Science Curriculum/Activity Manuals

    Elementary (K-6)

    Secondary (Grades 6-12)

Children’s Books

Reference Books

Audio Cassette Tapes




Back to Forestry Programs

K-12 Educational Materials on Forestry

(Activity guides, children’s books, references,

audio tapes, videos, equipment)

May be borrowed from

Western U.P. Center for Science,

Mathematics and Environmental Education

at Michigan Technological University

105 Dillman Hall

Tel: (906)487-3341

Fax: (906)487-1620





Audio Cassette Tapes:

Excuse Me Sir, That's My Aquifer 30 min. (Songs about groundwater)                               Grades K-6

Frogs & Toads of Michigan 13 min. (Contains songs/calls of Michigan’s 13 species of           frogs & toads)

      Grades 3-12

Handell-- Water Music Suite 60+ min. (Orchestra music with a water feeling)                        Grades K-12

Nature Nuts 58 min. (Science & ecology songs including "Romp in the Swamp",                   "Garbage Man", "Recycle Blues", "Don't Throw It Away.")

      Grades K-6

Serenade  60 min. (Piano and nature interludes)                                                                 Grades K-12

Solitudes -Storm on a Wilderness Lake and Night on a Wilderness Lake  60 min.            Grades K-12 

      (Wilderness sounds)

Thunderstorm 62 min. (Sounds of a thunderstorm)                                                             Grades K-12



After the Rain  29 min.  Explores importance of water, the pressures our cities are               placing on this precious resource, and ways to protect local drinking water supplies.

     Grades 6-12

Aquatic Exotics  22 min.                                                                                                       Grades 7-12

Aquatic Invertebrates and Water Quality  7 min.    (Role of stream macroinvertebrates          in the aquatic ecosystem and how they are used as water quality indicators)

      Grades 6-12                                  

The Caterpillar and the Polliwog  5 min.  (Describes metamorphosis)                                      Grades Pre-3

Colorado Wetlands  12 min   (Describes the benefits and values of wetlands)                        Grades 9-12

Down the Drain  30 min., 3,2,1 Contact Series (Good lesson on the water properties              and the water cycle-- also talks about water usage, pollution, and treatment)

      Grades 4-8                 

Headwaters: The Lifeline of a River  (28 min) Sponsored by Rouge River Watershed      

      Council and SE Michigan Water Quality Board. Introduces issues of headwaers


      Grades 6-12

It's Found Underground  31 min. (Describes the water cycle, water table, permeability,          and groundwater contamination)

      Grades 3-5

Life of the <Great>Lakes  58 min. (Story of the world's greatest freshwater fishery)               Grades 5-12

Michigan's Drinking Water--- Safe, Reliable, and Abundant  10 min. (Municipal                       treatment and delivery)

      Grades 3-9

Michigan's Great Lakes Coastal Zone - Part 1:  Threatened and Endangered Species           22 min.  (Discusses the peregrine falcon, eagle, trumpeter swan, and osprey)

      Grades 4-9

Michigan's Great Lakes Coastal Zone- Part 2:  Agriculture, Recreation, Fishing                     17 min.  (Discusses the unique coastal zones of the Great Lakes and how

they are used for agriculture, recreation, and fishing)

Grades 4-9

Michigan's Great Lakes Coastal Zone - Part 3:  Commercial Shipping, Industrial                   Development, Habitat Restoration 20 min.  (Discusses how industry in Michigan has

      impacted natural habitats and how the damage is being corrected now; shows the

      restoration of a wetland)

      Grades 4-9

Power of Water 59 min. by National Geographic (Profiles five major water issues                   including Colorado River diversions, Ogalalla Aquifer drawdown, Love Canal, etc.)

      Grades 7-12

Rise and Fall of the Great Lakes 12 min.  Produced by Canadian Film Board.  Satire on

      the origins and current fate of the Great Lakes.

      Grades 6-12

SOS for American Streams 28 min. (Good background on water quality and water                pollution, teaches water quality monitoring techniques) 

      Grades 5-12     

Story of a River: The Clark Fork (Montana)  21 min. (Profiles the Clark Fork River in             Montana /Idaho and it's watershed including historical uses and current problems)           Grades 6-12

Teen News Network: Groundwater Update  13 min. (Students discuss groundwater               issues in format of short news stories)

      Grades 4-8

Torch Lake:  An Area of Concern    18 min.  (Explanation of Torch Lake as a                          superfund site, good area history lesson)

      Grades 7-12

We All Live Downstream  (Identifies point and non-point sources of water pollution in      

      a watershed, with special emphasis on the Tualatin River in Oregon)

      Grades 7-12               

The Wealth of Wetlands  23 min. (Value of wetlands from different property owners'              perspectives;  restoration methods)

      Grades 9-12          

Your Toxic Trash  15 min.  (Solid & household hazardous waste; problems and solutions)            

     Grades 5-12



Children’s Books:

Animals That Change:  Metamorphosis by Luise Woelflien (pop-up, lift-the flap)               Grades 2-6

Berenstein Bears:  Don’t Pollute (Anymore)  by Stan and Jan Berenstein (When bear           country's cubs learn pollution's a fact, they help grownups clean up their act)

     Grades K-4            

Bringing the Rain to Kapiti Plain  by Verna Aardema (An African tale about drought and   

bringing rain to the plain)

Grades K-4                      

Call of the River—Writing and Photographs  selected & edited by Page Stegner                   (Essays, adventure stories, & reflections about the power of rivers; includes 

breathtaking photography)

Grades 7-12  

Come Back, Salmon by Molly Cone (How a group of dedicated kids adopted                   

Pidgeon Creek and brought it back to life)

Grades 1-6

Crocodile Smile by Sarah Weeks (10 songs of the Earth as the animals see it, includes 

     audiocassette tape)

Grades Pre-3                            

Dipper of Copper Creek by Jean Craighead George (Story of a boy who raises a water  

ouzel after an avalanche)

Grades K-4                      

Flashy, Fantastic Rain Forest Frogs by Dorothy Hinshaw Patent (Life cycles of frogs)          Grades Pre-4

Follow the Water from Brook to Ocean  by Authur Dorros (Explores water's journey,       

how it shapes the earth, and why it is important to keep it clean)

Grades K-4                      

Forest Animals: Questions and Answers About by Michael Chinery (Describe animals   

and their natural habitats, colorful illustrations)

Grades 2-6

The Fresh Water Alphabet Book  by Jerry Pallotta (Highlights a different freshwater         

creature for every letter of the alphabet)

Grades K-2                      

Frogs by Robin Dexter (Story of the stages of a frog)                                                           Grades Pre-1

Frogs: A First Discovery Book  by Gallimard Jeunesse & Daniel Moignot (Life Cycle of   

a frog)

Grades Pre-3              

From Tree to Paper  by Wendy Davis  (Describes how paper is made.)                                 Grades 1-4

Henry Goes Underground  by Patricia Chilton-Stringham (Understanding groundwater)         Grades K-3

I Can Read About Weather  by Robyn Supraner (Explains basics about weather)             Grades K-4

The Island  by Gary Paulsen  (A 15-yr old boy escapes tension at home by exploring       

nature on a nearby island)

Grades 8-12                                   

Lake Superior by Ann Armbruster (History of Lake Superior)                                               Grades 2-5

Letting Swift River Go  by Jane Yolen (Discusses the destruction of homes to create      

a reservoir for a large city)

Grades K-4                               

The Magic School Bus: At the Waterworks  by Joanna Cole  (Water treatment)                      Grades K-4

The Magic School Bus:  Gets Eaten  by Joanna Cole  (Food chains)                                 Grades K-4

The Magic School Bus: Hops Home by Joanna Cole  (Wetland habitats)                                Grades K-4

The Magic School Bus:  Wet All Over  by Joanna Cole  (Water cycle)                               Grades K-4

McElligot’s Pool by Dr. Seuss  (A child patiently waits to catch a fish despite all of the     

      reasons why fish might not be there...)

      Grades K-3

My Life As A Dragonfly: Swimmer to Flyer by William Cruscial  (Traces metamorphosis       of a dragonfly)

      Grades Pre-2

A New True Book: Water Pollution  by Darlene R. Stille (How we use water and how      

      pollution affects lakes and oceans)

      Grades 4-6                     

A New True Book: Wetlands  by Emilie U. Lepthien and Joan Kalbacken (Defines            

      different types of wetlands, where they're found, wildlife uses, pollution, and laws)

      Grades 4-6

Oil Spill! by Melvin Berger (Discusses how oil spills occur, how they are cleaned up, and       how they can be prevented; specifically the Exxon-Valdez spill)

      Grades K-4                                   

On the River ABC by Caroline Stutson (ABC's of plant and animal life along a river)               Grades Pre-3

One Small Square: Pond  by Donald M. Silver (Visiting a pond from a child’s                    


      Grades K-4

Paddle-To-The-Sea  by Holling C. Holling  (A toy wooden canoe’s journey from Lake              Superior to the Atlantic Ocean)

      Grades K-4

Peter's Place by Sally Grindley (Peter tries to help animals in an oil spill)                                 Grades K-3

Pond Year by Kathryn Lasky  (Describes habitats; seasonal changes; and pond life)              Grades Pre-4

Rain Drop Splash  by Alvin Tresselt     (Traces path of a rain drop from mountain to sea)       Grades Pre-3   

The Rainstick: A Fable  by Sandra Chisholm Robinson (A fable about a West African            boy’s quest for rain; includes instructions for making rainsticks)

      Grades 2-6

A River Ran Wild  by Lynne Cherry  (True story of how a polluted river is  restored)              Grades 2-6

The Salamander Room by Anne Mazer (Describes a salamander's habitat in a fun way)       Grades Pre-4

Sea Watch: A Book of Poetry  by Jane Yolen (Poetry about sea creatures)                             Grades K-12

Tale of a Tadpole by Karen Wallace  (Follows the life of a frog)                                                Grades Pre-2

Thunder Cake  by Patricia Polacco  (A grandmother helps her granddaughter overcome       her fear of thunderstorms by baking a "thunder cake")

      Grades K-2           

Water by Frank Asch (A fun, colorful beginning book about water)                                            Grades K-3

Water by Francois Michel (An amazing pop-up, pull-tab, lift-the-flap guide to all aspects         Water--groundwater, streams, floods, drinking water, and more)

      Grades K-6

Water Dance by Thomas Locker (Poems and Pictures about water)                                       Grades K-4

The Water’s Journey  by Eleonore Schmid (Descriptive text/pictures describe the                  water cycle in our everyday lives)

      Grades K-3

Watermarks: Poems from the Coast of Keweenaw  by Barbara Simila (A poem collection       celebrating Lake Superior and the Keweenaw- great history lessons)

      Grades 6-12     

Water, Water Everywhere  by Mark J. Rauzon & Cynthia Overbeck Bix (Introduces the          forms and properties of water and the vital role water plays in the life of the planet)

      Grades K-4  

The Way of the Willow Branch by Emery & Durga Bernhard (Travels of a willow branch)       Grades 1-3

Where Does the Garbage Go?  by Paul Showers (Solid waste disposal & recycling)             Grades K-4

Where the River Begins by Thomas Locker  (Two boys follow a river to its beginning)       Grades K-4



Reference Books:

The Great Lakes: An Environmental Atlas and Resource Book (Outstanding                        compilation of information and maps about the Great Lakes)

Grades 5-12

Life of the Great Lakes (Tells the story of the world's greatest freshwater fishery)        Grades 5-12

Pond Life Golden Guide (Common plants & animals of North American ponds & lakes)     Grades 1-8

Oceans by David Lambert (Information on many aspects of the ocean)                                  Grades 3-9

Reptiles and Amphibians Golden Guide (Common reptiles & amphibians of North           


Grades 3-12

Water and Ground Water Issues in Marquette County (Reference for teachers)                   Grades 6-12

Water Quality Indicators Guide:  Surface Water USDA (Examines agricultural related          nonpoint source pollution, how to identify pollutants, and recommends best

management practices (BMPs) to reduce or eliminate pollution)

Grades 7-12                     

Wetlands Plants and Plant Communities of Minnesota and Wisconsin US Army Corps  

of Engineers (Describes wetland plants and plant communities of Minnesota and

Wisconsin; applicable in general to wetlands of the entire Great Lakes Region)

Grades K-12



Curriculum/Activity Manuals:

175 Science Experiments to Amuse and Amaze Your Friends (Collection of experiments       that can be done in any household; good step-by-step instructions)

      Grades K-8

Acid Rain Teacher’s Guide by Lawrence Hall Science (LHS) Gems (Covers acids, bases, pH, ecosystems, and the effects of acid rain)

      Grades 6-10          

Of Cabbages & Chemistry Teacher’s Guide by LHS Gems (Acids, bases, indicators,            pigments, and concentrations)

      Grades 4-8                                             

Chemistry: for Every Kid by Janice VanCleave (101 easy experiments that really work)         Grades 2-8

Children's Groundwater Festival Outreach Packet     (A packet of teacher materials,              lesson plans, student worksheets and resources for conducting water festivals)

      Grades 1-6

Classroom GEMS - Elementary (Activities and resources for groundwater education)           Grades K-6

Crime Lab Chemistry Teacher’s Guide by LHS Gems (Great chromatography activities)       Grades 4-8

Ecosystem Matters (Activity & resource guide for environmental educators)                           Grades K-12

Field Manual for Water Quality Monitoring  by GREEN (Describes student data                    collection and analysis of nine water quality parameters; sources of water pollution;

how to solve water quality problems)

Grades 7-12  

GEE-WOW! Adventures in Water Education (Interdisciplinary curriculum about water           & groundwater)

      Grades K-6

GEM Groundwater Overhead Transparencies (Describes and illustrates eleven                    groundwater concepts including water cycle, aquifers, porosity and permeability,

      groundwater contamination, water conservation)

      Grades 5-12

Groundwater Education in Michigan Schools (GEMS) (23 activity lesson plans, teacher        background & student worksheets for water/groundwater)

      Grades K-6

Hands-On Nature by Lingelbach (Information and activities for exploring the                    

     Environment with children)

     Grades K-6

Hands On Save Our Streams Teacher's Manual (Information, activities, student data     

     Sheets, and resources for setting up an adopt-a-stream program)

Grades 1-12

H2O Below (Activity Guide for the study of groundwater)                                                      Grades 6-8

Lake Effects:  The Lake Superior Guide by the Lake Superior Center (Background         

information and activities about Lake Superior)

Grades K-12          

Leap Into Lakes (Teacher's manual of activities about lakes, groundwater and                

water quality)

Grades K-6

Making Waves (A detailed “how-to” & useful tips for putting on a water festival)                Grades K-12

Michigan WISE (Waste Information Series for Education) (Background information,              and activities/lessons in units organized for grades K-3, 4-6, 7-9, and 10-12)

      Grades K-12

Mud, Muck & Other Wonderful Things (Ecology activities for classroom and field trips)         Grades K-3

Pond and Stream Safari:  A Guide to the Ecology of Aquatic Invertebrates (Excellent     

      resource and activities for pond and stream studies)

      Grades 6-12

Project WET (Water Education for Teachers) (Activities to teach about all aspects of            water through science, math, language arts, art, & music)

      Grades K-10

Project WILD—Aquatic  (Curriculum/activity guide that teaches about wildlife & water)         Grades K-12

River Cutters Teacher’s Guide  by LHS GEMS (Information and activities on erosion,     

geologic events, pollution, and human effects on the environment)

Grades 6-9                           

Rivers Curriculum Guide:  Biology by Rivers Curriculum Project (RCP) (Explores the          diversity of plant and animal life along rivers; uses benthic macroinvertebrates as the

primary indicator of a river's health)

Grades 9-12

Rivers Curriculum Guide:  Chemistry by RCP (Describes the nine water-quality tests          used to assess stream health; links water-quality test procedures to basic chemical

principles students study in class)

Grades 9-12

Rivers Curriculum Guide:  Earth Science by RCP (Provides information and activities    

on how to use the physical features of a river to discern important clues about a

river's geological development)

Grades 9-12

Rivers Curriculum Guide:  Geography by RCP (Describes how the Earth's surface is          occupied and organized using the five themes of geography:  location, place,

movement, regions, and human-environment interactions)

Grades 9-12

The Science Book of Water by Neil Ardley (Contains variety of water experiments)           Grades K-3

The Science Explorer  from the San Francisco Exploratorium (Science                           

experiments for students and families to do at home)

Grades K-8            

Book of Science and Technology by Durkin Hayes (Activities and information)                        Grades K-8

Science with Water by Helen Edom (Usborne science activities, which demonstrate              the physical properties of water)

      Grades Pre-3

Streamkeeper’s Field Guide (Watershed inventory & stream monitoring methods)           Grades 7-12

Stream Scene: Watersheds, Wildlife, & People     (Curriculum materials including                background information and activities on stream monitoring)

     Grades 7-12                     

Water, Paddles & Boats by Pan Robson (Easy to make experiments and explanations)        Grades K-6

Water Precious Water by AIMS Activities (Collection of elementary water activities)               Grades 2-6

The Water Sourcebook (Activities to involve students in understanding drinking water,           groundwater, wetlands, coastal waters, and wastewater treatment)

      Grades 3-5

Water We Here For? (Guide to early streamside education)                                                     Grades 1-4

Water Wise: Lessons in Water Resources (Activities to increase knowledge and                   awareness about water)

      Grades 5-6

Weather Forecaster by B. Taylor-Cork (Records, experiments, projects, diagrams)               Grades 5-9

WOW! The Wonders of Wetlands (Activities to teach about all aspects of wetlands               through science, math, language arts, art, and music)

      Grades K-10



Science Equipment

Sampling Kit for Streams, Ponds and Wetlands (Contains nets, magnifiers, tubs and            other items for collecting and identifying aquatic organisms)

      Grades K-10         

Aquatic Exotics Trunk (Available from Isle Royale National Park @ 487-7152; contains          5 units with activities on exotic plant & animal species invading the Great Lakes)

      Grades 2-6

Dripial Pursuit (Patterned after “Trivial Pursuit”, using water-related topics)                             Grades 6-12

Earthwater Stencils for storm drain stenciling                                                                        Grades 6-12

Ecosystem Resource Trunk (Contains plastic leaf prints of 24 tree species, materials          for creating track casts, soil screens)

      Grades 2-10

Enviroscape (2 x 2 ft tabletop model that demonstrates non-point sources of pollution:          sediment, fertilizers, road salt, used motor oil, etc.)

      Grades 1-8                                                       

Groundwater flow model (Tabletop model of where groundwater is found; shows                    how groundwater can be polluted by landfills, underground storage tanks, and                  other sources using dye; illustrates connection between surface and groundwater)

      All ages   

"Investigating Groundwater:  The Fruitvale Experience" (A hands-on classroom activity         that demonstrates the effects of groundwater contamination; students test 40

      samples of "well water" & map a groundwater contamination plume)

      Grades 7-10                                  

The Pond (48-piece giant floor puzzle of the plants & animals that inhabit wetlands)               Grades K- 2

Puddle Pictures (Patterned after "Pictionary" using water-related words)                                 Grades 1-5

Stream Ecology Leaf Pack Experiment Kit  by LaMotte Company (Contains materials           to conduct a variety of experiments on the role of leaves in streams, and how to

      assess habitat and water quality for stream macroinvertebrates)

      Grades 6-12

Stream Macroinvertebrate Flashcards  (Set of 18 laminated color illustrations of major          stream/pond  macroinvertebrates)

      Grades 6-12    

Waste Hierarchy:  Where Is Away?"  (Hands-on classroom activities address the four          levels of waste treatment practices: landfills, incineration, reuse/recycle, and source       reduction)

      Grades 7-12                                                                                 

Water Chemistry Test Kits  (LaMotte tests available for: DO, pH, P, N, turbidity, hardness,   alkalinity, iron, copper, silica, CO2)

      Grades 7-12




Free Classroom Posters (while suppplies last):

Eat Or Be Eaten At The Wetland Cafe (This poster is perfect for coloring and laminating

      to become a placemat, for a daily reminder of food chains; EPA & TVA)

      Grades K-2

Engines Need Clean Oil. We Need Clean Water. Recycle! (MTU Regional GEM Center)      Grades 9-12

Frogs & Toads of Michigan (Michigan DNR)                                                                          Grades K-10

Groundwater & Land Use in the Water Cycle (Wisconsin DNR)                                               Grades 5-12

Michigan Wetlands: A Heritage Worth Saving (Michigan DNR)                                             Grades 4-9

Michigan's Rivers (Michigan DNR)                                                                                         Grades 4-9

The Water Cycle:  Nature's Recycling System (USDA & Water Environment Federation)      Grades 4-9

Water: The Resource that Gets Used & Used & Used for Everything (USDOI & AWRA)        Grades 4-9