Let's Teach about Salt!

Statewide Water Inquiry Lesson (K-8) students

Students mark off a paved area where water runs (like a parking lot) and sweep up what's in that area at multiple times through the year. They look for patterns in what water carries from these areas into their waterways and watershed, with extension investigations into ecosystem impacts, chemical run-off, and earth systems. This lesson was developed by Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction (WI DPI). Through WI DPI, educators are encouraged to share their data, lessons, student work, images, etc.

Lesson Plan; Additional Resources


Lexi in the fieldSalty Sediments Lesson (9-12)

Lexi Passante, graduate student at UW-Milwaukee's School of Freshwater Sciences, developed a Data Nugget that gives students a window into her research on the impacts of road salt pollution. Students can read about Lexi's research on bacterial communities in freshwater stream sediments, identify her hypotheses and predictions, and then graph the data she collected at an urban and rural study site. This is a perfect lesson for students to practice claim, evidence, reasoning statements while learning about a relevant environmental issue. Educators can request a Teacher Guide on the Data Nuggets website.

Salty Sediments Lesson (Graph A)Salty Sediments Lesson (Graph B)Salty Sediments Lesson (Graph C)Grading Rubric

See the science in action with this new video series:

Studying Salty Sediments with Lexi (2:45); Field Sampling with Lexi (1:51); In the Lab with Lexi (2:33)


Salt Watch

The Izaak Walton League coordinates a nationwide water monitoring program and supplies free test kits to participants. Tap into this amazing resource and get your students involved in a growing citizen science program. A kit includes four test strips to test a waterway several times throughout the season. Explore all submitted results on their interactive map. Learn more about local monitoring programs in Wisconsin.

Find these materials useful? Looking for additional resources? Let us know! We'd love to hear your stories and/or share them on social media to inspire more educators to each about salt pollution and reduction solutions - wisaltwise@gmail.com.

WI Salt Wise Partnership: A coalition of organizations working together to reduce salt pollution in our lakes, streams and drinking water.