Curriculum Highlights

Key Learning Objectives: 

  • Students will be familiar with the characteristics of a watershed.
  • They will be able to describe, qualitatively and quantitatively, the qualities of a watershed.
  • They will learn about, and begin to feel a sense of stewardship towards, their own local watershed. An ongoing and long term goal is that students understand the role of a watershed, and what their role is in the health of that watershed.

Outdoor Fieldwork Activities

  • Monthly water testing trips to Thompson Creek
  • Trip to Thompson Creek to survey life on the banks
  • Trip to Thompson Creek to study erosion
  • Thompson Creek cleanup
  • Field trip to David Yearsley River Heritage Center

Schools: McNear Elementary School

Teachers: Eric Norstad

Classes: 4th

Overview: What are the characteristics of a watershed, and specifically, what are the characteristics of our local watershed, which drains into Thompson Creek? Using this essential question, we will acquire specific knowledge about watersheds in general and Thompson Creek in particular. It is important that students understand that Thompson Creek is a watershed that feeds into the larger Petaluma Creek watershed, just as most watersheds feed into larger watersheds. A feeling of personal stewardship on the part of each student is also important as students understand that they are a part of their community.

CA Curriculum Standards Addressed

NGSS 4ESS2-1.: "Make observations and/or measurements to provide evidence of the effects of weathering on the rate of erosion by water, wind, ice, or vegetation."

4-ESS2-2.: "Analyze and interpret data from maps to describe patterns of Earth's features."

ESS2.A: "Rainfall helps to shape the land and affects the types of living things found in a region." Please see above  response under NGSS Standard 4ESS2-1.