- Designed for the NYC and NYC Watersheds Trout in the Classroom program
- Grades 5-up
- A lesson for Trout in the Classroom: Earth Science, Environmental Science, Geography
- Students will learn about the path of water from the watershed to their homes.
- Students will read and use maps to find the path of the water delivered to their homes.
- This lesson is written for New York City and Westchester County water supply, but
- could be adapted to other places in the U.S.
Teacher Prep: #
Choose one of the New York reservoirs and print out the U.S.G.S. topographic map quadrant that includes it. If possible, print the map as a “poster,” using your printer or
computer’s multi-page printing application. If the map is “layered,” eliminate the topography and roads for this particular lesson and just include the layer with waterways.
Not all the maps are configured this way yet though.
Then, find the adjoining quadrants to this first map and print them each separately until you reach the map with your town in it. (This is a lot of printing, so maps should be
saved in plastic sheet protectors or laminated for many uses). You will need a very large area, such as a clear floor area or many tables put together, to
assemble the finished puzzle map, depending on how many quadrant maps you are putting together with the students.
Discuss how water gets to the city from reservoirs in the mountains. Challenge students to create a giant map that follows the water from the reservoir to the city, using the quadrant maps.
Questions and Guidance: #
If you have printed “poster” maps on multiple sheets of paper, students work with partners or small groups to first put their own map together; then they need to work together to find the adjoining quadrants to attach their maps to. As students assemble maps, discuss landmarks, features of the maps, how to find adjoining maps
If you cannot print out the maps, you can download them and look at them on a screen. The following is an example of the White Plains Map with the contour layer showing and
the contour, grids lines and roads hidden, emphasizing the waterways.
From the United States Geological Survey, any of the maps are available for download, including historical topographic maps. Some of these maps now include pdf. “layers,”
that allow you to see all of the features of the map or remove some such as roads to see only topography; some of these maps show the waterways only.
The reservoirs of the Hudson Valley.
A commercial site that allows you to download topographic maps of the U.S. Useful for a quick look on a screen such as a Smart Board. Free trial subscription.
Another commercial site that allows you to browse full topographic maps online.