Objective: Identify sources of groundwater pollution and possible solutions.
Materials: Pollution Puzzlers cards (one set per group)
Make copies of the game cards (you will need one set per group).
This card game is played just like Old Maid.
Divide the class into small groups of 3 students.
After all the cards are dealt, students take turns laying down a match which consists of
"Problem/Solution" pairs. Each Problem card has a Solution.
After all pairs are laid down, the child to the left of the dealer goes first. He must draw a
card from one of the other children. If it is a match, he/she discards the pair and draws
from the other player. If it is not a match, the turn is over and the child to his/her left then
draws from one of the other children.
Play alternates until all cards are matched and one player is left holding the
"Groundwater Gobbler" card.
Have students write a letter to the American Groundwater Trust for additional information
on how to protect their local groundwater resources.
Have students make posters to display around the school using Pollution Puzzlers cards
as samples of groundwater pollution problems and solutions to those problems.
Have students write and direct a puppet show on pollution and its consequences and
present it to another class.
Contamination: An impurity, that causes the air, soil, or water to be harmful to human
health or the environment
Feedlot: Confined areas where livestock are quartered and fed, often these are holding
areas where animals are fattened-up prior to being shipped to market.
Fertilizer: Any one of a large number of natural and synthetic materials, including
manure and nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium compounds, spread or worked into
the soil to increase its fertility
Filter: To remove contaminants by using a porous material such as paper or sand
Groundwater: Water that infiltrates into the earth and is stored in usable amounts in the
soil and rock below the earth's surface; water within the zone of saturation
Impurities: Substances that make another substance unclean
Lagoon: As a wastewater treatment method, an animal waste treatment method which
uses a deep pond to treat manure and other runoff from a livestock operation
Landfill: A large, outdoor area for waste disposal; landfills where waste is exposed to
the atmosphere (open dumps) are now illegal; in "sanitary" landfills, waste is layered and
covered with soil
Leachate: The liquid formed when water (from precipitation) soaks into and through a
landfill, picking up a variety of suspended and dissolved materials from the waste
Pesticide: Any chemical or biological agent that kills plant or animal pests; herbicides,
insecticides, fungicides, rodenticides, etc., are all pesticides
Pollution: Contaminants in the air, water, or soil that cause harm to human health or the
Runoff: Water (originating as precipitation) that flows across surfaces rather than
soaking in; eventually enters a water body; may pick up and carry a variety of pollutants
Septic Tank: A domestic wastewater treatment holding area into which wastes are piped
directly from the home
Source: Where something originates
Water Table: The top of an unconfined aquifer. The water table is the level of water
below the soil and rock
Activity adapted from The Watersource Book
SD Standards for 4th grade:
4.R.1.1; 4.R.1.2; 4.R.2.1; 4.R.3.3
Prior Preparation: Students should
become familiar with the water cycle.
Students can construct a water cycle
model, or do an activity such as "Let's
Go Down Under" from the
fertilizer, pesticide, contamination,
pollution, lagoon, landfill, leachate,
septic tank, runoff, feedlot,
groundwater, filter, impurities, source,