Oyster farming on the Bay

Too Much Rain Hurts Oyster Farms

Grade 5

You can find many species of oysters in the Chesapeake Bay. Oysters are a key part in keeping the Bay healthy. They live in water and need it to survive. So then, why does too much rain hurt oyster farms if oysters already live in water? This actually has to do with the composition of the rainwater, which we will explore in this lesson.


Teacher's Guide and Related Standards


I can explain the importance of oysters and the conditions necessary for their growth and survival.

Essential Questions

  • Why is rain harmful to oyster farms?
  • What type of water do oysters need to survive?
  • Why are oysters important?

Maryland Farm & Harvest Clip

Thinking questions:

  • What other animals and fish do we get from the Chesapeake Bay?
  • What bodies of water are considered saltwater bodies? Which are considered freshwater bodies?
  • How do oysters keep the Chesapeake Bay healthy?


Supplemental Enrichment Activities

All the Water in the World Exploration

In this activity, students explore what bodies of water around the world are considered saltwater and freshwater bodies. They will then use mathematics to calculate and compare the amount of salt water and fresh water around the world.

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The Roles of Water in Earth’s Surface Processes

Read the article and highlight key facts and information that will help students answer the question: Is the Chesapeake Bay fresh water or salt water?


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Scale, Proportion, and Quantity

Students will learn about the organisms of the Bay that are a part of the Chesapeake Bay food web. Students should focus on oysters. Discuss how the other organisms in the food web would be affected if there were a decrease in oyster populations.

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Career Connections


This learning resource is a production of Maryland Public Television/Thinkport, in partnership with the Maryland Agricultural Education Foundation.

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