Cascadia Conservation District

Cascadia CD has moved to 1350 McKittrick Street, Wenatchee, WA 98801

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kids in a creek

Habitat Sense

Habitat Sense

Kids In The Creek

Habitat Sense is the analysis of a stream reach’s physical qualities. Students survey a pool, riffle, or glide, and look at dimensions, substrate, woody material, fish cover, and other factors that determine how the site might be used by aquatic life.

NGSS: HS-LS2-6, HS-LS2-7, HS-LS4-6, HS-LS4-5, HS-ESS2-5, HS-ESS3-1 WA SCIENCE Academic Learning Requirements (EALRs): 1.2, 1.3, 2.1, 2.2


Students will be able to:

  • List steps of stream habitat survey methods
  • Discuss the features a healthy stream must have to support aquatic life
  • Sketch a reach of stream in all its complexities


  • Use of survey instruments to measure habitat
  • Habitat components: pools, riffles, and glides
  • Stream complexity as a sign of suitable habitat

For Teachers:

Classroom Pre-work Activities:
  • Habitat Sense Vocab – (MOST RECOMMENDED)
  • Dynamic Water (PDF) – Students learn the habitat components of pools, riffles, and glides, and how fish use these habitats.
  • Ring Around the Rock (PDF) – Students understand the concept of embeddedness and how it can affect aquatic life.
  • Stream Mapping (PDF) – Students discuss the components of a stream reach and illustrate and map an imaginary reach or the school grounds.
  • Be a Biologist…Back in the Office (PDF) – Students analyze a completed stream survey, interpret results, draw conclusions about the health of a surveyed stream, and/or write an authentic stream survey report.
Field Day Materials

For Activity Leaders:

"Those who dwell among the beauties and mysteries of the earth are never alone or weary of life."
- Rachel Carson