The Migration of Steelhead Trout

Grade: Third
Duration: Four 1-hour CWC led campus visits and 3 short teacher-led activities (an optional field trip can replace one of the CWC led campus visits)
Location: Classroom and San Lorenzo River/local tributary

Materials and teaching provided free by the Coastal Watershed Council
Supported by generous funding from the County of Santa Cruz Green Schools Program, City of Santa Cruz, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

Next Generation Science Standards:
3-LS1-1: Develop models to describe that organisms have unique and diverse life cycles but all have in common birth, growth, reproduction, and death

Complements FOSS Kit
Grade 3: Structures of Life

Lesson Series Overview
How can we help steelhead trout migrate? 
Through hands-on activities, discussions and reflections, students will discover the answer to this focus question. Students will investigate the unique life cycle of steelhead trout, their migration patterns, and how weather influences trout migration to and from the ocean. The program culminates with a student-led action project to help save water for steelhead trout.

Week 1
CWC led activity:
Investigate how water level impacts steelhead trout.
Teacher led activity: Conduct virtual scavenger hunt to explore steelhead trout habitat and begin life cycle model drawing.

Week 2: 
CWC led activity on school campus or field trip: Examine why water level is important to steelhead trout through the exploration of steelhead trout’s migration.
Supplemental teacher led activity: Learn about the life stages of steelhead trout and add life cycles to model drawing.

Week 3: 
CWC led activity on school campus or field trip: Examine how humans get water from the river, investigate uses of water on school campus and begin planning action project.
Supplemental teacher led activity: continue preparation for action project

Week 4: 
CWC led activity on school campus or field trip: Continue planning action project and celebrate accomplishments by being sworn in as Watershed Rangers
Supplemental teacher led activity: complete action project if additional time is needed

Click here to view the curriculum guide
Click to view the student journal
Click here for a printable student journal
Click here for migration obstacle course directions
Click here for pre and post survey

Coastal Watershed Council Commitment to Education Equity
CWC is committed that every youth is supported, welcomed, included and championed as part of their education program. As such, CWC is seeking to incorporate culturally and linguistically responsive teaching and learning practices, principles of Universal Design for Learning, support mechanism for multi-lingual learners and wellness and mindfulness practices into each lesson. A number of activities are intentionally designed and set-up to validate, affirm and include all youth. We will also include some questions related to how we supported education equity into our teacher surveys. We welcome ideas, feedback, considerations as we continue to build more education equity.

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