Thinkfinity Lesson Plans
Subject: Science - Ecology - Social Studies - Geography - Social Studies - Urban Studies
Title: Coastal Development
Description: In this lesson, from Xpeditions, students examine two maps that illustrate the tendency for people in the United States to settle near the coasts. They use the Internet to research some environmental impacts on coastal ecosystems and conclude by writing reports on steps that are being taken to mitigate these impacts in specific parts of the country.
Thinkfinity Partner: National Geographic Education
Grade Span: 9,10,11,12
Planet H2O- Where's the Water?
Seventy percent (70%) of the Earth’s surface is covered with water and when viewed from space, our planet appears blue with a plentiful supply of water. However, clean, fresh water for drinking and irrigation is a scarce and valuable commodity in many parts of the world. Even though water is abundant on our planet, only a very small percentage can be used by humans and other organisms.
This activity demonstrates the sources of water on our planet. Reduce Earth’s water supply to 2 liters and then use common household items to represent the distribution of water on our planet. More than half a gallon is found in the oceans, inland seas, and salt lakes – water that is too salty to use. At the end of the activity, you will see that only about 1 teaspoon of our original 2 liters is readily available for human use – water that is found in rivers, lakes, streams, and underground aquifers.
Planet H2O- Water Supply and Demand
In this lesson, the students are instructed to imagine that they are in control of a small country. They are shown a pitcher that contains their country’s water supply. They are then asked to make decisions on where the water should go. The students are given small containers that represent their needs and demands for water. Water is distributed from the supply pitcher for each one of their demands.
About 2/3 of our water supplies goes to agriculture and food production. Two-thirds (2/3) of the water from the supply pitcher is poured into the “agriculture” container. Students then list other demands...drinking water, water for cleaning, etc. Students are then presented with other factors that will influence their supply and demand. An environmental factor, such as a drought, will mean that the affected part of the country will have an increased demand (water is distributed from the supply pitcher). A great increase in the human population in another part of the country will increase their demand as well (water is distributed from the supply pitcher). When the supply pitcher is almost empty, the topic of water scarcity arises. Water scarcity occurs when the demand for water out paces the supply and causes water shortages.