High School Curriculum Overview

Here’s an overview of the key questions and vocabulary students will tackle in the High School lessons. Search by keyword to find the perfect lesson for your class, then click on the lesson name to access the PDF!

Lesson NameKey QuestionsKey Vocab
Week 1: Water, Its Uses, and Importance
1: Water ValuesHow much water is available for human consumption?
What is the connection between surface and groundwater?
In what ways can drinking water be conserved?
aquifer, finite, groundwater, hydrologic cycle, hypothesize, percolate, recharging, recycle, resource, surface water, stratified drifts
2: Water ObservationsWhat observations can be made about the stream and its habitat?
What does “reading” the landscape mean?
How is the presence of animals recognized if they are not visually seen?
conserve, observation, protect, reflection
3: Recycled WaterHow is water recycled?
How does a terrarium demonstrate the water cycle?
How does vinegar simulate acid rain?
acid rain, hydrogen, hydrologic cycle, hypothesis, recycle
4: Water PowerWhat are the positive and negative impacts of dams on a community?
What are names and locations of dams in Farmington River Watershed?
Why are dams built?
anadromous, dam, electricity, generator, hydroelectric, generator
5: Water UndergroundHow do surface water and ground water interact?
What happens if a pollutant enters the surface water?
From where does drinking water come?
aquifer, effluent, impermeable, penetrate, permeable, percolate, run-off, water table
Week 2: The Farmington River Watershed
6: Water LinesHow is a river formed?
How do the hills of land direct the flow of water?
Where does the Farmington River flow?
Where does the Farmington meet the Connecticut River?
border, confluence, dam, flow, man-made, map, model, ridge lines, topography
7: Carrying CapacitiesWhat is a reservoir and how is it used?
What is the name of the largest reservoir in Farmington River Watershed?
What are carrying capacities?
carrying capacity, reservoir
8: Water AbsorptionWhat is the difference between a pervious and an impervious surface?
How does the type of surface in a watershed impact water quality?
buffer zones, impervious, infiltration, orient, pervious, run-off, storm drain
9: Land UseHow is run-off affected when land is developed?
How can run-off be calculated?
What is the impact of land development on the watershed?
curve numbers, hydrologist
10: Water ModelsHow is the land impacted by its use?
What impact does the population have on land use and water quality?
How is water quality impacted by land use?
abutments, alluvial, bedrock, flatwater, floodplain, gorge, oxbow, Precambrian rock, Triassic
Week 3: Watershed Ecosystems
11: Water EcotonesWhat is an ecotone? Why is it important?
What can negatively affect an ecotone?
What can positively affect an ecotone?
diversity, ecosystem, ecotone, hypothesis, hypothesize
12: Plant ConcernsWhat is an endangered plant species in Connecticut?
Why is it endangered?
What can be done to protect it?
biodiversity, endangered, extirpated, quadrant, threatened
13: Endangered WildlifeHow does endangered wildlife impact food chains and food webs in an ecosystem?
What are examples of endangered wildlife in Connecticut?
Why are wildlife endangered and what can be done to protect them?
food chain, food web, habitat destruction
14: Water FindsWhy do we examine aquatic insects?
Why are they important to determining the health of the stream?
What other observations about the stream indicate health?
biotic index, identify, macroinvertebrate, magnify, observation
15: Microscopic OrganismsHow are microscopic organisms beneficial to a food chain and/or food web?
What are special adaptations that allow organisms to survive in a stream?
carnivore, consumer, food chain, food web, herbivore, microscopic, primary consumer, producer, secondary consumer, tertiary consumer
Week 4: Going Back to the Past
16: Clues to the PastWhat clues do land formations provide to the past?
What are indicators of pre-glacial activity in the Farmington River Watershed?
What are indicators of glacial activity in the Farmington River Watershed?
basalt, boulder, fault, glacial, lave, precambrian rock, ridge, talus slide
17: Drawing from the PastHow did the watershed appear in different time periods?
What are indicators of glacial activity in the Farmington River Watershed?
How can watershed alterations be depicted?
18: Drawing on the PresentHow does the land appear in different areas of the watershed?
What are geological phenomenon’s in the watershed?
How can watershed alterations be depicted?
basalt, boulder, fault, glacial, lave, precambrian rock, ridge, talus slide
19: Farmington CanalWhy was the Farmington Canal important?
What was its path?
How long did it take to build?
canal, locks
20: Colonial TimesWhat did the settlers think of America when they arrived?
How did settlers alter the landscape?
How has the land changed in modern times?
Week 5: Pollution and Monitoring
21: Water StudiesHow can streams and rivers be monitored?
How do water characteristics, riparian banks and watershed habitats indicate stream health?
pool, riffle, run, velocity
22: Water ChecksWhat abiotic tests will indicate the health of a stream?
What factors contribute to higher levels of dissolved oxygen in a stream?
Why is it important to monitor the stream?
abiotic, acidic, alkaline, dissolved oxygen, pH level
23: Development DebateHow does planning and zoning decide land development use?
How does analyzing a problem from different perspectives help?
bordering, planning and zoning, protection, vernal pool
24: Unidentified SourcesWhat is the difference between point source pollution and non-point source pollution?
How can non-point source pollution be prevented from flowing into the waterways?
acid deposition, hazardous, improper disposal, leakage, nonpoint source pollution, point source pollution, pollution, sediment
25: Build Out DilemmaHow are towns planned regarding development?
How is build - out determined?
What is being done to protect open space areas?
calculator, paper, pencils
Week 6: Water Protection and Conservation
26: Water WatchersHow can water be conserved?
How can daily usage be reduced?
calculate, measurement
27: Water SurveyHow much water do I use?
How much does my family use?
water usage
28:Drought Dilemma How can water be conserved in the event of shortages?water tips
29: The Value of WaterHow much water is available for human consumption?
How much is used during the day?
Are there ways that water can be conserved?
conservation, consumption, finite
30: Water ActionsWhat are ways to help protect your watershed?involvement, organizations

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