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Chesapeake Bay

Activity 6 (Explore/Explain):

Rain, Pollution, and Watersheds

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Activity Summary

In this activity, students learn about watersheds, and how pollution that is initially on the land gets into the water. They do this by making a simulated watershed from a crumpled piece of paper, and then “raining” on the watershed to wash pollution into waterways. Using their paper watersheds, students create definitions and apply their definitions to understanding the Chesapeake Bay watershed.

Activity Objectives & Materials

Approximate Time: 45 minutes​


  • Students will be able to define watershed, geosphere, and hydrosphere, and explain how they connect

  • Students will be able to describe how land-based nutrient pollution gets into the Chesapeake Bay

  • Students will know that some pollution gets into the Bay when it washes off the land



  • Plain paper (enough for all students.

  • Spray bottle(s) with water (one or more)

  • Water-soluble markers (see below for more details) – enough for all students

  • Paper towels for cleanup

  • Crumpled Paper Watershed teacher guide

  • Word wall words: watershed, geosphere, hydrosphere

  • Computer & projector


  • Watershed Notes sheet

Standards Connection




1. Frame the Activity


2. Crumped Paper Watershed

3. Defining the Chesapeake Bay Watershed


4. Defining Geosphere and Hydrosphere

5. Defining the Watershed in Terms of Geosphere & Hydrosphere

6. Formative Assessment


For more information about On the Air 2020, contact:

Rebecca Davis, Education Manager


For more information about Clean Air Partners, check out our website at:  www.cleanairpartners.net

© 2020 by Clean Air Partners.