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This is a set of two maps in both letter and tabloid sizes. as well as an assignment sheet. I have also included a jpeg version of the color map for use in a presentation.
The purpose of this lesson is for students to learn that all water leads to an ocean (except for one unique situation, the Great Basin). This can be a stand-alone lesson or can be used as a greater Inquiry Based lesson to explain the concept of watersheds and drainage basins. Studying the drainage basins can be part of any number of areas of study:
*How do landforms affect the ability to settle land?
*What part did rivers make in settling North America?
*To what extend does the treatment of a watershed affect the areas downstream?
*How does water quality differ in various parts of a watershed?
Project Based Learning idea: Divide the class into several small groups assigning a different drainage basin to each group. Have student imagine that they are traveling from the top of the basin to the ocean or outflow (except for the Great Basin which has no outflow). Choosing an area of interest (shelter, food, clothing, Indigenous groups, population density, etc), students will discover the changes along the way.
Project Based Learning Idea: Create a map of European Drainage Basins and make connections to political borders. Note that in North America, political boundaries are not dictated by drainage basins, but in Europe it is more common. Why is this?