Love Canal: A Man Made Disaster

TCE Contamination and Cleanup Curriculum
Sense of Place-Getting Familiar with
Author: Chris Donovan
I -2class period
Maps printed and transparencies made 10 mins.
Set oh map transparencies fro overhead
Set of maps for each student
Large map of Arizona to locate Tucson/Nogales areas.
EXPLORE lesson EX-3
This lesson introduces (reviews in some cases) the surrounding topography of Tucson. Tucson
is part of a larger watershed where water naturally flows from Nogales in the south to Marana in
the north . A major misconception for students is that water only flows south. this misconception
is to be pointed out at the start of the lesson….the ONLY sure way water flows is DOWN.
Students will be given a packet of maps of the Tucson area taken from AZ Water Resources
publication on water and sustainability.
They will be examining these in pairs or groups of 4 and answering questions about water flow in
Tucson and using the maps to support their answers.
(If student are not familiar with topographic maps I suggest a 1 class period activity using models
on how to construct a topo map. The activity involves a plastic shoebox size container and a
plastic mountain where the students pour water into the box and trace the outline of the exposed
mountain area . This activity gives students the experience of turning a 3 dimensional model, the
plastic mountain, into a 2 dimensional illustration. )
Students will be able to: Name the mountains surrounding the Tucson basin
 Interpret the direction of water flow through town using a topo map.
 Extract information from various types of maps
 Students will generalize what they have learned from EX1 and 2 to offer explanations on
the movement and origin of the TCE plume.
National Science Education Standard:
EX1 AZ S3C1 PO 1, 2
S6C1 PO 1, 5
AZ S1C1 PO 4
C2 PO 1,4,5
TCE Contamination and Cleanup Curriculum
C3 PO 5
C4 PO 3,4
AZ S3C1 PO1,2
Teacher Background
Deal with student misconceptions of water flow right away. Have students think about how much
we in Tucson depend on groundwater. Most students will not know where their water comes
from. This would be a good place to briefly go over the water cycle and to do this pose the
question… How old do you think the water you are drinking is? Where did this water come
Related and Resource Websites
What’s in my water? (Tucson Water info page)
USGS Upper Santa Cruz Watershed Project
Maps attached with student question sheet.
NB- Quick write by students at the end of this activity on what they have learned. Students will make
additions to their individual concept map and hand this in.
Assessment for the EXPLORE section
Each group of 4 students will be given a sheet of large paper to construct a poster. The teacher
will ask the class as a whole to generate 3 “ big ideas” they now understand from each of the
three activities they have conducted (9 big ideas in all). Students will design a poster illustrating
all of these in a coherent framework and tailor the poster to the movement of water in the Tucson
Interview someone who lived in Tucson 40+ years ago and ask what changes stand out the
most for them.
Find photos on web (or at home) of Tucson showing the Santa Cruz River and what it looked
like when it flowed intermittently.
TCE Contamination and Cleanup Curriculum