What is a Beach

Let's Explore Water

Object Type: Video Clip
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Let's Explore Water

With a little help from Wanda, students are taken to communities located by the water to learn about the people who live, work, and play there. Tour the many different kinds of houses located by oceans, lakes, rivers and, streams. See some of the many jobs you could have working around the water. Experience the different seasons in these environments. Realize that plants, fish, and other creatures live in and near water, and understand the importance of taking care of these watery habitats.

Find out what a body of water is and how people live near them.

  1. Students will know about the different bodies of water.
    1. Stream: A steam is a small flowing body of water that begins in the mountains when snow melts and water runs down the slope. Usually, streams lead into smaller bodies of water, including lakes and other streams.
    2. River: A river is a long, body of water that is fed by water from streams and lakes. Water flows down a river until it reaches the mouth, where it empties out into a larger body of water, like a lake or an ocean.
    3. Lake: A lake is an area of water that is completely surrounded by land. Normally, lakes are formed by streams or rivers. Most lakes have fresh water, like the Great Lakes. However, some lakes have salt water, like the Dead Sea.
    4. Ocean: An ocean is a very large body of saltwater. Oceans are so large that, normally, a person standing on a beach cannot see land on the other side.
  2. Students will understand that the water is an important habitat for living things. Some organisms live in the water, while others live near the water.
    1. Underwater organisms: Some organisms are adapted to living in saltwater, while others live in fresh water. Whales, dolphins, sea urchins, sea stars, and seaweed are saltwater organisms. Certain fish, including bass and trout live in freshwater habitats. These organisms evolved many adaptations that allow them to live underwater including flippers, fins, and gills.
    2. Organisms that live near the water: Many plants live out of the water but have roots that dip into rivers, lakes, ponds, and streams in order to obtain water. Many animals live near water sources so they can get a drink or obtain food. These animals include pelicans, sea lions, and beavers.
  3. Students will know how the seasons affect the various water climates.
    1. Summer: Summer is the warmest time of year in most places, and the water in the oceans and lakes may be warm enough to swim in. In some places it is so hot that water in streams and rivers may dry up. Consequently, plants can die, and animals may have to find other places to obtain water and food.
    2. Fall: During the fall, the temperatures get cooler, and many animals migrate to warmer waters. For example, whales swim in big groups to find warmer water, where there will be more food.
    3. Winter: Winter can be a very cold time of year. In some places the water in the lakes, rivers, and streams freezes on top. During the winter, the ocean is often rough with large waves due to the storms that form over the water.
    4. Spring: During the spring, temperatures begin to rise, the ice melts, and everything springs to life. At this time, the migrating animals come back for the summer.
  4. Students will realize that many people live on or near the water. Some people actually live on the water in homes called houseboats. These floating domiciles are very similar to "normal" houses, but instead of being connected to the ground, they float on top of the water. Many homes are located on or near the beach. Sometimes these homes are built on stilts, which allow water carried by large waves to flow under them instead of through them. Many times, cement walls are constructed next to homes that are close to the water; these walls hold back the water. Large storms can cause rivers to overflow. Unfortunately, homes resting along these rivers are at risk of being flooded.
  5. Students will understand that water environments provide excellent opportunities for people to enjoy themselves. People use bodies of water to swim, boat, water ski, and fish. Many people like to sit on the beach and listen to the sound of waves crashing on the shore.
  6. Students will realize that the water offers many opportunities for jobs. One could be a fisherman, lighthouse keeper, lifeguard, or a marine biologist.

  1. Career Art Journal: Ask the students to choose one of the jobs shown in the video. Have them use construction paper, paints, markers, crayons, and/or magazine clippings to illustrate the work life of a person performing the job they chose.
  2. Four Seasons Art Project: Provide each student with a large piece of white paper (larger than 81/2 x 11), pieces of colored construction paper, and a glue stick. Ask them to fold the white piece of paper into four boxes of equal size; each box will represent a season. Then, have the students use the construction paper to produce images in each box that represent how the weather of a particular season affects different water environments.


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