Explore and Restore Your School Shed

Maryland Streams – Teaching Resources

Background and Classroom Preparation

  • Chesapeake Bay FieldScope – National Geographic Society’s web-based mapping, analysis, and collaboration tool. This is where you will upload stream data collected by students, and where you can find additional data to use in the classroom.

  • National Geographic Society Fieldscope provides a web-based mapping, analysis, and collaboration tool designed to support geographic investigations and to engage students as citizen scientists investigating real-world issues – both in the classroom and in outdoor educational settings.  They have both a national and regional site with corresponding maps and resources.  The New Maryland Fieldscope is where you will upload stream data collected by students, and where you can find additional data to use in the classroom to compare, analyze, track trends, and more.
  • Introduce the practice of identifying aquatic organisms before going outdoors for stream study. It is recommended that teachers introduce the method to students indoors, and allow them to practice keying out (identifying) sample organisms or images of them. See TEAM, Bridging the Watershed, and Stream Science/GreenKids for information and macroinvertebrates dichotomous keys, in the Biological Assessment of Stream Health section. A recommended field guide for this is A Guide to Freshwater Invertebrates of North America, by J. Reese Voshell, Jr., McDonald & Woodward Publishing Co. Blacksburg, VA. 2002 ISBN 0-939923-87-4. The same publisher also has student-friendly flash cards that go along with this guide, Flash Cards of Common Freshwater Invertebrates of North America. ISBN 0-939923-26-2.

  • How Healthy Are Our Waterways?” from Clean Virginia Waterways – Long term lesson plan on making plans for monitoring a local waterway. Provides background information for chemical water testing, questions to ask, safety guidelines and a list of resources.
  • Maryland Streams – Take a Closer Look, MD Department of Natural Resources. Advanced background information is provided for the development of an understanding of the physical processes affecting the appearance and behavior of streams, including geology and surrounding landscapes. Examples taken from across the state are used to illustrate the unique characteristics of streams and the factors that affect them. 

Safety