July 17, 2020 | Lee Cannon

A free Watershed Wisdom online lesson plan is available and includes guidance for elementary school teachers and a wide range of activities for North Carolina students. A companion Learning from Home Guide highlights activities in the lesson that teachers can assign online to accommodate the recent shift to remote learning across the state.

Christy Perrin, sustainable waters and communities coordinator for North Carolina Sea Grant and the NC WRRI, says she and her colleagues wanted to support North Carolina teachers by providing them with a free and easily accessible lesson plan that meets required N.C. Essential Standards.

students learn about watersheds

Before the COVID-19 outbreak, the team behind Watershed Wisdom filmed a demonstration of the lesson with a North Carolina teacher and her fourth grade classes.

“We wanted to creatively engage students in learning about their local watersheds and empower students to take action,” Perrin adds. “We created it to get students outdoors, teach them about their local watersheds, and prompt student-parent interaction with the concepts at home. Our UNC-TV Science partners helped us to achieve this and more.”

Watershed Wisdom makes a wide range of interactive teaching tools available, from videos to maps to interviewing activities, all of which, Perrin explains, will encourage students to appreciate the value of water and maintaining healthy ecosystems.

In addition to UNC-TV, North Carolina Sea Grant partnered for the project with the North Carolina Watershed Stewardship Network’s K-12 team, which includes NC Project Wet, WRRI, Town of Hillsborough and City of Raleigh stormwater staff, and the Albemarle-Pamlico National Estuary Partnership. Before the COVID-19 outbreak, the team filmed a demonstration of the lesson with a teacher and her fourth grade classes. GSK also provided funding for the project.

“UNC-TV led development of Watershed Wisdom as a complete 5E lesson that can be taught over two weeks, with 14 activities, including a completely interactive online component called Ways of Watersheds,” Perrin adds. Teachers and informal educators can also select individual activities to teach.

As the pandemic has continued to force major changes to learning models, several thousand teachers and others across the state already have accessed these lesson plans online, she adds.

WRRI’s sister program, North Carolina Sea Grant, also has developed free online “Mariculture Lesson Plans for high school students.

Discover online educational resources for at-home learning on our K-12 education page.

Also visit the portal for North Carolina Sea Grant’s online educational resources.

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