Suggested Grade: 3
- What does riparian mean?
- What is a riparian ecosystem?
- Why are riparian areas important?
- What challenges do riparian areas face?
- How can we restore riparian areas?
- I can describe a riparian ecosystem, some plants and animals that live there and their importance.
- I can identify where a riparian ecosystem is on a landscape.
- Riparian Image
- Riparian Boxing
- (optional) Watershed Information Brochure Home Tips and Urban Challenges (this accompanies the maps below)
- Paper and markers
- Gathering information by viewing
- Comparing and contrasting
- Working cooperatively to present information
- Review riparian ecosystem information at https://projectwatershed.ca/simms-park/#riparianinfo more information is available at https://www.crd.bc.ca/education/our-environment/ecosystems/freshwater/riparian-zones.
- Review the Riparian Image.
- Have students do the Riparian Boxing exercise. Review the Home Tips for Healthy Watershed and Urban Challenges Sections on the Watershed Brochure close to your area.
- Watch videos. Pause to notice things like changes in water flow velocity, riparian habitat characteristics – woody debris, overhanging vegetation.
- Divide the class in two and have 1/2 the students draw a picture of a healthy, functioning riparian ecosystem and the other draw a system that has been impacted by human development.
- Pair students with healthy riparian ecosystems and impacted ecosystems. Have pairs discuss differences.
- Pairs present their drawings and findings to class.
Next Level: Instead of drawing a riparian habitat have your students build one. Using a box lid, rock, twigs etc.. they collect outside such as shown here – http://slideplayer.com/slide/2524544/.
Click here to download a printable version of this lesson
Visit Simms Park and walk around the area, reading the interpretative signage. Compare the riparian area next to the off channel habitat as in this lesson https://www.scholastic.com/teachers/lesson-plans/teaching-content/riparian-zones-grades-4-8/.
Contact the stewardship group associated with your watershed for a watershed walk or in class talk. Their contact information is on the brochure.