Which side of the river?
This activity reinforces the students’ understanding of a catchment area and helps illustrate human impact upon the health of a catchment.
Science and Society
3.3 Students make prediction about the immediate impact of some applications of science on their community and environment, and consider possible pollution and public health effects.
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.
Systems, Resources and Power
SRP 3.1 Students make inferences about interactions between people and natural cycles, including the water cycle.
Responses to questions regarding the poster.
Creating a problem/solution table.
Written statement of choice.
Health and Physical Education (H & P.E)
Caring for your own health needs (you could draw an analogy between the care of your own health and the ideas presented on the poster).
The state of the environment affects your own personal health.
- Everyone lives in a catchment poster as two A4 sheets (PDF, 665K)* or a single A3 sheet (PDF, 614K)*
- Resource Sheet 7 – Problem/solution table (PDF, 62K)*
If the class can not comfortably see the poster during a discussion consider using two posters.
This poster is a representation of a catchment basin and may differ from your local catchment area. Check students’ understanding of a basin. Using a map or atlas, show students what areas of Queensland may be represented by the catchment illustrated on the poster, that is, locations along the east coast of the state.
Inform the students that the map is not drawn to scale and to realise that the poster is meant to illustrate the components of a water catchment area and how they are interrelated.
Have questions below written up prior to the discussion and be ready to write down the responses from the students.
Display the poster after this activity for students to study at their leisure. (It’s quite a fun poster, it is also an example of a hand drawn poster.)
Time: 45-60 minutes
Display the poster and give students some quiet time to study it. Let the students know there are questions to be answered about the poster.
Start the discussion of the poster with the following general questions:
- What can you see in this poster?
- Who uses waterways?
- Is this waterway like/unlike our local waterway?
- How is it like/unlike our local waterway?
- Have you visited a waterway like this one?
- Imagine what our local waterway would look like.*
*N.B. For waterways in regions which flow once a year/rarely you may need to ascertain the student’s knowledge and experience of the waterway when it is flowing. Older students, community members, photos and or maps may help you come up with an image (mental or physical) of what the local waterway looks like when it is dry and when it is flowing. Once you have this reference point the discussion of the poster may become more relevant.
Student responses to the questions below can be recorded for the whole group on the board/butcher’s paper or individually:
- What are waterways used for?
- Which of these uses could harm the waterway environment? Why? Ask students to think of a method to test what does or does not harm waterways. Share ideas or return to student’s ideas for discussion and/or testing at a more appropriate time.
- Which of these uses does not harm the waterway environment? Why?
- Why is improving waterways important?
- What ways can you think of to improve our waterways?
- What can individuals do to improve our waterways?
- What is the message of this poster?
Students create a problem/solution table, see Resource Sheet 7 and Everyone lives in a catchment. Students list the detrimental practice from the right hand side of the poster and write a method that would rectify any unsustainable practices and so maintain a healthy waterway.
Ask students to choose which side of the river they would prefer to live on and why. Ask students to describe the side of the river they chose, including things such as human use of the resources, how this impacts on the environment and the overall health of the environment. You may need to provide a degree of guidance and suggestion here to have students arrive at a clear statement of reasons for their choice. (Depending on student capabilities, they could draw their option along with a simple statement of choice, e.g. I would live on the ... because...)
This may be done individually or in small groups. Alternately, written work could be substituted with drawings and labels. Students drawing their problem/solution responses may only need to choose two or three problems.
Share student’s work.
Individuals may choose to further investigate relevant topics such as sewage and water disposal and reducing water pollution.
Gathering information about student learning
Sources of information could include:
- anecdotal notes about any student alternative misconceptions or correction of previous misconceptions
- examples of student work - problem/solution worksheet.
- A 'Spot the Difference" version of this activity is also available in the Kids Corner section of the DERM Education Resource - this includes a fill in sheet (PDF, 1.1M)* and an answer sheet (PDF, 1.1M)*. This could also be used to assess student understanding.
* Requires Adobe Reader
Last updated 29 September 2010