2. Watersheds and Wetlands - Logistics

Time
70-90 minutes - approximately 20-30 minutes per wetland for construction, the activity, discussion and clean up. I recommend doing the first activity to introduce the idea of a watershed on one day then do both wetland activities on the following day. If you are short on time or if students are already familiar with the concept of a watershed, then you can add wetlands right away.

Grouping
Teams of 3 students that later pair up into groups of 6

Materials
Each team of 3 students needs:

  • 1 plastic shoebox-sized container (great for organizing supply closets later on!)
  • 1 kitchen sponge cut into 4 rectangular pieces (the yellow sponges with the green scrubbing material are cool because kids can observe a color change in the yellow “soil” portion of the sponge while the green material simulates plants living in the wetlands)
  • 1 water spray bottle (available at most hardware stores near the cleaning supplies or at plant nurseries for watering and misting plants)
  • a multi-color assortment of water-based markers

The teacher needs:

  • a stack of white cardstock paper (each team will use 3 sheets)
  • 1 packet of colored drink mix like Koolaid or Hawaiian Punch
  • 1 spoon
  • optional - map or satellite image of the school and neighboring areas showing the watershed

Everyone needs:

  • a copy of the Watershed and Wetlands Questions
  • a sink to clean sponges and dump dirty water
  • a trash can

Setting
classroom