Watershed Champions

Helpful Publications

We have compiled lists of publications that may be helpful as you learn about your watershed.

These resources are organized in the following categories:

Branley, Franklyn M. Down Comes the Rain. Harper Collins Publishers, 1997.

ISBN: 9780064451666

Explains evaporation, condensation and how rain is formed.

Cherry, Lynne. A River Ran Wild. Harcourt Children’s Books, 1992.

ISBN: 0152005420

An environmentally focused book, this story follows the history of the Nashua River including settlement, industrialization and citizen action to campaign for a clean river and protective laws.

Franco, Betsy. Pond Circle. Margaret K. McElderberry Books, 2009.

ISBN: 9781416940210

A story about a food chain in a pond.

Godwind, Sam. The Drop Goes Plop: A First Look at the Water Cycle. Picture Window Books, 2005.

A basic look at the water cycle and water treatment for young readers, this book follows the journey of rain drops through rivers into our taps and back. 

Graham, Joan Bransfield. Splish Splash. Tickner & Fields Books for Young Readers, 1994.

ISBN: 0395701287

A collection of poems celebrating water in its various forms.

Green, Jen. Pourquois Je Dois… Économiser L’Eau. Éditions Gamma, 2003.

ISBN: 9782713019883

The French version of Why Should I Save Water? Explores ways to conserve water at home.

Green, Jen. Why Should I Save Water? Barron’s Education Series, 2005.

ISBN: 9780764131578

Explores ways to conserve water at home.

Holling, Holling Clancy. Paddle to the Sea. Houghton Mifflin Books for Children, 1969.

ISBN: 9780395292037

“A young Indian boy carves a little canoe with a figure inside and names him Paddle-to-the-Sea. Paddle’s journey, in text and pictures, through the Great Lakes to the Atlantic Ocean provides an excellent geographic and historical picture of the region.” This book connects to the journey of water and the water cycle.

Huet-Gomez, Christelle and Emmanuelle Houssasis. A L’eau! Le cycle de l’eau. Les Editions Ecole Active, 2010.

ISBN: 9782352630203

Follows the journey of rain drops and explains the water cycle through text and creative images.

Okimoto, Jean Davies. Winston of Churchill: One Bear’s Battle Against Global Warming. Sasquatch Books, 2007.

ISBN: 9781570615436

A story about a Polar Bear that wants to protect the ice in Churchill, Manitoba. A good connection for any class exploring the impact of climate change on the local watershed, particularly applicable to the Arctic watershed.

Silver, Donald M. One Small Square Pond. Scientific American Books for Young Readers, 1994.

ISBN: 0716765187

A great introduction or complement to a pond study. Explores the flora and fauna of a pond, life cycles, interactions and seasons.

Strauss, Rochelle.  L’histoire de l’eau sur la Terre. Kids Can Press, 2007.

ISBN: 9782762528770

French version of One Well: The Story of Water on Earth described below.

Strauss, Rochelle. One Well: The Story of Water on Earth. Kids Can Press, 2007.

ISBN: 9871553379546

“All living things depend on Earth’s One Well.” This book explores the importance of water, the water cycle, water usage, threats to water, and the relationship between plants, animals, humans and water. Ideas to take action are also provided at the back of the book.


Canada Water Week. How Big is Our Water Footprint?

Poster exploring our Canadian water footprint.

City of Toronto. How Is Lake Water Turned Into Drinking Water?

Poster about municipal water treatment.

Ontario. We Are All Connected To Water

Poster that looks at groundwater, runoff, the water cycle, water treatment and contamination.

Greater Vancouver Regional District. What Happens When I Flush?

Poster about municipal waste water treatment.



Journey of the Blob (1989) 9 min 52s

Available to view online at no cost through the National Film Board. “Where does our water come from? Where does it go?” A young boy dumps a green blob into the water source near his home. Watch what happens. The film also explores the water cycle.

Paddle to the Sea (1966) 27 min 59s

“Based on Holling C. Holling's book of the same name, Paddle to the Sea is Bill Mason's film adaptation of the classic tale of an Indian boy who sets out to carve a man and a canoe. Calling the man "Paddle to the Sea," he sets his carving down on a frozen stream to await spring’s arrival. The film follows the adventures that befall the canoe on its long odyssey from Lake Superior to the sea” This film connects to the journey of water and the water cycle.

The Rise and Fall of the Great Lakes (1968) 16 min 40s   

Available to view online free through the National Film Board. Offers an informative, yet humourous take on the ever changing great lakes, includes glaciation.

The Story of Bottled Water (2010) 8 min 4s

Discusses the bottled water industry. Available online through The Story of Stuff Project.

Teaching Strategies & Best Practices

British Columbia Ministry of Education:

The Laboratory School at the Dr. Eric Jackman Institute of Child Study. Natural Curiosity Resources:

  • Chiarotto, Lorraine. Natural Curiosity: Resource for Teachers. 2011.

    Focuses on environmental inquiry and includes case studies of primary classes. Available to download for free from naturalcuriosity.ca.

  • Companion Guide for Natural Curiosity.

    The companion guide to Natural Curiosity: Resources for Teachers is comprised of facilitator sessions for teachers to discuss inquiry. Available to download for free from naturalcuriosity.ca.

Lessons and Activities

The Canadian Wildlife Federation. Educator Resources:

  • Below Zero. 2009.

    Why not study your watershed in the winter? This educational resource focuses on wildlife in frozen environments and offers winter activities, including investigations of snow and ice, a role play about the winter survival of fish and other lessons about ecology. 

  • Project Wild. 2009.

    This extensive educational resource focuses on wildlife and includes many lessons on the aquatic environment—ranging from water plant art to pond succession. There are activities suitable for every grade from Kindergarten to grade 12.

Duck’s Unlimited. Educator Resources:

Ducks Unlimited has published several guides for teachers including How to Deliver a Wetland Field Trip, Taking Action! Teacher and Student Guide as well as curriculum resources Wetland Ecosystems I, II and III with lessons for Grades 4-6, 7-8 and 9-12 respectively. All of the teacher’s guides and curriculum resources are available as PDFs at no cost from the education section of Duck’s Unlimited’s website.

Evergreen. The Watershed Connection: Linking the school ground with local ecosystems. 2002.

“This integrated curriculum resource provides 16 lesson plans that focus on Toronto’s Don River watershed and that are linked with Ontario’s Grade 4 curriculum. Most of the lessons are easily adaptable to other Canadian watersheds. Evaluated and tested by teachers and students in three watersheds.” View Printable (PDF) version (47.2 MB)

Board of Regents of the University of Wisconsin System. Give Water a Hand Resources:

  • Give Water a Hand Action Guide. 1996.

    This is a fantastic resource with activities to engage students in learning about and taking action for the local watershed. Activities include watershed mapping, researching opportunities for action with checklists for school sites, home, the community and farm sites, as well as consulting with experts. The Action Guide is available to download in PDF format at no cost from the Give Water a Hand website.

  • Give Water a Hand Leader Guidebook. 1996.

    The Leader Guidebook complements the student activities and is available to download in PDF format at no cost from the Give Water a Hand website.

Murray, Joan. Water: Lawren Harris and the Group of Seven. McArthur & Company, 2004.

This book does not offer lesson plans or activities, however, filled with images of the Group of Seven’s paintings of water it could serve as inspiration for an art project about local watersheds or to link the history of the group of seven to waterways in Canada.

Rivers West Red River Corridor Inc. Supplementary Curriculum Guides:

Rivers West offers several curriculum guides focused on the Red River Corridor. The ideas in these guides can also inspire activities applicable to other regions. 

  • The Habitat Means Home Grade 4 Supplementary Curriculum Guide. 2006.

    Explores the Red River Basin river-bottom forest habitat.

  • Red River Water Systems Grade 8 Supplementary Curriculum Guide. 2005.

    Has information, recommended lesson plans, and links about the water cycle, river formation, erosion, and waste water treatment, including watershed and stream models.

US Environmental Protection Agency. The Water Sourcebook Series:

This series consists of four guides of water focused lessons and activities organized according to Grades:  K-2, 3-5, 6-8 and 9-12. Activities cover a range of water topics including water chemistry, evaporation, percolation, water use, pollutants, and stream assessments. Each section can be viewed in PDF format from the EPA’s Water Source Book web page.

Canadian Geographic: Protect Your Watershed

Features an interactive watershed map; information about water quality, climate change, urbanization and other themes; actions that you can take and lesson plans. The lesson plans are for secondary students and include a few targeted at Grade 9 classes.

Environment Canada

Environment Canada’s website has comprehensive information on water including the water cycle, water quality, water quantity, water sources, water uses and more.

Water: The gateway to information on water

Watershed Assessments: Describes the five main Canadian watersheds. Includes assessments of water at the watershed scale and status reports, initiatives and information specific to each of the main watersheds.

Regional Fresh Water Quality and Local Fresh Water Quality: Provides an indication about water quality in different regions of Canada.

RBC Blue Water Project

Project Locator

Search the Blue Water Project funded initiatives to see what organizations are doing about water. There are over 476 projects listed in Canada alone! Connect to these projects to learn more about water or to see if there are organizations working in your watershed that you can collaborate with.

How You Can Help  Visit this section to find:


Conservation Ontario’s Watershed Checkup provides watershed report cards with detailed information about water quality, groundwater quality, forest conditions and wetland conditions for watersheds in Ontario. These report cards can help Ontario classes to identify local issues and steps to take to care for your local water.