Students plan, prepare and present a hands-on or an electronic display on a theme related to watersheds. They may also bring the display and its messages to the attention of other schools through the CWF website and other media.
Common art materials for hands-on displays; appropriate equipment (e.g., video cameras, computer software and projector) for video, PowerPoint or website presentations.
Follow these five easy steps to create a spectacular display. (See the boxes for details.)
- Choose your theme. Match your theme to your grade level, curriculum focus and interest.
- Select a display style. Have students select an exciting style for their display.
- Research, plan and prepare. Have small groups of students work co-operatively to research, plan and prepare parts of the display.
- Show the display in busy locations at school. Let students select a suitable location to show their display for maximum exposure at their school.
- Connect, share and celebrate. Have students celebrate and share their display by connecting with other classes, parents and other schools in your watershed.
Choose a Theme!
Canada’s watersheds are diverse and fascinating. We suggest that students focus on getting to know their local watershed as a
starting point. Here are some suggested topics:
- Sharing space with animals and plants.
- Me and my watershed.
- Living things in the water and on the land.
- Wetlands in my neighbourhood.
- Water in my environment and where it flows.
- An aquatic food web.
- Meeting human and environment needs in a watershed.
- Our connections to an aquatic ecosystem.
- Water systems in our watershed.
- Water on the surface and beneath the ground.
- How an animal meets its habitat needs within my watershed.
- How we affect — and protect — our watershed.
- A community beneath the water (or at the shore).
- Wetland communities.
- Protecting endangered species in our watershed.
- Animal and plant adaptations to a local habitat.
Grades 9 - 12
- The role of aquatic areas in maintaining productivity
- Comparing an aquatic and terrestrial ecosystem in our watershed.
- How wetlands contribute to sustainability.
- Trace "our footprint" on our watershed.
Research, Plan and Prepare
Research the theme that is chosen for the display. Communicate your ideas visually through colourful photos, artwork or crafts. Here are some ideas:
Be interactive. Create displays that motivate audience participation by including:
- quizzes (where answers to questions are revealed in fun ways);
- scavenger hunts (where students search for items in a hands-on display or in a game on a website created by students);
- a pledge sheet so people can sign up to do something to protect their watershed; and
- an interpretative pamphlet to guide students through a display on their watershed.
State a clear theme. One key element of any display is to state its theme clearly. Be sure to do so in your display.
Make it 3-D. Hands-on displays could involve special crafts such as origami, "animal prints" and mobiles.
Select a Display Style
For Younger Students: A hands-on display may be just right. Try one of several approaches:
Story: As a class, deliver an important message through a simple, illustrated story. A theme such as "Protecting Habitats — Saving Endangered Species" might work well in this style. To create a simple storyboard, break the theme into subtopics, such as description of the habitat; species that live there; threats to the habitat; what's being done; and what we can do. Have different students work on different parts of the display and the titles or captions.
Mural: As a class, create a spectacular themed mural, with each student contributing one or more illustrated elements. A theme such as "A Wetland Community" works well as a mural.
Collage: Allow the students to produce individual contributions to a collage type of display. The theme "Lakes, Rivers and Streams in My Community" works well in this style.
For Older Students:
3-D model: Let students make a three-dimensional model of their local watershed and the habitat of species that live there.
Large wall map: As a class, show locations of water and land features (including different land uses by people) and then display information about these features on panels outside the map.
For High School Students:
Presentations: Encourage students to put their computer skills to work by clearing slide shows or multimedia presentations.
Videos: Older students could videotape features of their local watershed and interview people on how they use the water and the land in ways that help maintain a healthy watershed.
Website development: Why not let students build a website about their watershed that features practices that help sustain wildlife and people? Websites could be posted within school district systems for maximum exposure to the learning community.
Show the Display in Busy Locations at School
Putting the final display together can be a rewarding activity. Maximize the exposure of your display and its messages by positioning it in busy locations at your school.
- Plan to take photos of the assembly process from start to finish. Include a record of the titles or captions, and create an illustrated journal, video or slide show presentation. Send it to CWF.
- Alert teachers, administrators and caretakers that there will be a display.
- Follow your schools guidelines for attaching things to walls, ceilings, lockers, etc., if you are doing a hands-on display.
- Create work teams with leaders. Brief them on the task and your expectations.
Connect, Share and Celebrate
Your students have done a great job. Now let's share it!
Connect with your school. Have your students give an "interpretive tour" of their watershed to younger grades or to parents. They can explain their illustrations and deliver a message about what we can ail do to protect our watersheds.
Contact other schools.
Celebrate. Plan an official "unveiling" of your display. Better yet, conduct an interpretive tour of it during National Wildlife Week or any other time of the year (such as Oceans Day, Biodiversity Day or Environment Week). If you plan a celebratory event around your display, list it on CWF's website. Notify the local media, too. Media coverage is a great medium for promoting watershed awareness.
Share with CWF
Send us a copy of your display (video, slide show, website, etc.) for posting on the CWF website (see Contact Us). Be sure to create a photo journal of your project if you developed a hands-on display. Please include:
- pictures and explanatory notes of your preparation activities, your final display, your celebrations and any related events;
- an explanation of how your activities are helping Canada's watersheds;
- permission to post your project on the CWF website;
- your location and your class contact information; and
- a note indicating if you are interested in hearing from other Canadian schools.
Evaluate students on their clarity (written work and presentation), creativity and the integration of their visual messages with the theme.
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