Planning Index: Fresh & Saltwater Systems | Print |

Grade 8 Science Unit Plan
Unit E - Fresh and Salt Water Systems
(Social and Environmental Emphasis)

Grade 8 Unit Overview (Alberta)
Earth is sometimes described as the water planet: over two-thirds of Earth's surface is covered by oceans and freshwater features. By exploring examples of aquatic systems, students come to appreciate their dynamic nature and learn about the interactions of these systems with climate, the biosphere and Earth's landscape. In the process, students become aware of conditions which have led to the development of aquatic systems, as they investigate factors that affect their characteristics and quality as part of a life-supporting environment.

Concepts Covered and Developed through Instruction

  • water quality
  • stream characteristics
  • water-borne materials
  • continental drainage systems
  • erosion and deposition
  • climate
  • ocean basins
  • glaciers and ice caps
  • human impact
  • adaptations to aquatic ecosystems

What do the students know?

 Can students identify differences and similarities of fresh and salt water systems, in relation to quantity and quality?
Can they describe how natural and human interactions with these water systems can affect life on our planet?

What must they Learn?

Water system dynamics on the Earth


Specific Learner Outcomes

Instructional Focus

Focus 1

Water Distribution

Describe the distribution and characteristics of water in local and global environments and identity the significance of water supply and quality to the needs of humans and other living things


- water distribution
Alberta, Canada, World )
- water quality indicators
- water quality testing
- water recovery methods
evaporation, distillation, and reverse osmosis )

Textual Resources / Demonstrations

Lab Activities
Lab Activities
Building a Model
Textual Resources / Research)

Focus 2

Water Cycle

Investigate and interpret linkages between landforms, water and climate


- erosion and deposition
- dissolved solids
- waves and tides
- stream characteristics
- oceans
basins, continental drainage, trenches )
- glacial action
glacial fields and polar ice caps )

Building a Model
Lab Activities / Demonstrations
Textual Resources / Research
Lab Activities / Demonstrations
Textual Resources / Research

Textual Resources / Research

Focus 3

Life in the Water

Analyze factors affecting productivity and species distribution in marine and fresh water environments


- freshwater organisms
- marine organisms
- adaptations
- population fluctuations
- water quality index

Lab Activities
Textual / Audio-Visual Resourses
Problem Solving Activities
Problem Solving Activities / Calculations
Lab Activities

Focus 4

Human Impact on Water

Analyze human impacts on aquatic systems and identify roles of science and technology in addressing related questions, problems and issues


- human uses of water
- water technologies
- monitoring / research
- water pollution

Textual Resources / Research
Building an evaluation model
Case Study