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Reading and Writing Connections for this selection:

Reading Strategies:

Blue Spring State Park

depth, feet, gallons, degrees, Fahrenheit, Celsius, peninsula, ridge, coast, aquifer, confining, elevations, pressure, hydrological cycle, groundwater flow,
and low oxygen content.

Background Information:
This article is an excellent way to introduce the following research topics: The Water Cycle/The Hydrological Cycle, Blue Spring State Park, Blue Spring Run, St. John's River, or Aquifers.



Prior to reading the selection, assess students' background knowledge. Post the following topics on chart paper: Blue Spring State Park, Blue Spring Run, the St. John's River, and Floridan Aquifer. Have students work in small groups to create a KWHL chart. Each group records what they KNOW about each topic, what they WANT to learn, HOW they will find facts, and (after reading and researching) what they have LEARNED. (Activating Prior Knowledge; Asking Questions to Set a Purpose for Reading)

Ask questions to assess students' background knowledge about the water cycle. "What is the water cycle?" "What is the hydrological cycle?" "What is a closed system?" "What do you know about the following terms: evaporation, condensation, transpiration, percolation, and saturation?" As a class, draw a concept map that illustrates the water cycle. Add words, phrases, and sentences to describe each part of the cycle.

Brainstorm a list of water words: lakes, rivers, streams, oceans, springs, geysers, rainfall, groundwater, canals, tributaries, creeks, aquifer, etc. Encourage students to use reference materials to collect definitions for unfamiliar words on their list.

Introduce the reading selection by reading aloud the title and first paragraph. Ask students to predict answers to the question: "Where does all the water come from?" Record their responses on chart paper.

Read "The Blue Spring Boil: Where Does All the Water Come From?" Invite students to read the text independently. Encourage them to “mark up the text” by circling unfamiliar words, underlining key ideas, and writing questions in the margins.

Related Reading Selection: "Blue Spring State Park"

Revisit the selection to add facts collected from the text to the KWHL chart. Invite students to share fact statements recorded in the "L" (What I Learned) section of the chart.

Reread the selection to find words and phrases the author used to help readers visualize the Blue Spring Boil. Ask students to analyze the collection of words. Encourage them to organize the words and phrases into categories. Invite students to share how they sorted the words and phrases: Parts of Speech (Nouns, Verbs, Adjectives)? Comparisons (Similes and Metaphors)? Sensory Details (Sights, Sounds, Smells, Textures)? Invite students to use the sensory details in the text to illustrate a picture of the Blue Spring Boil.

Review the Water Cycle concept map created prior to reading. Use ideas from the text to add ideas to the chart.

Journaling Questions
1. The water from the Blue Spring Boil is actually only 72 degrees Fahrenheit (approx. 22.5 degrees Celsius). Do you know the true boiling temperature of water? In degrees Fahrenheit? In degrees Celsius?

Making Connections
Using the details you learned about the hydrological cycle, write a paragraph that explains the importance water quality. "Why is it important to be concerned about pollutants poisoning groundwater?"

Evaluate (Readers examine author’s strategies.)
If you were an author describing the Blue Spring Boil, what words and phrases would you use to help readers visualize the scene? What sensory details would help readers experience a visit to Blue Spring Boil? What comparisons (similes and metaphors) would you use to help readers imagine the Boil, the limestone caverns, the surrounding landscape and vegetation, and the aquatic wildlife?


Writer’s Workshop
  • Narrative
    Use the following story element ideas to write a narrative tale: Characters: two scuba divers; Setting: the Blue Spring Boil; Action: exploring underwater caverns. Visit the Blue Spring State Park website to collect additional facts. View the photographs of the Boil on the site for descriptive details. Research Link:
  • Descriptive
    Write a paragraph that describes the Floridan Aquifer. What sensory details will you use? What similes and metaphors will you include? Challenge Question: What is a karst terrain? Research link:
  • Expository
    Create a nonfiction picture book that explains the hydrological cycle. How will you engage readers' interest in order to teach important facts about the water cycle? Research links: and
  • Persuasive
    Research ecotourism. Create a flyer for tourists of the Blue Spring Boil. In the flyer encourage guests of Blue Spring Park to "visit with respect." What guidelines do tourists need to know in order to respect the land and wildlife during their visit? Research Link:


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