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Sault Ste. Marie Region Conservation Authority (SSMRCA)
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Mysterious Macros


Students will learn about the influence of land use on water quality and the practice of macro invertebrate sampling to measure water quality. Students examine samples under a dissecting scope and learn about the importance of benthic macroinvertebrates in our streams, rivers and water bodies.  Benthic macroinvertebrates or Benthos (insect larvae that lives in the water) are indicators of water quality. Some species are pollution tolerant while others are pollution intolerant. Students will learn what benthos can tell us about the health of a stream, its ecosystem and the water quality.


Earth and Space Systems, Grade 2 (Air and Water in the Environment)

Air and water are a major part of the environment. Living things need air and water to survive. Changes to air and water affect living things and the environment.

Our actions affect the quality of air and water, and its ability to sustain life.

  1. assess ways in which the actions of humans have an impact on the quality of air and water, and ways in which the quality of air and water has an impact on living things;
  2. investigate the characteristics of air and water and the visible/ invisible effects of and changes to air and/or water in the environment;
  3. demonstrate an understanding of the ways in which air and water are used by living things to help them meet their basic needs.

Life Systems, Grade 4 (Habitats and Communities)

Plants and animals are interdependent and are adapted to meet their needs from the resources available in their particular habitats.

Changes to habitats (whether by nature or human means) can affect plants and animals and the relationship between them.

Society relies on plants and animals

  1. investigate the interdependence of plants and animals within specific habitats and communities;
  2. demonstrate an understanding of habitats and communities and the relationship among the plants and animals that live in them.

This activity is part of the Water Science Theme.