Three Maryland streams
Students work in small groups to sort a variety of stream photos from three different Maryland streams into three piles. Two of the streams are located in urban areas, and one is located in a rural area.
Students try to determine which photographs came from the same stream and participate in a discussion of the possible locations and land uses surrounding the streams.

Students will learn some of the key features of urban streams.
Students practice observation skills before going outdoors.
Stream photos

1. Tell students that these are photographs of parts of three different Maryland streams.
2. Have students work in small groups to sort the photos into three piles, according to which stream the photos came from.
3. Ask students to make some assumptions about the land use and location of each stream, based on the photographs.
4. Have each group of students compare their results with another group and discuss why they made the choices they did.
5. Explain that two of the streams are located in urban areas and one is located in a rural area. Reveal which photographs go together.
6. Have students take another look at the photos to generate a list of what all three streams have in common, and a list of the differences between the three streams.
7. Lead a brief discussion of the possible ways that land use could affect streams, including factors that are not evident in photographs.
State Standards
1.5.1- The student will demonstrate the ability to summarize data (measurements/observations).
1.5.7- The student will use, explain, and/or construct various classification systems.
1.5.8- The student will describe similarities and differences when explaining concepts and/or principles.
1.5.9- The student will communicate conclusions derived through a synthesis of ideas.
Lesson Resources