Standard 2/Middle School/Benchmark
Benchmark Question: Where is water found on Earth and
what are its characteristics?
Focus Question: How does groundwater move below the
Note: Prior to this activity, the teacher
may want to construct a model of groundwater using an aquarium. Workshops
are available through the Michigan State University Cooperative Extension
Service Groundwater Education Program.
Students will observe and
interpret diagrams showing the direction of movement of groundwater and
some of its sources. Students will develop their own diagrams that
replicate this movement. Student diagrams might include the following:
- Sources of groundwater (lakes, rivers, etc.)
- Aquifers — Earth materials that contain
groundwater and permit its flow (sandstone, sandy soil)
- Aquatards — Earth materials that prevent the
easy flow of liquids (granite, clay)
Students will place samples
of these materials (sandstone, types of soil, pebbles) or materials that
represent natural Earth materials in a clear container and slowly pour
water over the materials. Students will describe the movement of water
through each material and record their observations. Students will compare
the movement of water through each material and relate these observations
to real-world phenomena. They will consider filtration, permeability.
Once diagrams are complete,
students will write an essay that describes their diagrams and explains how
and why movement takes place. Students will receive feedback from peers as
they compare and share their essays.