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Class Lesson Plan

Monster in the Water:  Fighting Back Against

Harmful Algal Blooms


Subject Area:

Environmental Science/Life Science/Science


Group size:

One class






  • Students will be able to describe harmful algal blooms and their impact on the environment.

  • Students will be able to discuss actions that can be taken to reduce the negative effects of harmful algal blooms.


  • Monster in the Water: Fighting Back Against Harmful Algal Blooms (Book)

  • Printed Online Worksheet

  • Pencil

Student progress will be measured by:

  • The student’s ability to demonstrate an understanding of vocabulary.

  • The student’s understanding of how harmful algal blooms negatively impact the environment.

Description of Activities:  
Approximately 40-minute total time for the duration of the lesson. 

Background for Instructors:
Algae are typically a small and simple, free-floating water plant, in either freshwater or saltwater. Algae are important because they help form the base of the food web for all aquatic organisms. However, if there are too many nutrients (“algae food” such as nitrates and phosphorus) in the water, some algae may grow out of control due to “overfeeding” and produce large populations called blooms. These blooms can produce toxins (“poisons”) that can harm fish, animals, and may cause human illness.  They can also form large foul-smelling areas, discolor water, and contaminate drinking water. Because of the above adverse events, large populations of algae are called Harmful Algal Blooms, or HABs.

A book, Monster in the Water: Fighting Back Against Harmful Algal Blooms, will be read to students for a period of approximately 15 minutes.

Ask the students to predict from the cover of the book what the story will be about after viewing the cover.

Lesson Suggestions:
Step 1:  A follow-up discussion/question and answer session will take place for approximately 10 minutes. 


  1. What is a Harmful Algal Bloom?  

  2. What causes Harmful Algal Blooms?

  3. Why are Harmful Algal Blooms bad for our environment?

  4. What can we do to help prevent Harmful Algal Blooms?

Step 2:  Students will be asked questions pertaining to the vocabulary used throughout the book. 

Vocabulary Terms

Environmental Scientist



Harmful Algal Bloom

Nutrient Pollution



Step 3:  Students will be asked comprehension questions to demonstrate understanding of the subject matter.


  1. What did Professor Bloomington use to look at the tiny algae?

  2. Why do you think the harmful algal blooms went away and did not come back?

  3. What could happen if animals swim in the water with harmful algal blooms?

Students will be asked to identify and draw one or multiple ways that humans can reduce the impact of harmful algal blooms.  Materials will be provided.

Beat the Bloom | Monster in the Water by Dylan D'Agate | Harmful Algal Blooms
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