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Landscape & Ecosystem

Loads of Work (Riparian Systems)

Time: 50 minutes

Lesson Description: In this lesson, students will be introduced to riparian zone form and function. Students will examine an aerial photograph of the San Pedro River in southern Arizona and, through questions, identify the riparian zone and infer its function. After an initial discussion, the class will conduct an outdoor activity to simulate the pollution remediation function of the riparian area. The activity illustrates how riparian soil and vegetation interact to retain water and suspended loads.

Suggested subject area: science

Lesson components and descriptions:

Loads of Work Lesson Plan
Gives an overview of the unit along with step-by-step instructions (PDF)

Loads of Work Student Handouts
Includes instructions for the activity (PDF)

Loads of Work Presentation:
An introductory presentation that goes along with the lesson plan (PDF)