.
                                                                  Also, invite those students with
        infrastructure.                                           prior knowledge of catchments
                                                                  share their knowledge with the
        Group the class into groups of three or four. Hand        class.
        out a copy of the Everyone lives in a                 Resources
        catchment area poster, without the text. On a             The catchment diagram
        piece of butcher‟s paper, ask each group to             showing a clean side and a
        describe what they see on the diagram. How does         contaminated side of a catchment
        it relate to where they live? For instance, do they     is     to     be    found      at
        have hills around them that drain into waterways?
        Groups to appoint a spokes-person to reports to         s/catchment.pdf
        the class on their group‟s findings.                      The Land use in the
        Understanding: Everybody lives and works in a           catchment area activity is to be
        catchment,                                              found                         at:
        Hand each group the model catchment
        handout. Each group is to consider the drawing
        and mark where the waterways are in colour.
        Each group will also receive an activity to
        complete – Land use in the catchment area
        (see resource section) that includes a set of
        questions to discuss and answer as a group. The
        group are required to discuss land use within the
        catchment and, using the colour code they used,
        assign colours on the diagram to depict the
        various land use.
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         Your Water  Your Catchment  Our Future
1   Obtain a Topographical map of the school’s  From this activity students may
    local area (assuming your school is close to a    show understandings of:
                                                        how to find and map their
    river or creek) and photocopy onto A3 sheets of   local water catchment.
    paper. Ask students to form pairs or small groups   how to define and map
    and find the following:                           human usage within a catchment.
                                                               how human activity within a
       The school and their house (if possible)             waterway catchment can effect
       Where does the waterway start? (You may              the health of their local waterway.
        need to trace the tiny waterways in blue, till
        you find the source)
       Identify the catchment boundary of the school
        and which direction the water is flowing.
       What is the land adjacent to the water way
        used for?
       Identify some possible sources of water
        contaminants, e.g. golf courses, land fill, or
       Predict some of the effects of these additives
        on the health of the waterway. (Write this in
        the key as “Our Predictions”).

    Have students label the map and create a key
    (using colour, symbols or numbers) that answer
    the above questions.
1   Demonstration With the class closely watching,  This is a simple exercise to
    demonstrate the flow of water down from an odd-    demonstrate the abstract concept
                                                       of representing hills and three
    shaped hill (created with wet sand in a tray) in   dimensions onto maps (two
    different directions so that the ridge becomes the dimensions).
    dividing line.
                                                            Ideal for kinesthetic learners.
    Now explain that you are going to show how the  The exercise must be followed
    3-dimensional land is represented onto a 2-      with a large group discussion to
    dimensional map.                                 establish   that  all   students
                                                             understand how the shape of
    1.     Using a long food kebab skewer, mark any      contours on maps relates to
      height and poke into the „land form‟ until the     landform shapes.
      height of the land is equal to the mark. Using a  Investigating     the     school‟s
      long pin attach a piece of white string (for       catchment using topographical
      visual contrast) to this position. Find another    maps should follow this lesson, as
      equal height of land and continue the string       closely as possible. This ensures
                                                         that connections are made
      along the „landform‟ so that a contour line is
                                                         between the landform shapes,
      drawn with the string. Cut the string off when     rivers and catchment boundaries.
      the end of the string reaches the beginning
    2.     Mark another height on the kebab skewer,
      either lower or higher and repeat so that two,
      or three complete contour shapes „surround‟ the  Extension: those that have a
      landform.                                         good grasp of the contours on
                                                             maps could predict what shape
    3.    Place a clear overhead projector sheet on          contour lines would look like near
      top of the landform and trace the contour              a small stream and a large river.
      shapes onto the clear acetate. This represents
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             Your Water  Your Catchment  Our Future
           the landform in two dimensions.                    Resources
                                                                  Large baking/roasting trays
       Small Group Hands-on Activity Question all               (one per group) with enough wet
       the students so that the steps and the process are       sand to create a landform.
       clearly understood. Small groups (previously               Watering can for rainfall
       determined) will work on their own tray and
                                                                  A large number of sewing
       create a landform and a contour map. Depending           pins at least 25 per landform tray.
       upon time, only one or two contour lines may be            Thin white string about 2 m
       required. Reinforce that care should be taken            per tray.
       with the pins and their fellow classmates, or that         Scissors
                                                                  One kebab skewer per tray
       activity will be terminated.
                                                                  Permanent black marker to
       Bring the class back to one large group for a            mark kebab skewer
       concluding summary. Draw a „landform‟ on the               2 clear acetate projector
                                                                sheets, taped together, per tray.
       whiteboard with a few contour lines. Ask where             Overhead projector marker,
       do the contour lines indicate a steep slope? Is          (one per group), not permanent,
       point „a‟ or „b‟ higher in elevation? Students could     to draw on clear acetate sheets.
       also relate this to a hill near the school and what
       direction do they think the water flows in the
       vicinity of the school? Where does all fresh water
       drain to? Through questioning reinforce that rain
       will flow from this landform (on whiteboard) in
       what direction(s)?
1, 2   Involve the Students in an Interactive River
       Story.                                       Resources
       As the teacher reads the story of a river, each             The interactive river story can
       student empties a film canister of „contaminates‟         be              found            at
       into the large bowl of water (represents the river)
       at the front of the room. Students that do not              A       list     of     required
       have a canister can participate by stirring the           contaminates is to be found at
       After this activity ask students to form small            s/sheet_01.pdf.
       groups (previously determined) and address the              Large clear bowl or small
       following questions:                                      aquarium ¾ full of water
                                                                   15      small     „contaminates‟
          Do you think this could be a true story?              (Household food items) in film
          How would you feel about drinking or                  canisters labeled with from 1 to
           swimming in this water?                               15.
                                                                   Stirring instrument
          List the ways that contaminates in a
                                                                   Consideration as to how to
           catchment might affect you personally, at the         dispose of the contaminated
           beach, coast ocean and in turn you?                   water (filter?) before down the
          Which additives to the river were natural or          sink.
           human induced?
          How could these additives/contaminates
           impact the environment? (ask for specific
          If some of these activities are harmful why are
           they occurring? Are some of these activities  From this activity students will
           illegal?                                        understand:
          How could the health of the river be              how human activity can effect
           improved?                                       our waterways;
                                                                  the things that live in and
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            Your Water  Your Catchment  Our Future
            What steps need to be taken to improve the         around our waterways
            health of the river?                                  what we can do to improve
                                                                the health of our waterways;
         Why is it important to help maintain and                How our use of land and
            improve our waterways?                              water may have a detrimental
        Have the student groups write up their responses        downstream effects.
        to the questions and randomly invite responses.
        Collate these responses (a student could do this)
        on butcher paper and display them around the
1, 2,   New River Life story – a retelling of the
3       Interactive River story above with innovative          Assessment of student literacy
        solutions for mitigating the negative impacts of        tasks via Essential Learnings
        contaminates in the catchment.                          standards progression for Being
        Reread the „The story of a river‟. Distrubute the
        „Everyone lives in a catchment‟ handout to each Resources
        student. Paying attention to the „bad‟ practices     The river story that discusses
        depicted on the right side of the diagram, in      how to mitigate contamination
        groups of 3-4 students brainstorm ideas to         problems can be found at
        alleviate such practices. Share with class

        Individually students write a recount of the
        interactive river story using the ideas shared
        above to create a catchment similar to the
        example on the left side of the „Everyone lives in a
        catchment‟ diagram.
        Students develop a presentation from their
        recounts that will take one of the following forms:
         PowerPoint presentation;
         Illustrated story suitable for Buddy class (or a
           younger grade if no Buddy class);
         A colour poster.
        Presentation to clearly show understanding of the
        ideas presented during the brainstorm session.
        Share presentations with the class. Teacher to
        collate ideas for display on a poster in the
1, 2,   A catchment is a living area
3       A catchment is more than a piece of land or an  From this activity students will
                                                             understand that humans do not
        area marked on the map. It is a dynamic and          live independently of other flora
        living area that can have forests, crops,            and fauna – we share the biota.
        grasslands, orchards and wildlife. It can also       What effects us also effects the
        include human activity, both in towns or country     larger biota; therefore things we
        areas,    with   associated    human     activities. do within our catchment also
                                                             effects the biota.
        Brainstorm some of these on the whiteboard.
        Ideas may include farms, managed forests,  Students will understand why
                                                             diversity is important.
        homes, hospitals, roads, railways, schools, various
        industries. These are to be used later, during a  Students will understand the need
        class discussion, so make a note of the ideas        for measuring of catchment
                                                             waterways to gauge the health of
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       Your Water  Your Catchment  Our Future
Initiate discussion of the foodweb of a catchment    the waterways.
(see p. 6 The Waterbug Book; A guide to the
Freshwater Macroinvertebrates of Temperate  Extension activity: have a
Australia). This will attempt to show our place in a group of students find out what
catchment is not independent of other living         organisms inhabit the catchment
organisms.                                           under    question.   Have   the
                                                           students report back to the rest
Introduce the Newspaper Article (The Mercury,              of the class with their findings,
October 18 2005) about the fish killed in New              including diagrams or other visual
Town Rivulet, Monday October 17, 2005.                     representations      of     these
                                                           organisms. A good place to start
Distribute the article and map to the class. Get           such a search might be the local
students to identify New Town Rivulet and mark             council, NGOs such as The
it. Discuss the answers to the following questions.        Wilderness Society, and other
                                                           community groups such as
    1. What is the chemical that caused the fish           Greening Australia, Landcare and
        kill?                                              Rivercare.
    2. What was the level of this toxin was found
        in the New Town Rivulet?
    3. What industry was found to have released
        the chemical?                                    Copy of article form The
    4. Two species of fish were possibly killed.       Mercury      newspaper,     „Deadly
        What are they? How many?                       rivulet spill blamed on factory‟
    5. Who will be most upset by the fish kill?        published 18 October 2005.
    6. What changes would you make to ensure             The Waterbug Book
        this does not happen again?                      Edited      version   of    Gas
    7. How do you think they discovered the            exploration       disaster     hits
        source of the fish kill?                       Indonesia, Broadcast on ABC-TV
    8. Do you think the punishment fits the            7:30 Report 13 July 2006.
        crime? Why?
    9. What other impacts are DPIWE looking
    10. Do you think this newspaper article is
        giving you all the facts?
    11. How do you think the New Town Rivulet
        will change in one week?

Continue discussion, in order to further the
understanding gained through the Mercury article,
and ask:
    What might happen at the point source of
      pollutant additives? Steer discussion to
        show that what is effected relates to the
        severity of the pollution. A worst case
        would be that everything at the point
        source dies out. This may include humans
        – e.g. toxic mud in Indonesia. Introduce
        the recent gas exploration disaster in
        Indonesia – see resource section.
       What might happen downstream of the
        site? The pollutant becomes diluted.
       How might we tell how badly polluted
        downstream sites are? Look at the
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           Your Water  Your Catchment  Our Future
            foodweb. The least robust organisms are
            not present.
           What does this mean for the catchment?
            Loss of diversity; less organisms are able to
            live in those conditions; only more robust
          How does a loss of diversity effect the
           catchment? Less organisms supported.
        In what ways do we effect our catchment?
        How does what we do effect downstream
           use and enjoyment of waterways?
        What if you lived downstream of any
           waterway use, and you relied on the
    How might we measure impact on a catchment?
    Look at foodweb – macroinvertebrates are a good
    measure because we are able to see them, the
    least robust die out first meaning that the least
    robust macroinvertebrate found indicates the
    health of the catchment.
    In what other ways might we measure the health
    of a waterway? Leads directly to the next activity.
3   Create a roster for water monitoring/testing.     Resources
    Divide the students into 5 small groups to carry       Water monitoring data sheets
    out and record water quality tests. One group for    (site survey sheets) can be found
    each day of the week. If no water is available       at the end of this unit.
    within walking distance, then a bucket of water        A Waterwatch monitoring kit
    will have to be collected each morning (from the     is available from the Tasmanian
    wetland or creek) and „measured‟ as soon as          Environmental             Centre/
                                                         Sustainable Living Tasmania (102
    possible each morning.                               Bathurst St. Hobart) Phone 6234
    Water monitoring equipment is available in a http://www.sustainablelivingtasm
    Waterwatch Kits. Test the local water for
     pH (first before the water temperature  These investigations introduce
      increases)                                 students to some of the
     temperature                                measurements to measure the
                                                 quality/health of a waterway.
     conductivity
     turbidity
                                                               Assess the students‟ ability to
                                                                address the following questions in
    In order for sufficient data to be gathered for             a clear manner:
    graphing, at least two weeks of water testing                 What          do        certain
    should be attempted.      This should provide a             measurements mean?
    minimum to establish any trend.                               How do you measure this
                                                                water property?
                                                                  Why is it important to
                                                                measure this property?
                                                                  How do you record the data?

    Measuring pH levels of the water samples       Previous Measurement lessons
     What is pH?                                   would include lessons on length,
                                                    perimeter,     area,    volume,
     Why is it important to know the pH of water
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             Your Water  Your Catchment  Our Future
            and soil?                                             capacity, weight and time.
           How would we measure pH?                              Students would therefore have an
                                                                  understanding of some general
           What is the range of pH measurements?                 forms of measurement.

        PH strip Method (often called indicator paper)
        PH strips are coated paper strips change colour  Revision of decimals required
        according to the pH of the sample. The colour can      prior to this session.
        be compared to a colour scale to estimate the pH
        value. pH strips have a long shelf life (3 years) if  Further information on measuring
        stored in cool dry conditions; and give reliable       pH levels can be found in the
        results for monitoring groups. Choose pH strips        resource section of this unit and
        that can detect changes of 0.5 units in water          on the Tasmanian Waterwatch
        samples and are suitable for weakly buffered 

        Procedure                                         Resources The equipment needed
        1. Rinse the pH tube with sample water.           will include:
                                                                La Motte pHydrion pH test kit
        2. Tear off a piece of indicator strip that is              with strips
           slightly longer than the tube. Leave half a          sample bottle
           centimeter of the strip sticking out the top
           when the tube is recapped. This enables you
           to easily remove the indicator strip when the
                                                           Maintenance of equipment
           test is complete.                                   Pour the water into the liquid
        3. Fill the tube with sample water, put the cap        waste bottle and place the used
           on and swirl the water around the indicator         pH paper in the solid waste
           paper.                                              container. Rinse the tube and
        4. Wait for one minute for the full colour to          water and dry it before returning
                                                               it to the kit.
        5. Place the tube on the black strip running
           through the middle of the pH colour indicator
           levels on the inside lid of the pH test box.
        6. Compare the colour on the indicator paper
           with the pH colours on the lid to find the pH
        7. Repeat test on a field replicate water sample.
        8. Record both readings on the water quality
           result sheet.

        Have students measure the pH level of the water
        with the strips. They can then record the results
        onto the monitoring data sheets.
1, 2,   Guest Expert Speaker, from Greening Australia,  The Speaker should be willing to
3       CSIRO, Landcare, Rivercare.                       provide hands-on advise and
                                                          mentoring to the students for the
        Discuss with students the role of macro-          monitoring project.
        invertebrates in the wetlands food chain.
         What do they feed on?
         What/who feeds on them?
        Why are they essential for healthy ecosystems?
        What happens to the waterway when the macro-
        invertebrates are killed?

                                       Page 13 of 24
        Your Water  Your Catchment  Our Future
3   Macro Invertebrate Investigation               Resources
    Collect Macroinvertebrates from the same local      The Waterbug Book, p. 3 –
    water source that the students are monitoring.    see Resources section
                                                                The waterwatch monitoring
                                                              kit     includes  a    net      for
    The following link gives detailed information for
                                                              macroinvertebrate       collection.
    bug collection, identification and safety tips.           http://www.sustainablelivingtasm   
    where.html                                                  Small individual containers for
                                                              each student
                                                                Handlenses or magnifying
    Go through the process of the lesson before
    introducing the bugs. This lesson is highly                 Macroinvertebrate
    engaging and often the students will spend at             identification sheets found at
    least half an hour exclusively looking, oohing and
    ahhing. Allow for this.                                   u/html/pdfs/detguide_a4.pdf

    Place the bugs on white trays (if available)  This activity is best done as early
    throughout the classroom. Dark backgrounds          as possible in the day since the
                                                        macroinvertebrate activity will be
    make the macroinvertebrates impossible to view.     slowed as the water temperature
    Students should each have 1 small shallow           rises, and some will be consumed
    container ideal for viewing and holding water.      as the day progresses.
    Each     student     will   select    their  own
    macroinvertebrate from the tray and collect via a  Extension: This activity could also
    spoon or a paintbrush. Do not use tweezers.         be extended with the aid of a
    (The students will crush the bugs with tweezers).   digital microscope connected to a
                                                        data projector. Placing the bugs
    Enthusiasm usually means that each student has
                                                        under the microscope allow for
    several bugs. Reinforce that they will need to      the entire class to identify the
    select only 1 type to draw and investigate.         correct macroinvertebrate at the
                                                              same      time   (removing     any
    The students should draw their chosen bug in              misconceptions).           Specific
                                                              identifying features can be
    their Integrated Studies Book. The following
                                                              viewed and reinforced and
    labels should be included, where possible, on their       students can share about the
    drawing:                                                  specific macroinvertebrate on the
     Name of Macroinvertebrate                               screen. Most macroinvertebrates
     Head, abdomen, thorax                                   are semi-transparent and viewing
                                                              through the microscope gives a
     Legs (how many?)
                                                              fascinating moving picture of their
     Mouth, wings, gills                                     circulatory systems and internal
     Any other interesting feature(s)                        organs. Many macroinvertebrates
                                                              photographs from the internet
    If these activities create early finishers, then          could also be viewed by
                                                              connecting the laptop.
    students       could       go       online     to
    6af7d8ec83b0/1/ViewIMS.jsp This learning object
    gives a photo, and a brief description of the
    species and their location in the Tasmanian  The Waterbug Book is also a
                                                      good resource for this activity –
    ecosystem.                                        see Resources section, page
    The students should research the:
     Identification of their macroinvertebrate.
     What each macroinvertebrate eats.
     Who eats it?                                           Informal       and       formative
                                   Page 14 of 24
         Your Water  Your Catchment  Our Future
       Where they live and                                  assessment as to the students
       A brief description of their lifecycle               ability         to         identify
                                                             macroinvertebrates and        their
       Three facts that they find interesting about         research ability. This will be
        their „bug‟.                                         important for later in the unit
                                                             when       longer     independent
    If some of the macroinvertebrates are not found          research is required.
    at this site the following site is worth reviewing
                                                            The       drawing       of     the
    before      the      students     „google‟    their      macroinvertebrate allows for a
    macroinvertebrate.                                       quick assessment of the student‟s           visual literacy; specifically what
    explorer.html                                            was           noticed          and
    Students share their findings to the class, as the  This activity is ideal for the
    teacher randomly invites responses.                  kinaesthetic,  naturalistic and
                                                             visual/spatial learner.

3   Making Sense of the Data                              Resources
    In small groups students will look at some simple     Create A Graph software
    graph types (Bar graph, line plot and pie graph)
    and brainstorm their ideas of how these graph         aph/
    convey information, and what the different types
    of graphs are used for.

    Students will create their own bar graph of           Extension
    macroinvertebrate numbers.       Students will
                                                          Students     who   show     a   solid
    transform these bar graphs into a pie graph to        understanding of graph construction
    indicate proportions of the different types of        and reading could be challenged with
    macroinvertebrates found.    Students will use        some questions about what the area
    Create A Graph to produce a pie chart using the       underneath the various line plot
                                                          graphs     being  produced     might
    same information.

    In small groups students will construct a line plot   Conversely students who have trouble
                                                          making sense of the line plot graph
    graph from the water monitoring data. Students        could be given a task involving the
    will write down some of their observations about      production of a bar graph.
    what their completed graph is telling them about
    the data, and about the condition of the water
    and the waterway. Mention missing data points
    because of rained-out sampling days. Include or
    not? It is more accurate to include these days on
    the x axis, to more accurately show the change in
    temperature over time.

    Students to use Create A Graph to produce a
    graph using the same data. Comparisons will be
    made between these two graphs.

    Graphs to be displayed in class, and group
    discussion of the scientific implications arising

                                  Page 15 of 24
            Your Water  Your Catchment  Our Future
        from the data.

        Making Conclusions
        Roll play – Community spirit
        Students will explore community action via a role
        play concerning pollution of their local waterway.

        Brainstorm ideas of what a community is, how
        industry uses water, and what an ideal waterway
        might look like.
        These observations are to inform a role play
        where different community members come into
        dispute at a local council meeting because of
        different priorities about water usage and
1, 2,   Ask students to pull together all of the results and    Assess students on all of the
4       information they have gathered from their local          understanding goals from the unit
                                                                 using the Rubric (see p xx).
        waterway to determine the health of the wetland.
                                                                Ask the students to complete the
                                                                 rubric themselves as a self
        Suggest that students may create a Tri-fold
                                                                 assessment (prior to the teacher)
        Brochure,      Poster,    or   a    PowerPoint           by using the same rubric (but in a
        Presentation for their summary presentation.             different colour).
        The following topics may be chosen:

        1. We all live in a Catchment
        2. A description of the school‟s wetland area
           including monitoring data                    Students will:
                                                              analyse and evaluate water
        3. Macro-Invertebrates and their connection to      quality data
           water monitoring and the aquatic food chain.       identify and analyse the
                                                                 macro-invertebrates and micro-
        Scaffold the expectations and layout of a tri-fold       organism samples
        brochure; e.g. itemizing the page numbers                  present all the data in a
                                                                 structured format
        (introduction on page 2 and further information            recommend       actions    to
        found on page 6). One example is needed to               maintain and improve their local
        show students                                            waterway

        For the PowerPoint presentation, all writing must
        be done first and checked by a teacher before the
        pictures and transitions are added.               Resources
                                                                   A trifold brochure – as an
        Make the assessment explicit by going through            example
        the assessment rubric with the class. Reinforce
                                                                  Rubric
        that the students will need to self-assess their
        own work, using the same rubric as the teacher.
        Going Further/Taking Action
                                                                The culminating performance and
1, 4    Culminating Performance                                  other tasks within this unit allows
                                                                 for differentiated learning within
        Throughout the unit students will have
                                                                 the classroom. Students who
        investigated the health of a local waterway. In          work in teacher nominated
        order to move towards development of
                                      Page 16 of 24
    Your Water  Your Catchment  Our Future
community responsibility and action the students        groups are able to learn and gain
will re-visit their local wetland. They will            valuable skills through peer
                                                        support. Individual student needs
make an assessment in conjunction with an               are attended to through the
expert from Landcare or Rivercare, about what is        inclusion of many multi-media
unhealthy about their local waterway. Students          tasks, allowing students to
will be asked to prepare questions to ask the           participate in activities which are
visiting expert.                                        suited      to   their   stage    of
                                                        development.        The hands on
                                                        approach incorporated into many
Groups are nominated by the teacher and each            activities,    maintains     student
group will have a teacher nominated leader.             interest and engagement. For
                                                        students more suited to oral
Students in small groups will:                          communication, presenting oral
                                                        reports and talking to community
 Brainstorm ideas to find ways can they help to        experts ensures success.
   restore the local waterway?                         Things to consider might be
                                                        fencing,       weeds,     blackberry
These ideas will be classified and collated on the      bushes, crack willow trees,
whiteboard. Then the class should consider the          rubbish, lack of native vegetation,
                                                        stormwater drains, bank erosion
time, labour and monetary costs of the proposed         and degradation.
rehabilitation. Other consideration could be:
                                                        Informal      and       formative
 What sort of consultation with experts will be 
                                                        assessment of questions asked.
 Who will help us?                                    Informal assessment       of   class
 How do we obtain help?

The Australian Government Water Fund
Community Water Grants Program is  A description of the Australian
                                                   Government     Water     Fund
introduced by the teacher. Each student is given
                                                   Community     Water     Grants
a copy of the outline. The students as a whole     Program and details may be
class discuss the details that will be required to found                       at
obtain a grant to repair their local waterway.     http://www.communitywatergrant
Then in small groups, as organized by the  Other considerations could be
teacher, the students discuss their ideas for       equipment required to clean up
rehabilitation in regards to each criterion.        river banks, estimation of time,
                                                    fencing, drain repairs, rubbish
Students will need to research in the library and   removal, weed removal, and
through the internet to develop innovative ideas    revegatation.
for the project.
                                                   One project will be chosen.
                                                        Groups     will    be      teacher
As part of this research students will need to          nominated, with each group
focus their thinking so that they convincingly          focusing on different criteria sets
describe why it is important to restore their local     as determined by the application‟s
waterway in this manner. This is essential for the      requirements.
persuasive letter that will be sent for an
application to the Australian Government Water
                                                       Assessment of research skills,
Fund Community Water Grants Program. All                inquiry and ICT.
research notes should be documented by the
group‟s scribe.

At a suitable point in the research process, the
teacher should explicitly scaffold and provide
descriptions of persuasive texts.
                              Page 17 of 24
    Your Water  Your Catchment  Our Future

Students individually write an exposition about;
Why do you think it is important to restore your
local waterway?                                           Hand out assessment rubric.
                                                          Formal assessment of persuasive
Students make creative posters and pamphlets to            writing    to   English/Literacy
distribute around the school.        These should          standards.
encourage support for their activities and start the      Formal assessment of persuasive
search for volunteers.                                     writing    to   English/Literacy
Students brainstorm and focus upon a few ideas
for fundraising. Students consider and research
the monetary costs of re-habilitation with teacher
guidance. As needed, letters and emails could be
written contacting experts, local authorities, local
businesses, parents and friends.

Frequently, groups recount their progress through
                                                          Formal assessment of speaking
short oral presentations to the class.                     and listening to English/Literacy
Once students have completed and addressed all
the    Australian Government    Water    Fund
Community Water Grants criteria, the teacher
submits an application for the next round of

If there are no grants available at the time, it is
still a valuable project for students to undertake.  Extension: If a grant is received,
                                                      a small group or the entire class,
If they are motivated, the students may find          (depending on the scope of the
support from the local community, businesses and      work) collaborate to organise the
parents for rehabilitation of their local waterways   work to be undertaken.
and proceed without the funding.

                               Page 18 of 24
               Your Water  Your Catchment  Our Future
Online Links
   1. Classroom Water Experiments and Activities for K-12 accessed at
   2. The Water Source Book – an online book of water activities and investigations for K-12
      accessed at
   3. Waterwatch Units – accessed at
   4. Field Record Sheet for macro-invertebrates
   5. Water Bug Detective Guide
   6. How to sample for macro-invertebrates
   7. How to make your own net to sample macro-invertebrates
   8. The Real Value of Water
   9. Bacteria in Water pp 47-54 of Contaminant Scavenger Hunt
   10. Freshwater Fury – winner of 2003 Learning Quest Challenge
   12. Virtual Pond Explorer – UK
   13. Excellent Learning Object for Macroinvertebrate Investigation - Tasmanian
   14. Large selection of Pond Life Links – unfortunately some out of date
   15. Official web site of International Year of Freshwater 2003 – large selection of links,
       again unfortunately some out of date
   16. Waterwatch Australia list of Publications
   17. Landcare Australia site describing Tasmania‟s active Waterwatch activities
   18. All about aquatic Macroinvertebrates
   19. United Nations Cyberschool bus site – water quiz and great site for teachers
   20. Excellent educational resource for catchments

                                         Page 19 of 24
             Your Water  Your Catchment  Our Future
   21. Create A Graph software

   22. Learning, Teaching and Assessment Guide

Waterwatch Kits
   1) Tasmanian Environmental Centre (102 Bathurst St., Hobart) Ph: 6234 5566
   2) Molesworth Environment Education Centre (540 Moleworth Rd., Molesworth)
   Ph: 6261-1323 (Chloe Simmons)
   3) Huon Healthy Rivers Office (30 Main St. Huonville, PO BOX 210 Huonville, 7109)
   Ph: 62648410 e-mail:

Guest Speakers/ Excursion Ideas
   1) Molesworth Environmental Centre (Moleworth Rd., Molesworth)
   2) Greening Australia 6223-6377
   3) Your Local Council – Environment and Water Management Team
   4) Huon Healthy Rivers Office - 30 Main St. Huonville, PO BOX 210 Huonville, 7109
      Phone:6264-8410 e-mail: contact: Nel Nettlefold (only
      available for schools within the Huon Valley).

Gooderham J & Tsyrlin E 2002, The Waterbug Book; A guide to the Freshwater
Macroinvertebrates of Temperate Australia, CSIRO Publishing: Vic Australia.

                                      Page 20 of 24
             Your Water  Your Catchment  Our Future

Deadly rivulet spill blamed on factory
18 Oct 05

HUNDREDS of fish have been killed by a "slug" of ammonia in New Town Rivulet,
Tasmania's head of environmental management said yesterday.

The ammonia detected was at least 60 times the level toxic to fish, Warren Jones said.
National Foods' Pura Milk factory at Lenah Valley was found to be the source of the
ammonia. Mr Jones said potential fines and offences carried penalties of up to
hundreds of thousands of dollars. "The only fish identified so far is brown trout, but I'd
be surprised if there weren't other impacts," Mr Jones said. "Some fish were obviously
still distressed." The ammonia was detected over several kilometres starting at the site
of the factory. Mr Jones said a full ecological survey had been carried out and results
would be known later in the week. He said estimates of fish killed were several
hundred. Brown trout are introduced but among possible species in the creek are the
tiny galaxids. Ammonia levels were expected to drop quickly and there were no adverse
effects reported in the River Derwent, where the rivulet empties. He said he felt for the
many community and school groups who had worked to improve the rivulet's health. Mr
Jones said human health risks were unlikely but suggested avoiding the water. National
Foods group executive corporate affairs Ian Greenshields said the company would co-
operate fully with the department. "We really regret this. We run about 20 plants around
Australia and we're proud of our environmental record," Mr Greenshields said. He said
while he hadn't yet seen an official report, he understood a contractor had been on site
at the time surveying equipment. The ammonia escaped into a stormwater drain which
emptied into the creek. "We didn't know about it until the department contacted us," he
said. "We'll make whatever changes are required to our procedures to make sure it
doesn't happen again." Meanwhile, Mr Jones said Department of Primary Industries,
                                     Page 21 of 24
               Your Water  Your Catchment  Our Future
Water and Environment staff were looking for other impacts, such as on invertebrate

(Mercury title graphic: masthead.gif)

                                        Page 22 of 24
                                         Your Water  Your Catchment  Our Future

Performance                                                                                                                                                Total
                              1                          2                               3                                      4
  Criteria                                                                                                                                                 Score
                                              Compares results with      Compares results with given
                   Compares results with      given parameters and       parameters and provides an        Compares results with given parameters
Analyses and       given parameters but       briefly explains what      overall picture of the waterway   and examines any unusual data for the
evaluates the      does not explain what      they mean to the health    health. Identifies and explains   area. Explains how the data is related to the
water quality      they mean. Identifies      of the waterway.           how the data may not be           overall health of the waterway. Discusses
data.              that some of the data      Identifies and briefly     accurate and suggests one         the accuracy of the data and suggests
                   may be inaccurate.         explains how the data      improvement to the data           improvements to the data collection.
                                              may be inaccurate.         collection.
                                                                                                           Identifies the living organism samples
                   Identifies some of the     Identifies most of the
                                                                         Identifies the living organism    accurately. Compares results with given
                   living organisms with      living organisms with
Identifies and                                                           samples accurately. Compares      parameters and examines any unusual data
                   little accuracy.           some accuracy.
analyses the                                                             the living data parameters with   for the area. Discusses how the living data
                   Compares results with      Compares results with
macro-                                                                   the water quality data            is related to the water quality data and
                   given parameters but       given parameters and
invertebrate                                                             parameters and provides an        provides an overall picture of waterway
                   does not interpret them    briefly explains what
data.                                                                    overall picture of waterway       health. Predicts how the waterway may
                   (ie. what does the data    they mean to the health
                                                                         health.                           change if the recommended improvements
                   mean?)                     of the waterway.
                                                                                                           are put into action.
                                                                                                           Recommends several actions in detail and
                                              Briefly describes some
                                                                                                           suggests how action should be taken by the
                                              recommendations and        Recommends several actions in
Recommends                                                                                                 school, community, industry and local
                   Briefly states some        suggests how action        detail and suggests how action
actions to                                                                                                 council. Takes action on at least one of
                   recommendations but        should be taken by the     should be taken by the school,
maintain and                                                                                               these recommendations (ie: writes a
                   does not suggest how       school and the             community and council. Does
improve our                                                                                                comprehensive letter to the local council
                   action can be taken.       community. Does not        not take action on any of these
local waterway                                                                                             outlining your recommendations explaining
                                              take action on any of      recommendations.
                                                                                                           how certain actions will lead to improve the
                                              the recommendations.
                                                                                                           local waterway).
                   Presents data in tables.
Presents data in                              Presents data in tables.   Uses tables and graphs to         In a range of situations selects the most
                   Some of the titles and
a structured                                  The titles and labeling    present data in a clear manner    appropriate table and/or graph to present
                   labeling are missing
format Eg:                                    are present but are        consistent with accepted          data in a clear and interesting manner that
                   and/or are unclear and
graph, table.                                 sometimes unclear.         conventions.                      can be easily interpreted by the reader.
                   difficult to interpret.




                                                                         Page 23 of 24
               Your Water  Your Catchment  Our Future
                              Assessment Rubric
     Topic: Writing an Exposition                                                       Name…………………….…

                         4                          3                          2                           1

Code Breaker     The standard of your       The standard of your       The standard of your       The standard of your
                 work     showed     an     work showed a good         work showed some           work showed little
                 excellent                  understanding of the       understanding of the       understanding of the
                 understanding of the       codes             and      codes             and      codes             and
                 codes             and      conventions of writing     conventions of writing     conventions of writing
                 conventions of writing     for this task. Your        for this task. Your        for this task. Your
                 for this task. Your        draft, editing and         draft, editing and         draft, editing and
                 draft, editing and         proofreading was also      proofreading      was      proofreading      was
                 proofreading      was      good.                      reasonable.                non-existent.

Text             Your writing showed        Your writing showed a      Your writing showed a      Your writing showed
Participant      an            excellent    good understanding         good understanding         little understanding of
                 understanding        of    of making meaning          of making meaning          making         meaning
                 making         meaning     within the genre and       within the genre and       within the genre and
                 within the genre and       its application to the     its application to the     its application to the
                 its application to the     writing task               writing task.              writing task.
                 writing task.

Text User        The final publishing of    The final publishing of    The final publishing of    The final publishing of
                 your     writing   was     your writing was good      your     writing   was     your writing was poor
                 excellent          and     and     complete.    It    adequate and nearly        and incomplete. It
                 complete. It showed a      showed              an     complete. It showed        showed             little
                 thorough                   understanding of the       some understanding         understanding of the
                 understanding of the       task set.                  of the task set.           task set.
                 task set.

Text Analyst     An             excellent   An understanding of        An understanding of        Little understanding
                 understanding         of   applying     alternative   applying     alternative   of            applying
                 applying     alternative   perspectives to your       perspective to your        alternatives to your
                 perspectives to your       writing, reflection and    writing, reflection and    writing.     Reflection
                 writing and a deep         analysis of texts was      analysis of texts was      and analysis of texts
                 reflection and analysis    evident.                   evident.                   was not evident.
                 of texts was evident.

Attitude         You worked very hard       You worked hard at         You             worked     You did not work at
                 at your writing and        your     writing  and      reasonably well at         improving      your
                 showed an excellent        showed a good work         your    writing    and     writing.
                 work ethic to improve      ethic to improve your      showed a reasonable
                 your writing.              writing.                   work ethic to improve
                                                                       your writing.

Improvement      Your    writing     has    Your    writing  has       Your      writing   has    Your writing shows
                 obviously developed        developed and you          made              some     little improvement.
                 and you have made          have made substantial      developments and has
                 some          excellent    improvements.              slightly improved.

                                             Page 24 of 24

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