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Classroom Resources

H2Oh No!

Teacher's Guide

Tips for Teachers


Step By Step through the Interactive

H2OhNo! is one interactive, composed of four major segments.

  1. Students can learn about the water cycle.
  2. Students can learn how human activity is felt throughout the water cycle.
  3. They can view maps of Bayville and learn more about the proposed Mega Mall development.
  4. They can read and hear townspeople’s opinions about the mall.

    Throughout the activity, students can use their PDAs to take notes on what they observe. They synthesize the information they learn and opinions they form by filing a final report with the PROduction Company, using their PDA devices.

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.

In the first part of this interactive, students explore the water cycle:

  • This segment begins by having students identify the parts of the water cycle. On the left side of the screen, students see a panoramic image of the cycle.  Different parts of the picture are lettered A-G. Each letter corresponds to a different phase of the water cycle.
    • When students click on any letter, a brief animation demonstrating that particular phase is activated.
    • When they’ve viewed an animation, they then have to find the term on the right side of the screen that matches the phase of the water cycle they’ve just seen.
    • When they think they’ve correctly matched the terms, they can check their work. If they are correct, they are advised to move on and learn about how humans affect the water cycle. If they are incorrect, they are prompted to try again.

In the next section, students learn about how human activity is felt throughout the water cycle. This is a particularly important segment of the activity, because it provides the background information that will let students understand the kind of impact the mall might have on the Dwight River in Bayville.

  • When students press “play”, all of the individual animations from the previous subsection play through, beginning with evaporation. This way, students can see the entire water cycle in action.
  • The represent impact areas in the water cycle due to human activities. Students can click on any of the five X’s to learn about a different human-caused problem. The information appears in a small pop-up window on the screen. In the script section of this teacher guide, you can find all of the information that appears in these pop-up windows on one handy sheet.
  • In Cinema Bayville, students can access a video (called Water Flows, Water Woes) describing the nature of these problems from each information screen in this section. The video describes how the water that is available for human use gets to us, and how the cyclical nature of water makes it especially susceptible to being polluted by human activity. .

In the third section, students look at the plans for the Mega Mall:

  • In this subsection, there are two maps that students can view—one of the city of Bayville and one of the proposed Mega Mall site. By looking at these two maps, students should be able to note some important features of the city and mall that will help them understand the impact the mall will have.
  • We’ve provided a graphic organizer that can help students keep track of their observations and their inferences about the observations. They can also record their observations in their PDAs.

Students look at different sides of the Mega Mall story in section four of the interactive.

  • In this section, students can learn about the various opinions that residents of Bayville have about the new mall. They can either listen to comments by four young callers on a radio show or read three short opinion articles in the local newspaper. Each comment and article offers a small new piece of information which can help students form their conclusions about the impact the mall will have on Bayville.
  • If students decide to listen to the radio show, they can access viewpoints from four different callers. At any point when they’re listening to the comments, they can choose to “turn off” the radio. This allows them to read the opinion articles.
  • If students choose to read the opinion articles, they can select which one they want to read, and can exit an article at any time to hear the radio show.
  • While students are listening to and reading the residents’ opinions, they can keep track of the stated pros and cons in either a graphic organizer or in their PDA’s.
  • Students have to listen to at least one radio call and read at least one letter to the editor before they can conclude this interactive.
  • To finish this interactive, students write to the PROduction Company.
    • When students have finished looking at and engaging with the previous segments of the interactive, they can use their PDA’s to write to the producers. When they choose to write to the producers, they receive a series of writing prompts that helps them formulate their thoughts. The prompts are:
        1. Why are some people against the Mega Mall being built?
        2. Why are some people in favor of the Mega Mall being built?
        3. How do you think the Dwight River will be affected if the Mega Mall is built as planned?
        4. Should this story be included in the mini-series?

In order to help answer the questions, students can access the notes they’ve taken on their PDA’s or on their printed worksheets. A list of some of the possible responses to the final PDA prompts are included in the answer key section of this teacher guide.

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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?
  • Each user’s work is saved online, using his or her unique password. How might you take advantage of this to segment their work with the interactive to best fit your needs?

You can use this activity on successive days.  If you decide to do so, you can link directly to the maps of Bayville and the proposed mall by using this key stroke:  Press SHIFT – SPACE BAR – click on “Go to maps” all at the same time.

To help students track their progress as they work with the interactive, we have provided a “To Do” list in the Available Printables section. This list contains the information students first receive as an incoming message on their PDAs when they begin the activity.

We suggest several possible discussions that might help students access any prior knowledge about the water cycle and urban development.

  • To get give students the opportunity to personally connect to the water cycle, it might be a good idea to walk students through a series of exercises in which they reflect on their own observations of the water cycle in both natural and man-made environments.
    • Question starters could include:
      • What do you notice happening to water when it rains?
      • When it rains on the street, where does that water go?
      • What about when it rains “downtown”?
      • What about in your yard or a park?
      • What about in the woods?
      • Have you ever seen water rushing down a hill or slope? Along a curb?
      • Have you noticed steam rising from the ground after a thunderstorm on a hot day?
      • When you sweat, where does that water go?
      • When you hang clothes up to dry, where does the water go?
  • To have students begin thinking about urban planning, they can discuss things that developers might have to consider or should consider when they’re planning to construct a new building or a new development.
  • Students may know of some real-life examples of environmental concerns and urban development plans clashing. Have they heard about any other controversial developments in their areas? What were the reasons for the controversy? What were the solutions?

You may want to view Water Flows, Water Woes, a short video clip in Cinema Bayville before beginning the interactive. The video describes how the water that is available for human use gets to us, and how the cyclical nature of water makes it especially susceptible to being polluted by human activity.

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.

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Teacher Tips: During the Interactive

There are several graphic organizers provided that may help students collect and sort information that they come across during this interactive. They can always keep notes electronically in their PDA’s, but if you would like students to keep written records, then they are available.

  • There is a “To Do” list which students can use as a reference point while they work with this interactive.
  • There is an observation chart for students to use as they are viewing the maps of Bayville and the proposed Mega Mall site. Encourage them to write down as many things as they can—both obvious and not so obvious. The second column of the sheet is for them to write their thoughts about the things that they see, in order to get them to engage their higher order thinking skills. You may want to print the organizer front and back to encourage them to come up with a lot of observations and thoughts.
  • There is a pros/cons chart to help when students are listening to and reading the Bayville residents’ opinions about the mall.

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Teacher Tips:  After Using the Interactive

This interactive finishes by having students sum up the arguments for and against the mall and state what they think the impact of the mall will be on the river, based on their knowledge of the water cycle.
Suggestions for extension activities include:

  • Have students think about and discuss what things have to be taken into consideration when planning new developments in cities. Students can revisit the list that they made before they began the interactive, in order to add new ideas in light of what they learned while playing. How can cities balance environmental needs with economic/social needs?
  • Students can fill in cause/effect charts to track various elements of the Mega Mall project. For example, what would be the protracted effects of getting rid of the park? What about adding new road connectors? What about the economic effects of NOT building the mall? You can have students use the cause/effect graphic organizer or they can make a cause/effect tree (to chart multiple causality and effects). An example is provided. Students might need to make their own, to give themselves more space to write.
  • Use information provided by sustainable development websites to design a new model for the Mega Mall. The new design should integrate student knowledge about the water cycle, buffer zones, pervious/impervious surfaces, etc.
    • The following link to the Chesapeake Bay Foundation (CBF) website discusses CBF’s new office building, which was built following the principles of sustainable development. It includes a video describing the building, and offers good information about some of the basics of sustainable design. Students can view the video and the rest of the site in order to extrapolate some of the design principles that they’d like to use to plan the Bayville Mega Mall.

  • Examples of conflicts between economic or social needs and environmental concerns in the Chesapeake Bay abound. Research some of these real world, local case studies, identifying the various sides of the argument and the ways in which the Chesapeake Bay has been affected. Due to the booming population growth in the watershed area, almost every week articles are printed in area newspapers. Also, “health of the Bay” reports can be found for many rivers and tributaries in the Bay. We have listed some possible links of interest. Unfortunately, many of the articles are written for adults, so unless otherwise stated, you may have to read the articles first to condense them for your students.
    • The Maryland Inter County Connector highway has been a major contentious issue between environmentalists and government officials for several years. This article in the Washington Post helps explains some of the arguments for and against the ICC.

    • The Anacostia River is considered one of the most endangered rivers in the United States, due to its location completely within an urbanized area. This “state of the river” report compiled by the Chesapeake Bay Foundation has some excellent information about the overall health of the river and how it came to be that way.

    • WTOP news station in the Washington DC area has created a great series of articles relating to the Chesapeake Bay and humans’ interaction with it. There are articles on most of the rivers in the Bay. The articles are not written in technical jargon, and can probably be understood well by middle school students, with a little guidance. Articles deal with a variety of subjects, including:
      • bans on shellfishing, due to presence of fecal coliform bacteria in the Piankatank River;
      • algae blooms in the Potomac due to high levels of nutrients and non-point source pollution;
      • toxins in the Anacostia River being blamed for cancerous tumors in catfish;
      • acid mine drainage from abandoned mines in the upper Susquehanna;
      • and housing developments threatening the health of the Occoquan River.

    • The Bay’s most voluminous river, the Susquehanna, also faces serious nutrient contamination problems due to excess manure from agriculture finding its way to nearby groundwater and surface water. This report by the Chesapeake Bay Foundation talks about the problem in detail. It is a long report, but pages 12-14 have the most condensed information about the effects of manure on the water cycle.


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