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Classroom Resources

Chesapeake Champs

Teacher's Guide

Tips for Teachers


Step By Step through the Interactive

Chesapeake Champs is composed of three major sections.

  1. Students take a survey to learn how their everyday actions can help or harm the Chesapeake Bay and its surrounding environment.
  2. They view video segments that feature the work that other young people who live in the Chesapeake Bay watershed are doing to help protect and restore the Bay.
  3. Students write to the PROduction Company with their suggestions for including stories about people helping the Bay in their TV mini-series.

While there is no distinct advantage to doing the survey before viewing the video clips, proceeding in this order might enable students to better appreciate the work that the young people featured in the clips have done.

When the interactive begins, students are given the choice to either take the survey or view clips of other students.

Because we know the vocabulary of science can be challenging, we have highlighted many words throughout this interactive. By clicking on words in red, students can read a definition of the term.

  • If they elect to do the survey, the instructions and the first five survey statements appear on the screen. There are 36 statements altogether.
    • If students identify with a statement, they check it. If they don’t identify with it, they do nothing.
    • When they have finished the first five statements, they continue to the next five, until they have completed all 36 statements. At any time, however, students may elect to finish the survey—even if they have not gotten to the final statement. To do this they select “I am finished with my survey.”
    • Students can click on any of the statements to learn how the actions in each statement impact the Bay.
    • When students click “I’m finished with my survey”, all of the items that they have checked will be pulled into one final list. They can print out their list; they can print their list with the explanations for why each item is important for protecting the Bay; or they can print the entire list of 36 items, without the accompanying explanations.  
  • If students elect to view the video clips of other Chesapeake Champs first, they will be presented with four different clips to choose from.
  • You can print copies of the transcripts for students to use as they watch the video clip.
  • Students can watch as few or as many of the videos as they want. We suggest that they view all four clips. No clips run longer than three minutes.
  • When students have viewed the video clips, they use their PDA devices to write to the PROduction Company. They must tell the company whether they think any of the Chesapeake Champs should be featured in the mini-series, which story or stories they think should be featured, and why they made the choice that they did. A rubric is provided to help you assess their responses.

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Teacher Tips:  Before Using the Interactive

Review the interactive yourself prior to introducing it to the class.  You may want to consider questions such as:

  • Do you want students to work individually, in pairs, or in groups? If they are working in pairs or groups, how should the survey be tackled?
  • Do you want students to complete the entire survey? How might you use the survey to supplement or segue into any other projects that you might be doing (for Earth Day or Chesapeake Bay Week, etc.)

A glossary of all of the difficult vocabulary encountered during this interactive is included. Students may want to review this list before they begin, in order to familiarize themselves with the terms.

We suggest several possible discussions that might help students access any prior knowledge about environmental stewardship.

  • In what ways do humans depend on the natural environment to live?
  • How do our cities and towns, ways of getting around, ways of entertaining ourselves, foods, and other daily routines impact the natural environment? Students can list things that they do in their everyday lives. Then they can group them according to whether they have a positive, negative, or neutral impact on the environment. They can discuss why they grouped things the way they did. If something has a negative impact on the environment, how could the behavior be changed in order for it to be placed in the “positive” column?

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Teacher Tips: During the Interactive

Encourage students to click on the survey items to find out how each item positively impacts the Chesapeake Bay. All survey items and their explanations are also listed together in the answer key.

As an alternate activity, students can answer the “why it matters” question on their own, using whatever prior knowledge they have, before clicking it to find out. A list of all 36 items is included as a printable worksheet.

Make sure students know there are 36 items, divided into 7 screens. If they feel like they want to stop the quiz at any point, they can.

The Chesapeake Champs survey IS NOT A TEST! Students are not graded on it. They do not receive a score. It is not competitive. It is simply a way for students to think about and learn how some of their everyday behaviors positively impact the Bay. As such, encourage students to be honest in their responses.

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Teacher Tips:  After Using the Interactive

By reflecting on their own behavior and learning about the work of other young people, hopefully students will leave Chesapeake Champs with a stronger understanding of the power that all individuals, and especially young people, have to make a difference in the Chesapeake Bay watershed.

  • Ask students:
    • Did any of the items in the survey surprise them?
    • Is it difficult to be environmentally-friendly?
    • Can they think of any more things that they can do to be Chesapeake Champs?
  • If you or your students are interested in pursuing a larger Chesapeake Bay-related project, we offer a wealth of resources that might help you get started. There is:

The students themselves are perhaps the greatest source of inspiration. What kinds of projects would they be excited to do?

Take a walk around your school, your school’s campus, or the neighborhood. Have students note things that they see that might be harmful to the Bay. How might you and your students be able to fix those things? You can use some of the resources provided in the links above if you want to begin a bay-friendly restoration or clean-up project.

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