Section I: Substances That Dissolve in Water
Do substances dissolve in water? If so, how do they affect the plants and animals in aquatic habitiats?
- Activity 1 – The Disappearing act
- What happens when different substances are added to water? Experiments that test the conditions that affect rates at which salts and other substances dissolve.
- Activity 2 – Water, water everywhere
- Classifying different kinds of aquatic habitats.
- Activity 3 – Salty or fresh?
- Which is heavier, fresh water or salt water?
- Activity 4 – The layered look
- A demonstration of the distribution of fresh and salt water in areas where fresh and salt water meet in estuaries.
- Activity 5 – Some like it salty-some do not!
- A teacher-led demonstration that shows how salinity may affect the distribution of some aquatic animals.
- Activity 6 – The great salinity contest!
- Or who has the saltiest and the freshiest water?
- Activity 7 – Oxygen for life
- What is the source of the oxygen that is dissolved in water?
- Activity 8 – Soil in water
- What happens when soil erodes from the land and enters aquatic habitats? A long-term experiment.
- Activity 9 – What’s in the water?
- What is water pollution? What are the effects of several kinds of
pollution on aquatic habitats? A long-term experiment.
Section II: Temperature Changes in Aquatic Habitats
What are the characteristics of water with regard to temperature changes? What are the consequences of temperature changes for the plants and animals living in aquatic habitats?
RATES OF CHANGE
- Activity 10 – A change in the weather?
- Which changes temperature faster: water or air? Does the volume of water make a difference in how fast the temperature changes?
TEMPERATURE AND RESPIRATION
- Activity 11 – Plants use oxygen?
- Do the plants and animals that live in water use oxygen?
- Activity 12 – When the heat’s on
- What is the effect of temperature on the rate at which “cold-blooded” organisms that live in water use oxygen?
TEMPERATURE AND DISSOLVED OXYGEN
- Activity 13 – When the oxygen goes
- What happens to the dissolved oxygen when water temperature increases?
- Activity 14 – When the oxygen is gone
- How do animals respond to low oxygen environments?
TEMPERATURE AND SEASONAL CHANGES
- Activity 15 – In hot water?
- Which weighs more: hot or cold water?
- Activity 16 – The great anadromous fish game
- What are some of the factors that determine the reproductive success of fish during the seasonal migrations of river-spawning, ocean-living species? A life cycle game.
- Activity 17 – A change in the weather
- Predicting on seasonal changes in aquatic habitats.
Section III: Moving or Staying Put: Maintaining Position Within Aquatic Habitats
What are the physical characteristics of water that determine the kinds of places that aquatic plants and animals live?
PLACES TO LIVE
- Activity 18 – To each its home
- Where do animals and plants live and what makes them suited to their homes? A classification activity that introduces different parts of aquatic habitats.
SINKING OR FLOATING
- Activity 19 – Keeping your head above water
- Do things that float or sink behave differently in salt and fresh water? What lets them float? Why do they sink?
- Activity 20 – Sinking slowly
- How do plants, which need light, maintain their position in the water column if they are heavier than water? How do tiny drifting animals keep from sinking to the bottom? A contest to design an organism that sinks slowest.
- Activity 21 – Sink or swim
- What are some of the special structures that allow fish to stay up in and move through the water? A fish dissection.
- Activity 22 – Grace under pressure
- Does water pressure vary with depth?
LIVING ON SURFACE TENSION
- Activity 23 – Life at the surface
- What is the surface of the water like? How can animals take advantage of the water surface as a place to live? A contest to design a model organism that rides on surface tension.
MOVING THROUGH THE WATER
- Activity 24 – At the races!
- How do fish swim? What are the correlations between body shape, swimming technique and speed? To be done on a trip to a public aquarium or science center which displays fish.
Section IV: Light and Water
What happens to light in water, and what are the consequences for plants and animals that live there?
LIGHT AND WATER
- Activity 25 – Light to sea by
- What happens to light when it shines through water?
- Activity 26 – Hide and seek
- What does it look like under water? What do animals see? Is camouflage the same below water as above?
LIGHT AND PLANTS
- Activity 27 – A light snack
- What is the relationship between light availability and photosynthesis in aquatic plants?
AQUATIC FOOD CHAINS
- Activity 28 – Competing for food
- What is the relationship of food availability to the number of herbivores an area can support? A simulation game.
- Activity 29 – Eating and being eaten
- What are the feeding relationships among the plants and animals that live in a pond? A simulation of carrying capacity and predator-prey relationships.
- Activity 30 – Getting caught
- Do some human activities change the feeding relationships, and thus, the ecological balance, of a food web? A simulation.
Section V: Exploration Research and Communication
EXPLORATION AND RESEARCH
- Activity 31 – Getting to the bottom of things
- Can scientists map the bottom of a lake or ocean when they cannot see it? Mapping and sampling a model ocean.
- Activity 32 – Underwater exploration
- How is modern technology being used to study the physical, geological, chemical and biological nature of the oceans? Research project on technology and its applications.
- Activity 33 – Getting wet!
- An aquatic field investigation.
- Activity 34 – Aquatic language arts
- Individual language arts projects with an aquatic theme.
- Activity 35 – Habitat detectives
- A group project in library research and communication.
- Activity 36 – Aquatic science symposium
- An aquatic conference for parents or other students.
Below, you’ll find helpful resources for use with the above activities.
- Recipes and Resources
- Master list for all materials used in this curriculum
- Teacher’s outline: classroom note cards for each activity
- Sample questions
- Salts and solutions
- Making water with low and high dissolved oxygen
- Moving water and taking samples
- Dissolved oxygen test kits
- LaMotte dissolved oxygen test kit instructions
- Spring scales
- Measuring time
- Measuring volume
- Making graphs
- Collecting and looking at zooplankton
- The classroom aquarium
- Making water without chlorine or how to age tap water
- Pond water
- Goldfish and guppies
- Brine shrimp
- Sources of equipment and animals
- Sources for curriculum ideas and software
Student Pages For Duplication
Activity 1 worksheet
Activity 2 cards and keys
Activity 3 worksheet
Activity 4 worksheet
Activity 5 worksheet
Activity 6 worksheet
Activity 7 worksheet
Activity 8 worksheet
Activity 9 worksheet
Activity 10 worksheet
Activity 11 worksheet
Activity 12 worksheet
Activity 13 worksheet
Activity 14 worksheet
Activity 15 worksheet
Activity 16 worksheet, game board, cards and rules
Activity 17 worksheet
Activity 18 cards and keys
Activity 19 worksheet
Activity 20 worksheet
Activity 21 worksheet
Activity 22 worksheet
Activity 23 worksheet
Activity 24 information pages
Activity 24 worksheet
Activity 27 worksheet
Activity 28 worksheet
Activity 29 and 30 worksheet
Activity 31 worksheet
“” Icon made by Pixel perfect from www.flaticon.com