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MWEE Curricula

Virginia Watershed Curricula

To find an educator near you, to help with professional development or field instruction, visit the VA Water Educators directory.

Chesapeake Bay Watershed: Instructional Framework

This outline of Chesapeake Bay watershed facts, with accompanying Web resources, is designed to provide the teacher with basic background, including information on the watershed's history, geology, water composition, elements, and role as an environmental system, as well as an overview of conservation, restoration, and stewardship efforts and possibilities.

Hanover-Caroline Soil and Water Conservation District MWEE Curriculum 
Designed for use at the Meadow Event Park this field based curriculum includes water quality testing, riparian buffer and wetlands explorations, journaling, benthic macroinvertebrate and stormwater stations. Includes downloadable student journals. Curriculum can be adapted to other locations.

Lessons from the Bay
Helps Virginia school teachers of grades 3 through 6 incorporate into their classrooms a variety of activities and projects related to protecting and restoring the Chesapeake Bay watershed, in keeping with the state's commitment in the Chesapeake 2000 Agreement. The Lessons from the Bay are currently being revised.  If you would like the materials before they are posted again, e-mail  

Schooner Sultana 1768 – Chesapeake Bay Ecology Unit for Grades 4-6
Interdisciplinary unit with lessons on the salinity, pH, food web, fish anatomy, submerged aquatic vegetation, wetlands and nutrient pollution can be downloaded from the site. Reading comprehension, graphing and economics lessons are included. 

Virginia’s Water Resources: A Toolkit for Teachers
An interdisciplinary and problem-based guide about Virginia watersheds, water quality, stewardship, and management issues to support meaningful watershed education. Developed by Longwood University through a grant from the VA Environmental Endowment in cooperation with DEQ and DOE, this guide is available for free to all VA teachers. 

Your Backyard Classroom
This K-12 field based inter-disciplinary curriculum was designed by and for the Virginia State Parks and Natural Area Preserves. The activities are designed to involve students before, during and after field trips and encourage them to make hypotheses, observations and inferences. Although each activity includes concise step-by-step procedures, group leaders are encouraged to mix, match and adapt activities in order to customize field trips to better meet their own instructional goals. Chesapeake, Mountain and Piedmont versions are available online.

From the Mountains to the Estuary & From the Schoolyard to the Bay
Meaningful watershed experiences for sixth grade including classroom, schoolyard and field-based lessons created by Prince William County schools and Potomac Environmental Research and Education Center.

Windows into a Green Virginia
This curriculum addresses Virginia’s Science SOL’s with an emphasis on the 6.9 standard– Resources, and includes cross references to other Mathematics and Social Studies SOLs. Students are invited to peer through metaphorical Windows to examine key dimensions of developing sustainable communities.

General Water Education Curricula

Capital Region Earth Force
Provides hands-on training, resources and support to assist educators with implementing the Earth Force Process in their classrooms. Through their unique six-step process, students learn how to assess the health of a local watershed and use their findings to create lasting solutions to environmental problems. 

Conserve Water Educator’s Guide
Provides teachers of middle school and high school students with a comprehensive overview of water conservation, along with background information that serves as a hydrologic primer. Past, present and future water conservation issues are also covered. By using real-life examples, students are encouraged to use critical thinking skills to examine different sides of each situation.

Cooking Up Great Conservation Education Programs: A How-To Manual of Ideas, Activities and Projects
Ideas for stations for festivals and field days and information on ground and surface water models are included in this manual. Third and sixth grade teachers can also download curricula specifically designed to meet their Standards of Learning. For more information, contact Bonnie Mahl. Your local Soil and Water Conservation Districts may have additional curriculum pieces that have been adapted to their sub-watershed. A list of local districts and the areas they serve is available on the association homepage.  

Discover a Watershed: The Watershed Manager Educators Guide
Demonstrates the common elements and issues of watersheds and guides the student, educator, or community to increased awareness of and participation in their watershed. Shows how plant, animal and human life depends on the health of the watershed.

Pond and Stream Safari, A Guide to the Ecology of Aquatic Invertebrates
Perfect field guide for use with students ages 8-13. Includes project manual, reference guide, species identification cards, worksheets, and a checklist for recording data, all in a reusable folder. 

Project WET K-12
A nationally developed, comprehensive water education program for teachers and non-formal educators. The K-12 guide includes background information and lessons related to atmospheric, surface and ground water, cultural and historical uses of water and contemporary water management issues such as non-point source pollution and supports Virginia Science SOLs, especially 4th and 6th grades. Educator guides can only be obtained by attending a six -hour workshop. Visit the online VA Water Educators directory to find an instructor near you.

Project WET’s Healthy Water, Healthy People (Secondary) Educators Guide
Contains a series of engaging classroom activities that prepare students for field investigations focusing on water quality and watersheds. The HWHP educator’s guide and a supplemental water quality testing guide and kit can be purchased from Project WET USA online.

Project WILD Aquatic K-12 Educators Guide
includes several lessons on the abiotic components of aquatic communities and how environmental changes impact aquatic organisms. All Project WILD guides are available only through workshops. For more information, contact

Project WILD School Sites
focuses on the development of schoolyard habitat and outdoor classrooms. The curriculum includes several investigative lessons related to water as a component of habitat, water elements in landscapes and smaller aquatic communities. For more information, contact

Project Learning Tree
Project Learning Tree's award-winning curriculum resources help over half a million educators teach complex environmental issues. They can be integrated into lesson plans for all grades and subject areas to help students learn how to make sound choices about the environment. For more information, contact

Water for Kids
A mixture of lessons from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency about wetlands, rivers, oceans, estuaries, water conservation, drinking water, and more!

Wonders of Wetlands K-12 Educator’s Guide
This curriculum includes numerous lessons and activities related to wetland systems and more general water quality issues. The WOW guide can be purchased directly online or obtained through a Virginia sponsored-workshop.  

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Virginia Department of
Environmental Quality
P.O. Box 1105
Richmond, VA 23218
(804) 698-4000

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