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Teaching About the Verde River in Arizona

Introduction

A river that flows year round in an arid environment is something of a marvel. The Verde River is such a river. It is what we call a perennial river, always carrying flowing water in its channel. It's important for all of us to learn why this river is so important and why it might be at risk. This webpage is designed to connect teachers from Arizona to resources for teaching about the Verde River so that students gain a better understanding of the important issues that make this river a unique gem in Arizona and something we need to all work to protect.

Teacher Background Reading

Arizona Geography

  • AZ Geography Lesson Plan
  • AZ Geography Classroom Resources
  • This lesson has been excerpted from SRP's Arizona Water Story supplementary curriculum resource for 4th grade teachers and students. Students explore Arizona's main human and physical features on a map scavenger hunt, learn about the three physiographic regions of AZ as they create a salt dough topographic map, and analyze rainfall patterns throughout the state. To order a copy of the entire Arizona Water Story curriculum resource, or to attend an in-service workshop on the program, call (602) 236-2798.

    • 3rd Grade standards: SS S1C1PO2-3; S3C1PO2,3,4,5,6,7; S3C5PO1,2,3; S4C1PO1,3
    • 4th Grade standards: listed within lesson plan
    • 5th Grade standards: SS S4C1PO2,3,4,5,6; S4C2PO2; S4C6PO2,3

    Arizona Water Story Video — Segment 1:

  • AZ Water Story Video Lesson Plan
  • AZ Water Story Classroom Resources
  • AZ Water Story video

This lesson has been excerpted from SRP's Arizona Water Story supplementary curriculum resource for 4th grade teachers and students. Students watch an informational video about AZ history and the unique role water has played in the development of Phoenix. To order a copy of the entire Arizona Water Story curriculum resource, or to attend an in-service workshop on the program, call (602) 236-2798.

  • 3rd Grade standards: SS S1C7PO1
  • 4th Grade standards: listed within lesson plan
  • 5th Grade standards: SS S1C1PO3,5; S1C5PO2

Watersheds of Arizona:

This lesson is from the Arizona Geographic Alliance and accompanies the Arizona Watersheds Map

Map

Geography of the Verde River


Verde River Visualization: Video

Mapping the Verde River Watershed

Arizona Project WET Connections
Arizona Project WET has produced a lesson that would work very well here with some adaptations. See "San Pedro Connection" from the Arizona Conserve Water book from Arizona Project WET. Modification suggestion — use the Verde River map to trace the tributaries instead of the San Pedro River. *Note: To obtain a copy of this resource guide, you must attend an Arizona Project WET training. A schedule can be found here.

Verde Watershed major tributaries map (PDF)

Arizona Project WET Connections
Arizona Project WET has produced a lesson that would work very well here with some adaptations. See "Estevation, Xerophites, and Effemerals" from the Arizona Conserve Water book from Arizona Project WET. *Note: To obtain a copy of this resource guide, you must attend an Arizona Project WET training. A schedule can be found here.

Slideshow: The Plants and Animals of the Verde Basin — Coming soon!


What We Know About Water:

    This lesson has been excerpted from SRP's Arizona Water Story supplementary curriculum resource for 4th grade teachers and students. Students list things they already know about water in an informal pre-assessment of their knowledge level. Students also explore the global water budget through a hands-on game in which the ration of water to land on Earth is analyzed. Students learn about how much (or how little) of the water on Earth is available for drinking in a demonstration. And finally, students construct a model of the water cycle and observe the movement of water through the environment.

Arizona Project WET Connections

    Arizona Project WET has produced a lesson that would work very well here with some adaptations. See "The Incredible Journey" from the Project WET Curriculum and Activity Guide book from Arizona Project WET. *Note: To obtain a copy of this resource guide, you must attend an Arizona Project WET training. A schedule can be found here.

Verde River Visualization Video:

  • Module 3: Water Cycle (8:10 min)
    • Watersheds and the water cycle are tightly linked. Watersheds help divide precipitation between recharge and runoff. This segment illustrates how storms in the southwest follow two distinctive seasonal trends that result in higher precipitation in the mountains. Produced by SAHRA

Arizona's Watersheds:

    This lesson has been excerpted from SRP's Arizona Water Story supplementary curriculum resource for 4th grade teachers and students. Students explore how the regions of Arizona relate to surface-water runoff and water supply in Arizona. Students also work with a groundwater model to discover where water exists underground.

Groundwater Model Video — Coming soon!

Verde River Visualization Video:

  • Module 4: Runoff Recharge (13:20 min)
    • Aquifer recharge begins in the mountains and can take thousands of years. The interaction of soils, plants and topography determines the rate of valley recharge. Much of the water in our streams is connected to shallow aquifers and is affected by nearby pumping. Produced by SAHRA

Managing the Verde River

Water Rights in Arizona:
This lesson has been excerpted from SRP's Arizona Water Story supplementary curriculum resource for 4th grade teachers and students. Students simulate surface-water and groundwater laws, and discuss issues related to water-rights management.

Arizona Project WET Connections
Arizona Project WET has produced a lesson that would work very well here with some adaptations. See "Who's Right" from the Arizona Conserve Water book from Arizona Project WET. *Note: To obtain a copy of this resource guide, you must attend an Arizona Project WET training. A schedule can be found here.

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