This activity looks at the nature and structure of water catchment areas. It reinforces students’ understanding of a water catchment area, and gives them the opportunity to hypothesise the human impact upon a catchment.
Earth and Beyond
3.3 Students collect information that describes ways in which living things use the Earth and the sun as resources.
4.1 Students recognise and analyse some interactions (including the weather) between systems of Earth and beyond.
Life and Living
3.3 Students describe some interactions (including feeding relationships) between living things and between living and non-living parts of the environment.
Place and Space
PS 2.2 Students predict possible consequences for an ecological system when an element is affected.
Systems, Resources and Power
SRP 3.1 Students make inferences about interactions between people and natural cycles, including the water cycle.
Writing an explanation of a catchment.
Give an oral presentation about catchments.
- stimulus pictures/posters which can be found from internet searches
- Resource Sheet 4 – Resource use within the local catchment area (PDF, 62K)*
For definitions of a water catchment area, see "Current scientific concepts" in the background information.
Time: 45 minutes
Students in your class may have prior knowledge and experience with water catchment areas and catchment area management at a community level. Let these students share with the class their knowledge and experience.
Let students study the poster quietly. Read together information printed on the poster.
Ask students to identify the catchment boundary. Trace around the boundary.
List what can happen to rainfall. i.e.
- soak into the ground
- run off the plants and ground and enter a water way
Identify and compare areas of water run-off for the total catchment area. Trace the water run-off from rainfall to arrival at the lowest point. e.g. "The rain that fell on the mountains above the dam has drained/flowed to the dam."
List the natural resources illustrated in the poster (forest, developed and undeveloped land, waterfall, creeks, beach, shore line, ocean) and who uses them. See information provided on Resource Sheet 4 (PDF, 62K)*.
Discuss the impact on the catchment if there were to be a change to the environment. For example, an increase in urban development, introduced plant or animal, increased farming/ fishing etc.
As a whole class or in groups write an explanation/description of a water catchment area, its components and the fact that they are interdependent. e.g:
- A water catchment area is...
- The natural resources within the area are...
- Humans impact upon a catchment by...
Depending on student capabilities, written explanations can be replaced by drawings and or labelling.
* Requires Adobe Reader
Last updated 3 September 2010