​The programs are aligned with Maryland’s Environmental Literacy and Common Core Standards.


​Cindy Etgen
Aquatic Resources Education Section Chief - Chesapeake and Coastal Service
MD Department of Natural Resources
580 Taylor Ave., E-2
Annapolis, MD 21401

"Be Part of Something Big!" Curriculum

A girl along streamside with "Be Part of Something Big" written in the stream

This curriculum guide is designed for Grades 3-8 and provides educators and students the opportunity to gain hands-on experiences with water quality monitoring.

This series of activities is designed to help your class or student group learn more about the Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries. It does not need to be conducted in any particular order; however, some activities do build on one another. Topics addressed include:

  • ​What is a watershed?
  • ​How do you identify your watershed?
  • ​How does water flows through the watershed?
  • ​How do nutrients impact the Chesapeake Bay?
  • ​What are the problems associated with excess nutrients?
  • ​Learn about streams and tributaries.
  • ​What are the chemical and biological characteristics of a stream?
  • ​How can you assess your local stream?
  • ​Action strategies students can take to improve water quality in their local streams, and ultimately, the Chesapeake Bay such as trash clean ups, stream buffer plantings, and personal conservation measures.

We hope that upon completion of the activities, students will be able to connect science concepts with their actions and that everyone will become active stewards of our watershed.

Thank you for taking the time to teach youth about our rivers, streams and Chesapeake Bay. It is an important part of our lives and heritage. So, get out there and Be Part of Something Big!

Click here to download the completebig_complete.pdfBe a Part of Something Big! Teachers Guide (3.7 MB)

 or, click on the links below to download Be Part of Something Big! Teacher's Guide by topic.

Activity 2 - What is a Watershed?
Activity 3- Water Cycle Theater
Activity 5 - Nature's Sponge
Activity 7- Design Your Own Stream Study Kit

   Task A: How Our Stream Measures Up
   Task B: Stream Temperature
   Task C: Stream pH
   Task D: Stream Banks and Bottoms
   Task E: The Bug Test
   Task F: Who Lives in the Stream?

Activity 13 - Water Use



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