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Long Island Sound, by Lisa Sarah Alter

Guide Entry to 97.06.08:

Teaching science is always easier when students can connect what they learn to their everyday lives. Long Island Sound is our backyard. Students go there in the summer to swim in its waters. For three seasons of the year, they fish and go boating in the Sound. Yet they have all had their plans ruined due to beach closings, fishing limits, and storms such as Nor’easters and hurricanes.

This unit is intended for either an eighth or ninth grade Earth Science class. It is also assumed that students have covered curriculum on the atmosphere, weather, and global oceanology. An understanding of the relationships between the aforementioned topics is essential.

In addition, chart interpretation, graphing, and data collection will be an integral part of this unit. I plan on beginning a database that will be added onto yearly. CAPT and Mastery Test objectives will be included in this unit.

Most of my classes meet for an hour, four times a week, so the lesson plans are set up based on this, but they can be easily adjusted.

The culmination of this unit is a “Town Meeting,” involving all of my students. It is also set up as an interdisciplinary project between Science, Theater, Study Skills, and Reading Lab classes. More information pertaining to the Town Meeting can be found in the Introduction section prior to our four units.

In this unit, I plan on exploring the past, present, and future of Long Island Sound. Within this, I will be focusing in on Nonpoint Source Pollution, resulting from human impact within its watershed. Students will be examining its causes, impacts, and cures through discussions and hands-on activities and labs.

(Recommended for Earth Science, grades 8-9)

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