This course is designed for classroom teachers (grades 4-8) to learn about watersheds and outdoor education using the Chesapeake Bay watershed as an example. The course introduces engaging technologies for investigating watersheds and helps you plan and effectively implement outdoor experiences.
Watershed education is an excellent way to introduce students to rich, interdisciplinary studies of one of the most important resources located in students’ backyards—water! The goal of the course is to increase your content knowledge on watershed topics and to help you develop outdoor learning experiences for your students.
In this course you will:
The course is designed for science and social studies teachers in grades 4 through 8. No prior knowledge is required. Teaching experience and access to students in a classroom is recommended.
Montana pre-service and in-service classroom educators only may apply for undergrad and graduate credits from the University of Montana. Check here for more information.
Session 1: Introduction to Geo-literacy
Goal: Explain the importance of geo-literacy for science and social studies classrooms.
Session 2: The Water Cycle and Watersheds
Goal: Develop an understanding of the water cycle and how it operates within a watershed.
Session 3: Mapping Watersheds
Goal: Develop an understanding of how to use GIS and mapping in the classroom.
Session 4: Water Quality and Watershed Health
Goal: Develop an understanding of how to determine the health of a watershed based on water quality parameters.
Session 5: Outdoor Learning Experiences
Goal: Understand the importance of outdoor education to promote student connections with the environment and community.
Session 6: Small Actions (local) Contribute to Big Solutions (global)
Develop an understanding of how integration of watershed education, outdoor education, and geo-education in classroom instruction can help the learners prepare young people to become geo-literate.
The course project consists of developing an action plan to incorporate watershed and outdoor education in their classroom.
In this action plan, learners will develop or adapt an outdoor activity that aligns to the curriculum they teach and the geo-literacy framework (the 3 I’s: interactions, interconnections, implications).
In Sessions 1-4:
Learners develop an action plan using Action Plan Template and the Action Plan Rubric.
In Session 4:
Learners submit a draft of this plan.
In Session 5:
Learners provide feedback, using the Action Plan Rubric, to two of their peers’ drafts and perform a self-assessment of their project.
In Session 6:
Learners incorporate their peers’ feedback, and submit their final action plan for their peers to review in the “Course Project Gallery” discussion forum. Learners will also provide final feedback to at least three of their peers’ final plans.
This course consists of videos, readings and interactive resources.
Each session has a learning component in the form of a quiz called
Checking for Understanding. You will work on a course project throughout
the course which after submission, will be reviewed by your peers. The
richest experience of this course is the collaboration and interaction
in the discussion boards. It is your opportunity to learn from others.
There is no final exam.
Will I get a Statement of Accomplishment after completing this course?
Yes. Students who successfully complete the class will receive a Statement of Accomplishment.
What resources will I need for this course?
For this course, all you need is an Internet connection, and the time to read and view cool content from National Geographic; discuss with your peers, and develop a course project.
What is the coolest thing I'll learn if I take this course?
The National Geographic Society offers this course to help you prepare young people for the far-reaching decisions they will face throughout their lives. To be prepared for these decisions, they must be able to recognize the far-reaching implications of the decisions they make, and they must be able to take those impacts into account when making decisions. For this, your students need to understand how our world works, how our world is connected, and how to make well reasoned decisions.