Bryant Creek Watershed Project
Making a Karst Dictionary: Classroom version

Grade Levels: 4 -10. (List and activity may be adjusted depending on student skills)

Subject Areas: Communication Arts, Earth Science, Computer skills

Duration: 50 minutes

Objectives: To learn definitions relevant to the study of karst topography
To teach internet research skills, including how to cite an internet source

Show-Me Standards it meets:
Process:
Goal 1.4-use technological tools to locate information
Goal 1.5-comprehend and evaluate written, visual and oral presentations
Goal 2.3-exchange information, questions, and ideas
Goal 4.6-identify tasks that require a coordinated effort and work with others to complete a task
Communication Arts #3-comprehending and evaluating nonfiction materials
Communication Arts #4-writing formally and informally
Communication Arts #5-comprehending and evaluating multimedia presentations
Science # 5- Processes and interaction of the earth’s biosphere, atmosphere, lithosphere, and hydrosphere

MAP Skills it teaches:
Follow multistep directions

Materials and Preparation:
You will need student work sheets, computer access to Internet and word processing software, science textbooks.
Review the vocabulary list and customize it for your students.
Web resources frequently change; check the dictionary links below yourself to make sure they are still functional. Please email us if you find any broken links!

Some suggested online reference sources:

Standard dictionary
(several terms are not in this; easy to use; has audio pronunciation guide)
http://www.bartleby.com/61/

Student dictionary
(many terms are in this; easy to use):
  http://www.wordcentral.com

Specialized glossary
(many terms are here, very easy to use list format)
  http://www.groundwater.org/kc/kidsvocab.html

Background:
This lesson is designed to be run in a computer lab with students online.
For science classes, help the students make the connection between their text material and the local information from the Atlas.
For language arts or computer classes, this lesson may be used as a "lab" experience for communication arts as students to practice Internet research and word processing skills.

Procedure:
1. Introduce students to the activity. They will be developing a Bryant Watershed Dictionary of the special words and terms that are used to talk about the topography and hydrology of the area we live in. Hand out the Student Worksheet. Discuss or review the Citing Internet Sources page.
2. Select one term and do the entire process with the students observing. A Smartboard or projection system is ideal for this.
3. Divide the class into small groups, and assign each team two or more terms. Hand out the worksheets. Have each team decide how they will divide up the necessary work to complete the process. Display the process steps as the students work.
4. Compile all the documents into one "Bryant Watershed Karst Dictionary."
Print and distribute to the class.

Student Process:
A. Open a new word processing document for each term. Name the document simply with the term itself.
B. Look up the word or term in two online references. Clip and paste the meanings to the document. Cite the source.
C. Next, search for the word or term on the Bryant Watershed Atlas. Clip a sample sentence using the term and paste it in the document. Cite the source.
D. Look for the word in your science textbook. Transcribe an example of how the term is used. Cite that source.
E. Write one example of the term used in a sentence from your own experience or thoughts.
(Examples: There is a little spring on our farm. Once my brother and I went to a cave. When we think our water might be polluted, we have to boil it). Identify the author(s).
F. Save and print your documents. Present your work to the class.

Evaluation:
You may evaluate the students on the completeness of their work, on following the directions, and on the appropriateness of their examples. Language Arts or computer students might also be evaluated for their use of Internet research and word processing skills.

Extensions:
Lead students to discuss and evaluate the online resources used in this lesson. How easy was each one to use? What was most difficult or frustrating about using them? Which was most useful and why?
An upper level class might offer to provide copies of their dictionary to lower grade classes studying water or karst.
A special "classroom edition" of the Dictionary could include student illustrations, photos clipped from the Atlas, or magazine pictures. Using your own vocabulary lists, have students use this same procedure to make dictionaries on other topics.


Lois Reborne, Bryant Watershed Project, 8/07/01.
Copyright © Bryant Watershed Project, Inc. All rights reserved. May be printed for classroom use.