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Water Shapes Our Planet and Our Lives 4th Grade Curriculum

*Attention: Click here to watch a webinar on the curriculum. Recorded on April 27, 2021.

Explore a new comprehensive fourth grade, virtual-learning science unit on the water cycle, weather, climate, and natural processes that shape the Earth’s coasts and communities.

This virtual science unit with a hands-on component provides a unique experience where students explore local weather, discover and craft tools used by scientists to collect weather data, and evaluate long-term trends recorded by climate scientists. All materials are below and act as teaching resources for both educators and families. Contact communications@secoora.org if you have any questions or trouble launching the lessons.

Educators

 Click here for a Curriculum Starter Guide.


Click here for a short tutorial to help you get started.


Educators can request activity kits for their virtual learners. Quantity is limited and will be distributed on a “first come, first served” basis.


Click here to request activity kits.


Supporting Materials 
Quiz Answer Key for Lessons 1-6
Activity Supply Master List

Curious Learners

 Click here for a short tutorial to help you get started.

To launch the student view of a lesson, click on the image below or the “Curious Learners” link beside the image.

In each lesson, some slides contain instructional videos. Watch only the first video and not the thumbnails that pop up at the end. If you are watching lessons on a smart phone, click on “Answer Question” at the bottom right of your screen to open a video or question slide.

Supporting Materials
Click here for an Activity Guide if you wish to gather supplies and follow along with the hands-on activities at the end of each lesson.

Lesson 1: The Water Cycle

Define the water cycle, learn about the important role water plays in our lives, and build a miniature water cycle model in a jar. Click here for the activity supply list.

Supporting Materials: Water Cycle Coloring Sheet

Curious Learners: Click here to launch the student view of Lesson 1 on Pear Deck.

Educators: Click here to launch the teacher version of Lesson 1 on Pear Deck.

Lesson 2: Weather and Climate

Learn the difference between weather and climate, discover how scientists study weather, get an introduction to climate change and sea level rise, and mimic precipitation by making a rain cloud. Click here for the activity supply list.

Curious Learners: Click here to launch the student view of Lesson 2 on Pear Deck.

Educators: Click here to launch the teacher version of Lesson 2 on Pear Deck.

Lesson 3: Weather Tools

Discover tools used to study the weather, learn about cloud formations and weather predictions, explore weather maps and symbols used to communicate weather events, and build an instrument to record wind speed. Click here for the activity supply list.

Supporting Materials: Weather Log

Curious Learners: Click here to launch the student view of Lesson 3 on Pear Deck.

Educators: Click here to launch the teacher version of Lesson 3 on Pear Deck.

Lesson 4: Watershed and Wetlands

Learn how water flows within natural watershed boundaries, discover benefits of wetlands for wildlife and humans, and mimic how water moves across the landscape and interacts with various sources of pollution. Click here for the activity supply list.

Curious Learners: Click here to launch the student view of Lesson 4 on Pear Deck.

Educators: Click here to launch the teacher version of Lesson 4 on Pear Deck.

Lesson 5: Water Resources and Aquifers

Learn about surface and ground water resources, consider ways water is used in our daily lives and why it is very important to protect, and build an aquifer model. Click here for the activity supply list.

Curious Learners: Click here to launch the student view of Lesson 5 on Pear Deck.

Educators: Click here to launch the teacher version of Lesson 5 on Pear Deck.

Lesson 6: Ocean Currents

Discover how natural forces influence ocean currents, learn how ocean currents influence life on Earth, and observe how temperature influences the flow of water in the ocean. Click here for the activity supply list.

Curious Learners: Click here to launch the student view of Lesson 6 on Pear Deck.

Educators: Click here to launch the teacher version of Lesson 6 on Pear Deck.

Final Activity: Taking Action

Students will have an opportunity to communicate what they learned from the series by selecting an animal, doing research to learn how climate change is or could be impacting that species, and completing a creative project to share what they learned. Click here for the educator Final Activity guide.

Curious Learners: Click here to launch the student view of the Final Activity on Pear Deck.

Educators: Click here to launch the teacher version of the Final Activity on Pear Deck.

Educational Standards

This curriculum was designed following Georgia’s Science Standards of Excellence, but it is applicable for fourth grade education on the water cycle, weather and climate, and climate change.

Science Georgia Standards of Excellence

  • S4E3. Obtain, evaluate, and communicate information to demonstrate the water cycle. 
  • S4E4. Obtain, evaluate, and communicate information to predict weather events and infer weather patterns using weather charts/maps and collected weather data.

Ocean Literacy

  • Principle 3: The ocean is a major influence on weather and climate.
  • Principle 6: The ocean and humans are inextricably interconnected.

Climate Literacy

  • Essential Principle 2: Climate is regulated by complex interactions among components of the Earth system.

Educators: Evaluate the Curriculum

Thank you for sharing this curriculum with your students. Educators, please complete the following evaluation to help us improve future curriculum.

Click here to complete the evaluation.

Meet the Authors of the Curriculum

Katy Smith
Water Quality Program Coordinator, University of Georgia Marine Extension and Georgia Sea Grant

Nina Sassano
Educator and Intern Coordinator, University of Georgia Marine Extension and Georgia Sea Grant

Jill Gambill
Coastal Community Resilience Specialist, University of Georgia Marine Extension and Georgia Sea Grant

Luke Roberson
Adopt-A-Wetland Coordinator, University of Georgia Marine Extension and Georgia Sea Grant

Lisa Kovalanchik
Aquarium Curator and
Pre-K-4th Coordinator, University of Georgia Marine Extension and Georgia Sea Grant

Kayla Clark
Public Programs Coordinator, University of Georgia Marine Extension and Georgia Sea Grant

Trey Cooper
Public Relations Specialist, University of Georgia Marine Extension and Georgia Sea Grant

Emily Kenworthy
Public Relations Coordinator, University of Georgia Marine Extension and Georgia Sea Grant

Samantha Lance
Water Quality Summer Intern, University of Georgia Marine Extension and Georgia Sea Grant

Amelia Stone
Chin Scholarship Recipient, University of Georgia Marine Extension and Georgia Sea Grant

Carrie Siegmund
Director of Innovation & Learning Design, Northeast Georgia Regional Education Service Agency (RESA)