Summary: This lesson is a fun, hands-on activity to give students and introductory activity to better understand how salty ocean water and fresh water interact and mix in an estuary.
Concepts to teach: Tidal cycles, interconnectedness, estuaries
Goals: Students will be able to describe physical features of fresh, salty and estuary water and explain in simple terms how they mix in an estuary.
3.2E.1, 3.3S, 4.3S, 5.3S, 5.2P.1
- Students will be able to describe what an estuary is and where the water comes from.
- Students will be able to name and describe two water quality parameters that affect estuary water.
- Students will investigate samples of water to determine their temperature and salinity as a measure of water quality.
Activity Links and Resources:
- Summary of Estuary in a Bottle activity
- Estuary in a Bottle was adapted from the TIDES “Life in the Waters” lessons from the South Slough National Estuarine Research Reserve.
- Density and Temperature Changes in Estuary Water from the Padilla Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve
- Seawater Chemistry from Geography4kids.com
- Quiz from the TIDES “Life in the Waters” lessons