Classroom Lessons

South Sound GREEN loves getting students outside and experiencing the watershed first-hand, but we also offer classroom lessons as preparations and compliments for our field experiences. We have established lessons and curricula but are happy to work with teachers and develop new materials to meet the needs of a particular class!


Our Enviroscape lessons are a great way to visualize watersheds on a large scale and engage students in the process. This model demonstrates how water and other pollutants collect and move over an idealized urban, coastal environment with nearby agriculture and industry – a perfect analogy for Thurston County. We define relevant terms, lead inquiry-based discussions, and invite students to participate in everything from adding fertilizer (don’t worry, it’s just cocoa powder) to simulating a rainstorm coming through town. This is a great compliment to Water Quality Monitoring – we are happy to come to your classroom to offer an introduction to watersheds, or provide context once water testing is completed.

Time: 45 minutes
Target Audience: 4th – 8th grade
Key Topics: Watersheds, point & non-point source pollution, conservation


During the winter, South Sound GREEN is often granted the use of salmon carcasses, donated from a nearby hatchery. With these, we can offer salmon dissections in the classroom! We have conducted these in various ways, from demonstrating a full dissection via an overhead projector to allowing students to work in small groups and dissect a salmon themselves. After studying water quality and salmon spawning in the fall, these dissections are an excellent opportunity to see how these amazing creatures work, from the inside and outside.

Time: 45 minutes – 1 hour
Target Audience: 4th – 12th grade
Key Topics: Salmon biology, anatomy, life cycle
Resources: Salmon anatomy


Have you ever wondered what might be living in our lakes and rivers? Our stream bug labs are a great way to find out! We bring in a sample from a nearby waterway (often the location of your testing site, if you participate in Water Quality Monitoring) and bring it to your classroom, to take a look at what we find under magnifying lenses and hand scopes. By figuring out what bugs live in our water, we can make an assessment of the health of the water. Plus, the bugs are really cool!

Time: 30 minutes – 1 hour
Target Audience: 4th – 12th grade
Key Topics: Invertebrates, dichotomous keys, stream ecology
Resources: Stream bug/leaf pack curriculum