RIVERS AND OCEANS
This unit is intended to give a simple, hands-on introduction to different water features and environments. Most activities are short and require minimal preparation. Indoor activities should not usually take more than the normal 20 minute lesson time. A few activities are rather more time-consuming or require more preparation. These are marked +, and can be left out if you prefer. To round out the study we have included in the Nature Study Pagoo, the story of a hermit crab.
Outdoor Activities are marked with an asterisk. These could be included in a nature walk, or be made the focus of a separate trip.
*Rivers and Oceans: Geography Facts and Experiments by Barbara Taylor (previously part of the out of print book The Earth:The Geography of Our World by Barbara Taylor -ISBN: 0753454254)
Section 1: Local Geography
Lesson 1: Set up two separate notebooks:
(1) A fact file for information about rivers, seas and other water environments. (This can be continued at Levels 1A and 2). Earth, p.26; R&O, p.31
(2) Start a scrapbook about a local water environment – perhaps a stream, creek, river, canal or lake, or even a sea or ocean. Earth, p.6; R&O, p.4
* Lesson 2: Pay a visit to your chosen water environment. Observe wildlife and plant life. How it the area used by people? Add a page to your scrapbook.
* Lessons 3 to 7: Pay at least five further visits to your water environment (two each term). Monitor any changes, particularly seasonal ones.
* Lesson 8: Visit another local water environment. Compare it to your chosen one.
Section 2: The Water Cycle
Lesson 9: Explain the water cycle and introduce the idea of evaporation and condensation (see diagram, Earth, p.8; R&O, p.6); demonstrate condensation with steam from a kettle (Earth, p.9; R&O, p.7)
*Lesson 10: Demonstrate evaporation by monitoring a puddle (Earth, p.8; R&O, p.6).
+ Lesson 11: Make a bottle garden to demonstrate the water cycle. (Earth, p.9; R&O, p.7)
Section 3: Rivers
Lesson 12: Explain river sources (see Earth, p.12; R&O, p.12). Using a map follow the river nearest to where you live to its source. Find the source of two major rivers in your country.
* Lesson 13: Explore the way a river behaves by making your own river using sand, gravel and water. (Earth, p.13; R&O, p.13)
Lesson 14: Use salt dough, play dough or modelling clay to model a river with a levee, a meander and an ox-bow lake. (Earth, p.14-15; R&O, p.16-17)
* Lesson 15: Use twigs to explore the current of a river or stream. (Earth, p.15; R&O, p.17)
Lesson 16: Explain the terms river mouth and delta. Experiment with soil (dirt) in both salt and fresh water. (Earth, p.16; R&O, p.18)
Lesson 17: Find these six great rivers on a map: Mississippi, Amazon, Ganges, Nile, Rhine, Yangtze. If possible, mark them on a laminated map. What countries does each river pass through?
Lesson 18: Choose one of these great rivers and make a page for your fact file
Section 4: Lakes
Lesson 19: Explain lakes; find the world’s six deepest lakes on a map. (Earth, p.18-19; R&O, p.20-21)
Section 5: Oceans and Seas
Lesson 20: Find the five oceans on a map; explain icebergs; use a balloon to make your own iceberg. (Earth, p.20-21; R&O, p.22-23)
Lesson 21: Explain waves, current and tides; observe waves in the bath. (Earth, p.22-23; R&O, p.24-25)
Lesson 22: Look at a map of your country and name the seas and oceans that surround it; look at an example of a tide table, ideally for a place your child knows (you should be able to find one on the internet).
Section 6: Water Pollution
Lesson 23: Discuss pollution and its causes; make a water filter. Earth, p.24-25; R&O, p.29-30)
* Lesson 24: Monitor a local water environment for evidence of pollution.
Throughout the year:
(1) Add pictures and information to your fact file as you find them.
(2) Look for place names including water related words (lake, ford, bridge, for example).
+ Optional concluding activity:
Use salt dough or modelling clay to make a model showing as many of the water features and environments you have learned about as possible. Use the picture from Earth, p.6-7; R&O, p.4-5 for ideas
Optional Extra Resources
National Geographic magazine
The Magic School Bus at the Waterworks by Joanna Cole
The Magic School Bus Under the Ocean by Joanna Cole