Student Explanatory Models

In lesson 1 students demonstrate prior knowledge by creating an explanatory model of where stormwater goes in the city.

Students can use arrows, drawings, and writing to explain what they think happens to the rainwater when it falls on the area shown. The “zoom in” can be used to show more detail or how something (like roots or soil parts) might be working.

This is a working model for the students to refer back to throughout the unit. As their understanding grows they can add to this model or start over.

here are a few examples of student models created at the beginning of the unit and later on, with additional information added.


  • Students’ initial models often refer to storm water concepts yet lack proper vocabulary. Recreated models often incorporate these new terms.
  • Some initial models may have misconceptions that you may want to address throughout the unit.

Example 1

Example 2

Example 3

Example 4

Example 5

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