Caring For The Kaw Part 5: Your Personal Action Plan

This lesson was developed by Dr. Cynthia Annett. It can be used in conjunction with There is a notebook in the attachment section that can be printed out on 4x6 cards and bound with book rings. Caring For The Kaw Part 5: Your Personal Action Plan

Overview: Students will learn about how their everyday activities impact the river and become empowered to help improve the environmental quality of their region. Students will reflect on the activities from the four units in Caring for the Kaw and synthesize the information they have gathered into an action plan.

Suggested grades: 6-9

Objective: Create a sense of “ownership” of the river that will help students to understand that they have a personal stake in reducing pollution and improving the ecological functioning of the Kansas River. Develop a set of personal “action plans” for reducing behaviors that lead to negative impacts on the river and the watershed in which students live and go to school.

Materials: You can download the notebook provided with these lessons and fill it out with a pencil or pen, or use a computer to enter and format the material. If a camera is available, add photographs or videos to illustrate different points.

Lecture:  Everyone of us is capable of having a positive or negative impact on our world. Water is one of the most valuable resources we have-- you can't last long without water to drink, water to raise food, water to produce electricity, and all of the other things we depend on to live healthy lives.

We share the world with many other creatures who also depend on the water in our river to live. Just like us, frogs, fish, birds, and other animals need water. So do plants. That's why when we take more water out of the river than we need we have a negative impact on other creatures.

Let's review all of the things that we have learned-- our Water Footprint, the amount of stormwater runoff that comes off of our house, what is in our watershed, and our connection to the Kaw. What have we learned about the importance of the river to our lives, and what can we do to help the river?

(The material on the introductory page can be used for review.)

Activity: Students will develop a personal Action Plan for how they will help the river. This can include conserving water at home, planting a rain garden or making rain barrels to reduce stormwater runoff, volunteering with a parent fora  Friends of the Kaw activity (these can be found in the Announcements and Calendar on the website), or other activities listed below in the Resource section. The Action Plan should consist of small activities that are within the student's own ability to implement. Develop a chart that can be used to record progress, and set a date for when the student can review the plan and observe their own progress (make the time interval relatively short, like a week or month). Consider using material from Caring for the Kaw for a science fair project, or for 4-H, Scouts, Boys and Girls Club, or other youth organization in order to teach others about being a good watershed citizen.


EPA Water Efficiency Resources

EPA Water Sense for Kids

Blue River Watershed Association

Community Collaborative Rain, Hail and Snow Network

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Dr. Cynthia Annett,
Jan 3, 2012, 6:53 PM