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1. What you can do
5. Environmental Issues
6. Keystone species
7. Get Wet!-
Field Study Ideas
8. The Zoo Experience
9. Frogs & Friends
10. Case Studies
(Level: 2 : 3 :: Watersheds)
Purpose: To observe where and why rain settles during a
What You Need: natural hill or hill display :: 6
What You Do:
- Before this activity select an existing landform or slope or
create the hill display in one of three ways:
Test your human-made hill to make sure it works. It may be
necessary to make a depression so marbles collect at the hill
- if possible, use a sandbox to create a model of two hills,
- form hills from scrap cloth or towels and then cover with a
sheet (stretch and pull tight), or
- use two half inflated beach balls with a sheet overtop
- Discuss the difference between absorbing water and water
runoff. Explain this by comparing a sponge and a rock, or jeans
and a raincoat. Both the sponge and jeans absorb water, while
water runs off the rock and raincoat. Explain that this occurs
every time it rains. Some things absorb water and other things do
not, and thus the water runs off them.
- Discuss where water goes after it rains. Make a list of
places where water may go. For each place that is listed, decide
whether or not the rain will be absorbed or if it runs off.
- Ask students to guess where the water that falls on hills
will go. Will it: stay on top of the hill, or flow to the
- Do the run-off activity with the students observing. Pretend
the marbles are raindrops, and allow each one to roll down the
hill and leave it where it stops. They should accumulate in one
- Why did all the marbles go to the same spot?
- When rain falls on a slope, what is the end result?
- Compare what would happen to the rain falling on a parking
lot, and rain falling on a forest.
- How are temporary ponds and puddles beneficial to
Click here to see the answers to these questions.
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of activities for this unit.
- Visit the schoolyard prior to a rainfall. Examine the area
for low depression areas where water would accumulate to form
puddles. Also, examine different areas in the schoolyard to
determine if water would be absorbed or forced to run off. After
a rainfall, return to these areas to see if your predictions were
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