Aug 162013


Teacher professional development lesson that can be modified for the classroom.

This lesson about groundwater includes an overview of three important ideas:  the scarcity of freshwater reservoirs available to us, what water looks like and how it flows in the ground, and how our land-use choices impact the availability of groundwater.  First is a demonstration of what percentage of the Earth’s water is available to us.  Incorrect conceptions of groundwater are very common, so we will use student drawings to understand where our students are starting when we introduce the idea of groundwater.  Finally we will demonstrate groundwater movement and storage using small groundwater models that teachers can use in their classrooms.

Upon completion of this professional development session, teachers will be able to:

  • Demonstrate the relative amounts of water on the Earth that is in various reservoirs
  • Pre-assess and anticipate students’ conceptions of groundwater
  • Model the water table and its relationship to surface water.
  • Model how groundwater contamination flows through the ground depending on the subsurface characteristics
  • Define and explain key terms related to groundwater processes: infiltration, porosity, permeability, aquifer