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January 30, 2018
Amanda O’Hanley & Sam Sawtschuk

Science: ​Grade 3

Unit: ​2: Earth and Space

Lesson: ​Wetlands as a Filter: Filtration Fun

Outcomes: ​STSE Knowledge: 101-12 demonstrate and describe ways of using earth materials to make
useful objects


Differentiation:​ Depending on students’ needs, we will have filtration systems assembled, they will be
able to participate in filtering water, identifying the different layers

*Class Organization:​ 16 students will work in pairs to conduct their experiment after the demonstration,
quantities will change from 1 to 8 when students create their own filtration systems. Locations for
materials remain the same.
Pairs are as follows:
Chandler and Monica
Joey and Phoebe
Ross and Rachel
Stephanie and DJ
Michelle and Daniel
Jesse and Becky
Pacey and Dawson
Jack and Jennifer

Assessment:​ Formative: Class discussion based on what students observed from the demonstration.


Before: During: After:

Teacher: - Go over expectations - Ensure all students are - Ensure all materials
so students are aware staying behind the disposed of or packed
how they ought to be taped off area away
conducting themselves - Gloves (latex/nitrile) - Ensure water
throughout optional while doing container is cleaned
demonstration demonstration thoroughly
-Tape off area - Ensure tape is
surrounding removed from floor if
demonstration table (½ tripping hazard
metre from the table on - Ensure table and floor
all sides) is clear of any material
that might have fallen
(use broom behind the
door of the classroom if

Students: - Only 1 person should - While 1 partner pours - Place their bottles on
have their hand in the the other will create a the table at the back of
bottle at a time barrier with their hands the classroom
- Level 1 voices so no materials fall onto - Ensure floor and desk
- Call on teacher for the floor is clear of any material
help if unsure - Gloves (latex/nitrile) that might have fallen
optional while doing (use broom behind the
demonstration door of the classroom if
Materials: Location: Quantity*

Plastic bottle Basket beside sink 1

Wide-mouth container of water On counter beside sink 1 wide-mouth container with

approximately 1L of water

Scissors In drawer marked scissors 1

Spoon In drawer marked utensils 1

Cotton balls In bag beside sink 2 or 3 balls

Leaves and grass In container on counter Handful

Sand In container on counter Informal measurement: 1


Small gravel In container on counter Informal measurement: 1


Medium gravel In container on counter Informal measurement: 1


Soil In container on counter Informal measurement: 1


Small, clean pebbles In container on counter Informal measurement: 1


Tape In drawer marked tape 1 Roll packing tape

Teacher Will: Students Will:

1. Engage: ➔ Stand around demonstration

2. Call students over to the demonstration table table
3. Tell students that ​“Today we are going to be making a ➔ Listen to teacher instruction
filtration system. I’d like everyone to try saying that
with me: fil-tra-tion sys-tem.”
4. Say: ​“Has anyone heard of a filtration system before
or know what it is?” ➔ “Fil-tra-tion sys-tem”
5. Say: ​“Who can tell me what we have been learning
about in Science recently?”

6. Explain: ➔ “WETLANDS!”
7. Say: ​“Exactly. You actually all know a type of
filtration system, because we have been about them.
Wetlands act as a filtration system for water. As the
water passes through the different levels, ​the water
flow slows and pollutants will drop out of the water
and in this way, the water becomes clearer and
pollutants are removed.
8. Today we are going to make a filtration systems that
acts similarly to how a wetland would.

9. Explore:
10. Making the filtration system: ​Show bottle cut in half
11. Show cotton balls in bottle opening of bottle
12. Position top of bottle upside down and inside bottom
part of bottle, tape the edge of the 2 parts together as
they line up
13. Ask​ students what they think this layer is for
14. Add sand on top of cotton balls, press the sand firmly
15. Add small gravel on top of the sand: 1cm layer
16. Ask​ students what they think the job of the layers is
17. Add medium-sized gravel on top of the small gravel,
press the gravel firmly into the layers beneath: 2cm
layer ➔ Answer questions prompted
18. Ask​ students if they are noticing a pattern by teacher
19. Cover medium-sized gravel with a layer of small
20. Mixing the water:​ Fill separate container with water,
fill with soil, leaves, and grass
21. Mix water with debris
22. Ask​ students if they would like to drink this water ➔ Answer questions prompted
23. Conducting the demonstration:​ Slowly pour water by teacher
over top of filtration system
24. Ask​ students what they are observing while you pour
25. Ask​ students why the water changed colour when it
came through the filter
➔ Answer questions prompted
26. Evaluate: by teacher
27. After the demonstration: ​handout Observations
sheet to each student, explain, and give 10 minutes for
students to complete their observations
28. Set class timer for 10 minutes
29. When the timer goes off, have students come down to
the mat, sitting in a circle for discussion
30. Items that can be addressed:
a. Plants that are found in wetlands affect the ➔ Answer questions prompted
filtration system. Purple loose-strife, for by teacher
example, is not a native plant for us and is
quite invasive and therefore will choke out
many other plants that have established
around and in wetlands. ➔ Answer questions prompted
b. Wetlands and their filtering abilities continue by teacher
to face threats from development and
pollution. ➔ Answer questions prompted
c. Agricultural and urban runoff pollutes their by teacher
waters, threatening the plants and animals
which populate them. The diversity of plants
is important to its filtering ability.
d. ​Wetlands reduce the amount of harmful ➔ Take their sheets to a clear
substances that enter a stream, river, pond, or workspace and fill in their
lake by acting like a strainer that filters out observations
the bad stuff. When these substances enter a
wetland, before reaching the water body,
wetland plants will take many of the harmful
substances into their roots and change the ➔ Return to mat with
harmful substances into less harmful ones observations handout for
before they are released to the water body. group discussion (formative
Harmful substances may also be buried in assessment)
wetland soil, where bacteria and other
microorganisms break the substances down so
they are no longer harmful.


Martin, R., Sexton, C., & Franklin, T. (2009). (5th ed. ). Teaching ​science for all children: An inquiry
approach. ​Toronto, ON: Pearson.

Student Observations
Name: ______________________________________ Date: _______________________

What do you see?

What was the colour of the water when it went in?


What colour was the water when it came out?


Why do you think the water did/didn’t change colour when it went through the filtration system?