In this lesson with an introductory video, students learn the value of clean freshwater and the natural processes that ensure an adequate supply of usable freshwater.

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In this lesson, students learn about the importance of water quality for human health and agriculture. They relate their own consumption activities to the water supply and also brainstorm various threats to the water supply. Nature works to filter water and to release water over time, thereby reducing the amount of artificial treatment needed to filter water and helping to prevent flooding. By contrasting natural filters with impervious (paved) areas, students compare the impact of development on the ability of nature to provide clean freshwater. The lessons include a short video and activities that take from three to four 45-minute sessions. Suggestion: If a class situation allows, it would be valuable to take students outside to observe natural filtration systems and impermeable surfaces.

This lesson plan meets these Next Generation Science Standards: LS2.C: Ecosystem Dynamics, Functioning, and Resilience, LS4.D Biodiversity and Humans, and ESS3.C Human Impacts on Earth Systems.

The Nature Conservancy’s Nature Works Everywhere website is filled with dozens of additional resources including information about different ecosystems, connecting to nature, the relationship of native peoples’ to the land and nature, interviews with scientists, and project-based activities.

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