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Chesapeake Bay

Activity 1 (Engage): The Dead Zone

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Activity Summary

In this introductory activity, students are introduced to the phenomenon of fish kills in the Chesapeake Bay by looking at photographs. They make observations of the fish in order to develop hypotheses and research questions that will guide the rest of the investigation.


Activity Objectives & Materials

Approximate Time: 30 minutes



  • Students will make observations of the anchor phenomenon

  • Students will ask questions to better define the anchor phenomenon

  • Students will develop preliminary hypotheses about what causes dead zones



  • “Clues” board with sentence strip about the dead fish

  • Additional sentence strips/paper for adding to the clue board.



  • Phenomenon Observations, Hypotheses, and Questions

Standards Connection




1. Frame the Activity


2. Introduce The Phenomenon

3. Develop Hypotheses


4. Develop Questions

5. Framing the Investigation

6. Formative Assessment

Reading: Dr. Lewis Linker - Air Quality Champion


For more information about On the Air 2020, contact:

Rebecca Davis, Education Manager


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© 2020 by Clean Air Partners.