Northern Rhode Island Conservation District



Student Lessons and Activities


This page describes the student lessons and activities used with one General Biology class. We were interested to see if these  students would enjoy these lessons because it was learning with a useful and immediate purpose.

Student in-class activities consisted of:

  1. Short Essays
  2. Student Lessons
  3. Student Work Groups

Short Essays
Essay topics were chosen so each student would think about how local water pollution might affect them personally.

List of Short Essay Topics:

  • What is a Rain Garden?
  • Describe any past experiences with the Blackstone River?
  • Your home water supply has become contaminated and unfit for use. How would this change your daily routine?
  • Do you really care if the Blackstone River is polluted? Why or Why not.
  • You are in charge of cleaning the water in the Blackstone River. How do you plan to do this?
  • Describe how participation in the Urban Rain Garden Project has affected you?

Student Lessons
Topics relate to Rain Gardens. During a rainstorm, urban stormwater flows downhill off pavement into the Rain Garden. Water and  pollutants, trapped in the garden's lowest point, drain down into the soil. These lessons ask students to think about these processes, in detail. Teaching methods are structured; this seemed to work well with this particular class.

  • Lesson One: What is a Rain Garden?
  • Lesson Two: Review of Water Cycle.
  • Lesson Three: What is a Watershed?
  • Lesson Four: What is Groundwater?
  • Lesson Five: Choosing Native Plants for Your Rain Garden
  • Lesson Six: Comparing the characteristics of sand, clay, humus.
  • Lesson Seven: Experiment ... Does water drain faster through sand or clay or humus?

Student Work Groups
Several student work groups were formed, each with a specific task. Students were asked to join one of these groups.

Work Group Tasks:

  1. Plan Rain Garden design
  2. Plan school publicity
  3. Plan city wide publicity



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