Georgian Court University
The Mystery of the Disappearing Lake
(Impact of Invasive Phragmites on Wetland Hydrology)
Grade Level: 6-8
Time Frame: 40-45 minutes
Introduction to Lesson:
This lesson provides students with the opportunity to use what they’ve learned about transpiration to solve a mystery about why wetlands often go dry when the invasive form of Phragmites starts to grow there. The teacher will guide students through a PowerPoint in order to have them solve this mystery by relating it to the high transpiration rates in invasive Phragmites.
New Jersey Core Curriculum Content Standards
STANDARD 5.1 (Scientific Processes) All students will develop problem-solving, decision-making and inquiry skills, reflected by formulating usable questions and hypotheses, planning experiments, conducting systematic observations, interpreting and analyzing data, drawing conclusions, and communicating results.
A. Habits of Mind
B. Inquiry and Problem Solving
STANDARD 5.8 (Earth Science) All students will gain an understanding of the structure, dynamics, and geophysical systems of the earth.
Atmosphere and Water
· Describe and illustrate the water cycle.
STANDARD 5.10 (Environmental Studies) All students will develop an understanding of the environment as a system of interdependent components affected by human activity and natural phenomena.
Human Interactions and Impact
STANDARD 9.2 (Consumer, Family, and Life Skills) All students will demonstrate critical life skills in order to be functional members of society.
Objectives: After completing this activity students will be able to
Materials and Resources:
Complete the day 2 portion of the transpiration lab and discuss the questions posed at the end of that exercise.
Teacher will guide the students through the “Mystery of the Disappearing Lake” PowerPoint. Students will discuss why Phragmites dries up the wetlands.
Accommodations and Modification:
[None should be needed]
Have students write 3 things they found interesting about today's class, 2 new things that they learned and one thing they still have a question about.
Homework / Extension Activity
Have students write a brief story entitled "The Mystery of the Disappearing Lake". They can be as creative as they like, but their story should answer the following questions.
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© 2009. Jodi Sisk (Author), Louise Wootton and Claire Gallagher (Editors)
Although the information in this document has been funded wholly or in part by the United States Environmental Protection Agency under assistance agreement NE97262206 to Georgian Court University, it has not gone through the Agency's publications review process and, therefore, may not necessarily reflect the views of the Agency and no official endorsement should be inferred.