Science means “to know", a process for gaining knowledge and an understanding of the natural world. Students need to be involved in active learning. In other words, they must do science, not just hear about it. Good science encourages students to gain knowledge by doing science: observing, questioning, exploring, making and testing hypotheses, comparing predictions, evaluating data, and communicating conclusions. This unit plan is designed to incorporate the components of fresh water, ecology, water quality, and a class-wide science project. Each lesson addresses selected standards from the state core curriculum and has specific objectives that are tied to the learning objectives associated with the state core curriculum. The unit starts with five lessons that introduce fresh water and the role of fresh water in our lives. Students will learn the stages of the water cycle and participate in discussions and activities that will allow them to see the critical need to conserve, protect, and manage water properly. The next four lessons focus on the importance of biodiversity and human impact on biodiversity. The last part of the unit pulls the lessons on fresh water and ecology together into a class-wide science project. Students will study how abiotic factors affect water quality and then participate in a project relating those concepts in a study of Hobble Creek, near Springville, Utah. The unit finishes with group presentations about the science project and then a unit test. There is a good mix of regular classroom instruction and activities along with variation in learning styles. There is note taking, art expression, visual learning, verbal expression, group interaction, guided inquiry, different types of assessment, discussions involving higher level thinking, and hands on learning. The unit takes up nearly four weeks of school time. It will take considerable planning and preparation to teach the lessons, plan and carry out the activities and provide the needed accommodations.



College and Department

Life Sciences; Biology



Date Submitted


Document Type

Selected Project




fresh water, ecology, secondary education, lesson plans



Included in

Biology Commons