Summary: These lessons are fun, hands-on activities designed to give students a better understanding of how salty ocean water and fresh water interact and mix in an estuary, and how temperature affects this process.
Concepts to teach: Density, turbidity, salinity, dissolved oxygen
Goals: To demonstrate the influence of physical factors on the waters of the estuary, including salty and fresh water, temperature, and sediment.
6.1P.1, 6.3S.1, 6.3S.2, 7.3S.1, 7.3S.2, 8.2P.1, 8.3S.1, 8.3S.2
- Students will be able to name and describe three important physical factors that affect life in the waters of the estuary.
- Students will be able to explain how changes in at least one physical factor in the estuary waters can influence other physical factors.
- Students will be able to describe how changes in at least one physical factor can influence flora and fauna of the estuary.
Activity Links and Resources:
- TIDES “Life in the Waters of Productivity and Change – Physical Environments” lessons from the South Slough National Estuarine Research Reserve.
- Density and Temperature Changes in Estuary Water from the Padilla Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve
- Rhythms of Our Coastal Waters—This interactive NANOOS exhibit helps learners discover how salinity fluctuates in the Yaquina Bay estuary in Newport, OR.
- Seawater Chemistry from Geography4kids.com
- Assessments included in the TIDES and Padilla Bay lesson plans.