Emma Pesis, Brad Street
Applied Science, Environmental Science, Life Science, Physical Science, Physical Geography
Material Type:
Lesson Plan
Lower Primary, Upper Primary, Middle School, High School
  • ClimeTime
  • Engineering Design Process
  • Explore
  • Investigation
  • Mapping
  • NGSS
  • Nebraska Department of Education
  • Next Generation Science Standards
  • Rain
  • Schoolyard
  • Science
  • Science and Engineering Practices
  • Stormwater
  • climetime
  • ne-science
  • wa-science
    Creative Commons Attribution Share Alike
    Media Formats:
    Graphics/Photos, Interactive, Text/HTML

    Education Standards

    Schoolyard Stormwater Walk Activity

    Schoolyard Stormwater Walk Activity


    This is a mapping activity that uses the student’s schoolyard to investigate how rain/stormwater interacts with different surfaces and where stormwater problems may occur. Students use Next Generation Science Standards’ Science and Engineering Practices in a near-by, relevant place.

    Teacher Preparation

    Decide on Focus: Review the NGSS appendix at the end of this document. What is the phenomenon or core idea you want your students to focus on during this activity? Which crosscutting concept will best help think about it? Develop investigative question and/or learning target as desired.

    Teacher Walk-About at School: Consider the following questions as you walk your schoolyard:

    • What can you find that relates to your focus?
    • Where are storm drains, puddles, and various surfaces to pour water on?
    • What distractions could be a concern?  (e.g. recess times and play equipment)
    • What safety concerns will you need to address? (e.g. adjacent to traffic)
    • Where do you want to do this activity and what boundaries will you want to establish?
    • Will you need or want additional adult support?

    Create Student Mapping Worksheet: See appendix for how to add a map of your site to the worksheet.

    Decide on Process: There are a variety of options for how you approach this investigation with your students (depending on grade, skill-building needs and language proficiency). After reading through the lesson, consider:

    • Do you want your students to record additional notes on the student field sheet?
    • Do you want students to write their observations solo or work with a partner?