Learn with Hanford Mills

Understanding the Water Cycle & Watershed: Post-visit




Learn to apply new knowledge of the water cycle and watersheds.


Students will discuss in small groups, and then as a class, a series of questions that draw on their knowledge of the water cycle, watersheds, and how people interact with the environment.


  • Discussion questions written on a chalkboard, handout, overhead transparency, etc.
  • Notebooks or notepaper
  • Writing implements


  • Preparation Time: 15 minutes
  • Class Time: 45 minutes


  • Present the discussion questions and ask the students to write them down.
  • Divide the students into small groups.
    • Ask the students to answer the following questions as a group.

    • What separates one watershed from another?
    • What problems do watersheds face?
    • What are the negative effects of changes in watersheds? (people and animals)
    • What are the benefits of changes in watersheds? (people and animals)
    • What natural phenomena can affect watersheds?
    • What human phenomena can affect watersheds?
    • How do changes (dams, irrigation networks, man-made waterways like canals, etc) affect watersheds?
    • Has the watershed that supplies the pond at Hanford Mills faced any of these problems?
    • Review the questions and the answers as a class.


  • Participation in groups and class discussion
  • Written answers to questions

NYS Learning Standards:

  • ELA Standard 1
  • ELA Standard 3
  • Math, Science and Tech. Standard 4

Vocabulary & Spelling Words:

Watershed – n. the region or area drained by a river, stream, etc.; drainage area.