Which catchment area do I live in?
This activity provides the foundation for later activities in this module, which look at the relationship between social attitudes and decisions about the applications of science.
- identify the boundaries of the local catchment area by examining a map
- mark known land uses on the map and draw conclusions about the impact that these uses may have on the catchment.
Science and Society
5.3 Students evaluate consequences of interactions which occur between the living and non-living parts of environments.
- a laminated map of your local catchment area for each group
- overhead transparency of catchment map and soluble OHP pens for each group.
Any area map which shows the topography of the area is suitable for determining catchment boudaries. The Using topographic maps fact sheet (PDF, 166K)* provides instructions on how to find your catchment on a topographic map.
Maps can be purchased from local book stores or newsagents.
Time: 60 minutes
- interpreting data
- drawing conclusions
Working in groups of three or four, students examine the local catchment area map provided and mark the boundary of the catchment area on the map. To do this, they follow each stream back to its origin and include all of these inside the boundary line of the catchment area. If the maps have contour lines, the highest areas between one river/creek and the next will be the catchment boundary.
Students identify any land uses or features that they know about. These may include grazing, farming, residential areas, industrial areas, large dams along creeks and rivers, beaches and mangroves (wetlands etc). Each group completes a table that lists the human impacts and the possible effects of these impacts on the waterways.
The information from the groups is shared in a whole-class discussion. An overhead transparency of the catchment map could be used to locate various features during the discussion. Students then collate a list of the environmental problems in the catchment area.
Gathering information about student learning
Sources of information could include:
- group maps and human impacts table
- anecdotal notes about students’ contributions to discussion.
(The activity ‘Which catchment area do I live in?’ is adapted from Kelly 1992, Catchment Care Education Kit.)
* Requires Adobe Reader
Last reviewed 27 July 2010
Last updated 12 June 2008