TAPWater & PA Academic Standards

Each activity in the TAPWater curriculum supplement has been reviewed by educators who aided the PA Department of Education with the draft forms of the state’s Academic Standards for Environment & Ecology and Science & Technolgy. Each activity in this manual contains a list of those standards that are met by performing the activity or conducting the experiment. The following standards are covered, either completely or partially, in this manual: (which can be used directly from this web page or can be downloaded in sections in printable format from the appropriate links)

Environment & Ecology

Section 4.1 Watersheds and Wetlands – Download Here

4.1.4 Grade 4

A. Identify various types of water environments.

  • Identify the lotic system (e.g. creeks, rivers, streams).
  • Identify the lentic system (e.g. ponds, lakes, swamps).

B. Explain the differences between moving and still water.

  • Explain why water moves or does not move.
  • Identify types of precipitation.

C. Identify living things found in water environments.

  • Identify fish, insects and amphibians that are found in fresh water.

D. Identify a wetland and the plants and animals found there.

  • Identify different kinds of wetlands.
  • Identify plants and animals found in wetlands.
  • Explain wetlands as habitats for plants and animals.

E. Recognize the impact of watersheds and wetlands on animals and plants.

  • Explain the role of watersheds in everyday life.
  • Identify the role of watersheds and wetlands for plants and animals.

4.1.7 Grade 7

A. Explain the role of the water cycle within a watershed.

  • Explain the water cycle.
  • Explain the water cycle as it relates to a watershed.

B. Understand the role of the watershed.

  • Identify and explain what determines the boundaries of a watershed.
  • Explain how water enters a watershed.
  • Explain factors that affect water quality and flow through a watershed.

C. Explain the effects of water on the life of organisms in a watershed.

  • Explain how water is necessary for all life.
  • Explain how the physical components of aquatic systems influence the organisms that live there in terms of size, shape and physical adaptations.
  • Describe the life cycle of organisms that depend on water.
  • Identify organisms that have aquatic stages of life and describe those stages.

D. Explain and describe characteristics of a wetland.

  • Identify specific characteristics of wetland plants and soils.
  • Recognize the common types of plants and animals.
  • Describe different types of wetlands.
  • Describe the different functions of a wetland.

E. Describe the impact of watersheds and wetlands on people

  • Explain the impact of watersheds and wetlands in flood control, wildlife habitats and pollution abatement.
  • Explain the influence of flooding on wetlands.
      1. Grade 10

A. Describe changes that occur from a stream’s origin to its final outflow.

  • Identify Pennsylvania’s major watersheds and their related river systems.
  • Describe changes by tracing a specific river’s origin back to its headwaters including its major tributaries.

B. Explain the relationship among landforms, vegetation and the amount and speed of water.

  • Analyze a stream’s physical characteristics.
  • Describe how topography influences streams.
  • Explain the influence of mountains on precipitation.
  • Explain how vegetation affects storm water runoff.
  • Delineate the boundaries of a watershed.
  • Describe factors that affect the quality of groundwater.
  • Explain how the speed of water and vegetation cover relates to erosion.

C. Describe the physical characteristics of a stream and determine the types of organisms found in aquatic environments.

  • Describe and explain the physical factors that affect a stream and the organisms living there.
  • Identify terrestrial and aquatic organisms that live in a watershed.
  • Categorize aquatic organisms found in a watershed continuum from headwater to mouth (e.g., shredder, predator, decomposer).
  • Identify the types of organisms that would live in a stream based on the stream’s physical characteristics.
  • Explain the habitat needs of specific aquatic organisms.

D. Describe the multiple functions of wetlands

  • Describe wetlands in terms of their effects (e.g., habitat, flood, buffer zones, prevention areas, nurseries, food production areas).
  • Explain how a wetland influences water quality, wildlife and water retention.
  • Analyze wetlands through their indicators (e.g. soils, plants, hydrology).

Section 4.2 Renewable and Nonrenewable Resources – Download Here

4.2.7 Grade 7

B. Examine the renewability of the resources.

  • Identify renewable resources and describe their uses.
  • Identify the waste derived from the use of renewable and nonrenewable resources.
  • Determine how consumption may impact the availability of resources.

C. Explain natural resources distribution.

  • Distinguish between readily available and less accessible resources.

Section 4.3 Environmental Health – Download Here

4.3.4 Grade 4

A. Know that plants, animals and humans are dependent on air and water.

  • Know that all living things need air and water to survive.
  • Describe potentially dangerous pest controls used in the home.
  • Identify things that cause sickness when put into the air, water or soil.
  • Identify different areas where health can be affected by air, water, or land pollution.
  • Identify actions that can prevent or reduce waste pollution.

B. Identify how human actions affect environmental health.

  • Identify pollutants.
  • Identify sources of pollution.
  • Identify litter and its effect on the environment.
  • Describe how people can reduce pollution.

C. Understand that the elements of natural systems are interdependent.

  • Identify some of the organisms that live together in an ecosystem.
  • Understand that the components of a system all play a part in a healthy natural system.
  • Identify the effects of a healthy environment on the ecosystem.

4.3.7 Grade 7

A. Identify environmental health issues.

  • Identify various examples of long-term pollution and explain their effects on environmental health.
  • Identify diseases that have been associated with poor environmental quality.
  • Describe different types of pest controls and their effects on the environment.
  • Identify alternative products that can be used in life to reduce pollution.

B. Describe how human actions affect the health of the environment.

  • Identify land use practices and their relation to environmental health.
  • Explain how natural disasters affect environmental health.
  • Identify residential and industrial sources of pollution and their effects on environmental health.
  • Explain the difference between point and non-point source pollution.
  • Explain how non-point source pollution can affect the water supply and air quality.
  • Explain how acid deposition can affect water, soil, and air quality.
  • Explain the relationship between resource use, reuse, recycling and environmental health.

C. Explain biological diversity.

  • Explain the complex, interactive relationships among members of an ecosystem.
  • Explain how diversity affects ecological integrity of the natural resources.

4.3.10 Grade 10

A. Describe environmental health issues.

  • Identify the effects on human health of air, water and soil pollution and the possible economic costs to society.
  • Explain the costs and benefits of cleaning up contaminants.
  • Explain how common household cleaning products are manufactured and how to dispose of their byproducts after use.

B. Explain how multiple variables determine the effects of pollution on environmental health, natural processes and human practices.

  • Explain how human practices affect the quality of the water and soil.
  • Identify local and state environmental regulations and their impact on environmental health.
  • Analyze data and explain how point source pollution can be detected and eliminated.

C. Explain biological diversity as an indicator of a healthy environment.

  • Explain species diversity.
  • Analyze the effects of species extinction on the health of an ecosystem.

Section 4.5 Integrated Pest Management – Download Here

4.5.4 Grade 4

A. Know types of pests.

  • Identify classifications of pests.
  • Identify and categorize pests.

B. Explain pest control.

  • Know reasons why people control pests.

4.5.7 Grade 7

A. Explain benefits and harmful effects of pests.

  • Identify different examples of pests and explain the beneficial or harmful effects of each.

B. Explain how pest management affects the environment.

  • Describe how integrated pest management and related technology impact human activities.
  • Identify issues related to integrated pest management that affect the environment.

Section 4.6 Ecosystems and their Interactions – Download Here

4.6.4 Grade 4

A. Understand that living things are dependent on nonliving things in the environment for survival.

    • Identify and categorize living and nonliving things.
    • Describe the basic needs of an organism.
    • Identify environmental variables that affect plant growth.
    • Identify a local ecosystem and its living and nonliving components.
    • Identify a simple ecosystem and its living and nonliving components.

B. Understand the concept of cycles.

    • Explain the water cycle.
    • Explain the carbon dioxide/oxygen cycle (photosynthesis).

C. Identify how ecosystems change over time.

4.6.7 Grade 7

A. Explain the flows of energy and matter from organism to organism within an ecosystem.

  • Identify and explain the characteristics of biotic and abiotic.
  • Describe and explain the adaptations of plants and animals to their environment.
  • Demonstrate the dependency of living components in the ecosystem on the nonliving components.
  • Identify niches for producers, consumers and decomposers within an ecosystem.
  • Identify the relationship of abiotic and biotic components and explain their interaction in an ecosystem.
  • Explain how different soil types determine the characteristics of ecosystems.

B. Explain the concepts of cycles.

  • Identify and explain cycles within an ecosystem.
  • Analyze the role of different cycles within an ecosystem.

C. Explain how ecosystems change over time.

  • Explain how ecosystems change.
  • Identify the succession stages of a given ecosystem.
  • Explain how specific organisms may change an ecosystem.
  • Explain a change in an ecosystem that relates to humans.

Section 4.7 Threatened, Endangered and Extinct Species – Download Here

4.7.4 Grade 4

C. Define and understand extinction.

  • Identify plants and animals that are extinct
  • Explain why some plants and animals are extinct.
  • Know that there are local and state laws regarding plants and animals.

Section 4.8 Humans and the Environment – Download Here

4.8.4 Grade 4

A. Identify the biological requirements of humans.

  • Explain how a dynamically changing environment provides for sustainability of living things.
  • Identify several ways that people use natural resources.

B. Know that environmental conditions influence where and how people live.

  • Identify how regional natural resources influence what people use.
  • Explain the influence of climate on how and where people live.

C. Explain how human activities may change the environment.

  • Identify everyday human activities and how they affect the environment.
  • Identify examples of how human activities within a community affect the natural environment.

D. Know the importance of natural resources in daily life.

  • Identify items used in daily life that come from natural resources.
  • Identify ways to conserve our natural resources.
  • Identify major land uses in the community.

4.8.7 Grade 7

A. Describe how the development of civilization relates to the environment.

  • Explain how people use natural resources in their environment.

B. Explain how people use natural resources.

  • Describe how natural resources are used for survival.
  • Explain how natural resources and technological changes have affected the development of civilizations.
  • Explain how climate and extreme weather events (e.g. drought, flood) influence people’s lives.

C. Explain how human activities may affect local, regional and national environments.

  • Describe what effect consumption and related generation of wastes have on the environment.
  • Explain how a particular human activity has changed the local area over the years.

D. Explain the importance of maintaining the natural resources at the local, state and national levels.

  • Explain how human activities and natural events have affected ecosystems.
  • Explain how conservation practices have influenced ecosystems.
  • Define the roles of Pennsylvania agencies that deal with natural resources.

Section 4.9 Environmental Laws and Regulations – Download Here

4.9.4 Grade 4

A. Know that there are laws and regulations for the environment.

  • Identify local and state laws and regulations regarding the environment.
  • Identify and describe the role of a local or state agency that deals with environmental laws and regulations.

4.9.7 Grade 7

A. Explain the role of environmental laws and regulations.

  • Identify and explain environmental laws and regulations (e.g. Clean Water Act).
  • Explain the role of local and state agencies in enforcing environmental laws and regulations (e.g. Department of Environmental Protection).