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Characteristics of Bodies of Water - Early Primary Educational Standard

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Uploaded on Aug 14, 2010

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Students learn about the characteristics of different bodies of water including rivers and streams, lakes and ponds, waterfalls, wetlands and oceans. Transcript: Over two-thirds of the earth's surface is covered in water. Today's lesson will explore the different places that water can be found and the different ways it can look.

Fresh water falls to the Earth in the form of rain, snow, sleet or hail. The water runs together and forms a small stream or creek. Streams from various places on the mountain come together and form a river. Streams and rivers travel across the land, going long distances and winding their way down mountains and through valleys. In steep mountain areas, the water moves very quickly. On occasion, a river comes to a cliff and drops down to the rocks below. This is called a waterfall. 

As rivers get to flatter areas, their speed slows down. Sometimes water collects in a large area and forms a lake. The river water enters at the upper end of the lake and leaves at the lower end, continuing its journey to the ocean. A pond or lake is completely surrounded by land. The water on lakes and ponds is usually pretty still and doesn't have big waves. 

Some lakes form naturally, but others are man-made. People build a dam at the lto block the flow of a river's water. The water backs up behind the dam and forms a lake. Man-made lakes are also called reservoirs. Water is stored in the reservoir until it is needed.

Eventually, the river makes its way to the ocean. Here, the fresh water from the river combines with the salty water from the ocean. Some rivers are quite large when they meet the ocean. Other times, the water spreads out and becomes a wetlands area before it finally empties into the sea. Wetlands are areas where both the land and the water are sort of combined. Swamps and marshes are examples of wetlands. Wetlands provide a home for many plants and animals.

Oceans or seas form the largest bodies of water on Earth. Oceans have big waves. When these waves meet the land, they crash onto the beach or shore. The water in oceans is salty, so we can't drink it. But oceans provide a home for thousands of plants and animals that don't mind living in salty water. 

Here are the different bodies of water that we have talked about in this lesson: streams and rivers, lakes and ponds, wetlands and oceans. All of them contain one of our most precious resources...water.

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