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Treat it Right!® Storm Water




In Treat It Right!® Storm Water students learn how storm water is managed and treated in the City of Edmonton. The concepts are explored through a series of lessons which inform the students how storm water must be managed to prevent flooding and explore the issue of wastes that may end up in storm water. 

Students will: 

  • determine what personal actions they can take to prevent wastes from entering the river and wetlands 
  • perform some basic chemistry tests to help them understand that storm water is monitored and tested for contaminants.  
  • explore some of the jobs involved in handling storm water 
  • visit and learn the role of a catch basin
  • complete a Venn Diagram comparing a wet pond to a natural wetland.
  • construct a model of a pond
  • imagine they are a raindrop and write a story about their life
  • prepare a skit illustrating one of the contaminants problems and solutions
  • perform tests on some water samples
  • reflect in their journals  

The resource contains a teacher’s guide complete with duplicating masters. The lesson plans include ideas for assessment of the students’ learning, suggestions for a home link, and a variety of extension activities.

General Assessment

What skills does this resource explicitly teach?

  • Using basic chemistry tests to identify contaminants in water samples.


  • Each lesson plan provides the objectives, materials as well as informative teacher background information. 
  • Although the resource pertains to the city of Edmonton it can easily be adapted to any city.
  • The readings are age-appropriate and very informative.
  • Contact information provided to clarify any questions or concerns.
  • The package is up-to-date and easy to use.
  • The activities are age-appropriate and can be adapted to other grade levels.
  • The resource allows teacher to meet curriculum expectations through engaging and environmentally-focused learning activities.
  • Links to resources on the web are provided.


  • No assessment rubrics for students.
  • No adaptations for students with special needs or physical disabilities.
  • Minimal outdoor experiences
  • No action skills are explicitly taught to the students.

Relevant Curriculum Units

The following tool will allow you to explore the relevant curriculum matches for this resource. To start, select a province listed below.

Themes Addressed

  • Citizenship (1)

    • General Guide to Taking Action
  • Water (3)

    • Water Quality
    • Water Treatment and Distribution
    • Watershed Protection

Sustainability Education Principles

Principle Rating Explanation
Consideration of Alternative Perspectives Good
  • The resource objectively presents the environmental impacts of stormwater.
Consideration of Alternative Perspectives:
  • Satisfactory: absence of bias towards any one point of view
  • Good: students consider different points of view regarding issues, problems discussed
  • Very good: based on the consideration of different views, students form opinions and  take an informed position
Multiple Dimensions of Problems & Solutions Satisfactory
  • ecological
  • health
Multiple Dimensions of Problems & Solutions:

Effectively addresses the environmental, economic and social dimensions of the issue(s) being explored.

  • Satisfactory: resource supports the examination of  these dimensions
  • Good:  resource explicitly examines the interplay of these dimensions
  • Very Good:  a systems-thinking approach is encouraged to examine these three dimensions
Respects Complexity Good
  • The resource promotes dialogue and exploration about the contaminants which enter the drainage system.
  • Students explore the role that they and their families can play in ensuring that storm water is as clean as possible before it enters the river

Respects Complexity:

The complexity of the problems/issues being discussed is respected.

Acting on Learning Good
  • Students determine what personal actions they can take to prevent contaminants from entering the river and wetlands. They will use this knowledge at home as they work with their parents to assess what is done at home and what kinds of new actions they can take as a family or in the neighbourhood.
Acting on Learning:

Learning moves from understanding  issues  to working towards positive change — in personal lifestyle, in school, in the community,  or for the planet

  • Satisfactory: action opportunities are included as extensions 
  • Good: action opportunities are core components of the resource
  • Very Good: action opportunities for students are well supported and intended to result in observable, positive change
Values Education Satisfactory
  • Students are not explicitly given an opportunity to clarify their own values.
Values Education:

Students are explicitly provided with opportunities to identify, clarify and express their own beliefs/values.

Empathy & Respect for Humans Poor/Not considered
  • Not an aspect of this resource.
Empathy & Respect for Humans: Empathy and respect are fostered for diverse groups of humans (including different genders, ethnic groups, sexual preferences, etc.).
Personal Affinity with Earth Satisfactory
  • Students go on a mini-field trip to visit a catch basin.
Personal Affinity with Earth:

Encourages a personal affinity with -the natural world.  

  • Satisfactory: connection is made to the natural world
  • Good: fosters appreciation/concern for the natural world
  • Very Good: fosters stewardship though practical and respectful experiences out-of-doors 
Locally-Focused Learning Very Good
  • Students explore the issue of wastes that may end up in storm water. They determine what personal actions they can take to prevent such wastes from entering the river and wetlands. They will use this knowledge at home as they work with their parents to assess what is done at home and what kinds of new actions they can take as a family.

Locally-Focused Learning:

Includes learning experiences that take advantage of issues/elements within the local community. 

  • Satisfactory: learning is made relevant to the lives of the learners
  • Good: learning is made relevant and has a local focus
  • Very Good: learning is made relevant, local and takes place ‘outside’ , in the community 
Past, Present & Future Poor/Not considered
Past, Present & Future: Promotes an understanding of the past, a sense of the present, and a positive vision for the future.

Pedagogical Approaches

Principle Rating Explanation
Open-Ended Instruction Good

The lesson plans include:

  • research activities
  • brainstorming ideas
  • identifying actions to promote change
  • performing some basic chemistry tests

Open-Ended Instruction :

Lessons are structured so that multiple/complex answers are possible; students are not steered toward one 'right' answer.

Integrated Learning Good
  • Science
  • Social Studies
  • Language Arts
  • Mathematics
Integrated Learning:

Learning brings together content and skills  from more than one  subject area

  • Satisfactory: content from a number of different  subject areas is readily identifiable
  • Good:  resource is appropriate for use in more than one subject area
  • Very Good:  the lines between subjects are blurred 
Inquiry Learning Good
  • Students perform basic chemistry tests on water samples in order to identify the contaminants.
  • Students brainstorm their understanding of the role of human actions in maintaining healthy wetland environments

Inquiry Learning:

Learning is directed by questions, problems, or challenges that students work to address.   

  • Satisfactory: Students are provided with questions/problems to solve and some direction on how to arrive at solutions.
  • Good: students, assisted by the teacher clarify the question(s) to ask and the process to follow to arrive at solutions.  Sometimes referred to as Guided Inquiry
  • Very Good:  students generate the questions and assume much of the responsibility for how to solve them.  . Sometimes referred to as self-directed learning.


Differentiated Instruction Satisfactory
Differentiated Instruction:

Activities address a range of student learning styles, abilities and readiness.

  • Satisfactory:  includes a variety of instructional approaches
  • Good: addresses  the needs of visual, auditory &  kinesthetic learners
  • Very Good: also includes strategies for learners with difficulties
Experiential Learning Good
  • Students perform basic chemistry tests on water samples in order to identify the contaminants.
Experiential Learning:

Authentic learning experiences are provided

  • Satisfactory: learning takes place through ‘hands-on’ experience or simulation
  • Good: learning involves direct experience in a ‘real world context’
  • Very good: learning involves ‘real world experiences’ taking place’ beyond the school walls.
Cooperative Learning Good
  • Think, Pair, Share
  • In small groups, the students prepare a skit to be presented to the class at the beginning of the next lesson that would illustrate one of the storm water contaminant problems and accompanying solutions.

Cooperative Learning:

Group and cooperative learning strategies are a priority.

  • Satisfactory:  students work in groups
  • Good: cooperative learning skills are explicitly taught and practiced
  • Very Good: cooperative learning skills are explicitly taught, practiced and assessed
Assessment & Evaluation Good
  • Self-assessment activities
  • Reflection activities
  • Journal writing
Assessment & Evaluation: Tools are provided that help students and teachers to capture formative and summative information about students' learning and performance. These tools may include reflection questions, checklists, rubrics, etc.
Peer Teaching Good
  • In small groups, the students prepare a skit to be presented to the class at the beginning of the next lesson that would illustrate one of the storm water contaminant problems and accompanying solutions.

Peer Teaching:

Provides opportunities for students to actively present their knowledge and skills to peers and/or act as teachers and mentors.

  • Satisfactory: incidental teaching that arises from cooperative learning, presentations, etc.
  • Good or Very Good: an opportunity is intentionally created to empower students to teach other students/community members. The audience is somehow reliant on the students' teaching (students are not simply ‘presenting')
Case Studies Good
  • Explanation of the drainage system in the City of Edmonton.
Case Studies:

Relevant case studies are included.  Case studies are thorough descriptions of real events from real situations that students use to explore  concepts in an authentic context.

Locus of Control Good
  • Extension activities are provided.
Locus of Control: Meaningful opportunities are provided for students to choose elements of program content, the medium in which they wish to work, and/or to go deeper into a chosen issue.