Water Teacher Resources
Find Water educational ideas and activities
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Challenge your young environmentalists to prove how much water they can conserve while engaging in a wet, watery task. They discuss how much water is used during daily activities, such as showering or doing the dishes. Then, in teams, they attempt to complete a series of tasks using only two liters of water. The team with the most water left over wins the challenge. This is a fantastic way to help learners think like conservationists, it also fosters a deeper understanding of the very real water crisis.
Water is common? Not really! Learn how the polarity of the water molecule gives it tremendous properties that make is quite unique in the universe. Learners will understand surface tension, adhesion, and cohesion, as well as why these properties are important to life. The narrator neatly breaks down the concepts, while cute little anthropomorphic water molecules and electrons act out their parts. Consider having your physical or earth scientists view the video as homework and write out their answers to the Think questions to turn in.
This fresh resource explores the world's fresh water: where it can be found, and how humans use it. You might be surprised at the variety of domestic uses! Short, but sweet, this feature can be followed by a class discussion using the provided Think questions. Alternatively, you can assign the viewing and answering of questions as homework when studying a unit on water. It would make a stimulating introduction to a research report on Earth's water supply.
Water is essential to life on earth. How is it then, that people can survive in desert regions with very limited access to fresh water? Through ingenious architecture and engineering, communities in India's Golden Desert have been able to efficiently collect and store rainwater for hundreds of years. A great supplement for a unit on the adaptations of early cultures to their environments. Challenge your own young scholars to develop their own solutions to the ancient problem of finding reliable sources of potable water.
Freshwater is not as plentiful as one might think! Explore how limited this fundamental resource is, how it is being used, and how shortages can be addressed. When you are teaching upper-elementary or middle school earth scientists about water, make sure to include this video. It could also be used in a social studies class when considering the challenges that are common in third world countries.
Through a PowerPoint presentation and the embedded animation and video, earth science enthusiasts find out about the moisture in the soil beneath our feet. In the animation, follow a water molecule on its path through the water cycle. As part of the lesson, learners gather into groups to use thermometers and moisture meters to take measurements. Make sure to check out the publisher's lessons on water in the atmosphere, biosphere, and hydrosphere as well!
Krill is a very small ocean animal that is key to keeping the ocean ecosystem going. The class reviews food webs and chains, learns about the importance of krill, discusses krill anatomy, builds a model of a krill, and then has a competition to see whose model can float upright. To extend the discussion, rising water temperatures, climate change, and physical adaptations can be introduced.
The water cycle is one of earth's most easily observable processes, but demonstrating each step within classroom walls can be a challenge. Through a series of videos and quick demonstrations, cover each aspect of the hydrologic cycle in just two days, or, if you have the time, extend the learning beyond the basics with some of the additional lessons or activities created by the brilliant minds at NASA. Designed for the Next Generation Science Standards, these interactive and engaging exercises will ensure that your class learns all they need to know about the sun and gravity's effects on the water cycle.
High schoolers examine the "quiet crisis," the lack of clean water, by reading articles and viewing video clips. They discuss the situations in Ethiopia, Yemen, Kenya, and Nepal. There are two options for the instructional activity, but one of them requires a DVD for which there is no information on how to obtain a copy. Aside from this problem, there is plenty of other information here that you can use to increase awareness in your environmental studies class about the global water dilemma. A data sheet is included on which individuals can collect information about each country.
National Geographic's MapMaker Interactive is a wonderful tool to use when introducing your hydrologists to the water cycle. Show your class Earth's oceans and the movement of water from place to place. Then, using a large colorful diagram, show them the movement of water from the surface to the atmosphere. Bring the lesson plan home by returning to the MapMaker to locate your city and examine the local features that transport water. Close by giving the classic assignment of writing a story about a water-droplet's journey through the water cycle. The MapMaker feature boosts this lesson plan up above average.
Water is the best drink in the world; unfortunately it can be toxic without being filtered prior to consumption. Get those kids thinking about the wonders of water filtration with a fun and engaging activity. They begin by brainstorming why water can make them sick and different ways to clean water to make it drinkable. They discuss chemicals and other substances found in drinking water and then make a small water filtration system from water bottles and coffee filters.
New! Water Conservation
Open learners' eyes to the challenge of finding safe drinking water – something we often take for granted in our country. The PowerPoint presentation includes images, graphs, diagrams, and even a video to stimulate discussion on how we use and can conserve this precious natural resource. Afterward, small groups work together to analyze color-coded maps and graphs of water use data.
New! The Water Cycle
Your class sets up a mini water cycle model to examine the process. Then they watch an animation, following a water molecule through the cycle. A well-developed lab sheet guides learners through the lesson and a PowerPoint presentation supports your direct instruction portion.
Environmentalists test stream water for temperature, pH, and turbidity. Each group shares their information and then the class makes an overall evaluation of the water quality. A slide show sets the backdrop for the teaching portion and the wrap-up discussion. It even links to a six-minute video containing general information about water. A simple and traditional activity is supported by plenty of additional resources, and saves you a bucket of time! Consider some of the other water lessons by the same publisher.
The lack of clean water is a life-threatening plight for millions of people around the world. Through an extensive WebQuest, young environment or social studies classes compare our water availability to that of the cxitizens of Ethiopia, Kenya, India, and parts of China. Many questions are presented for class members to discuss. You may want to consider the suggested extension activities in order to provide reinforcement of the information gleaned through the Internet journey.
Rally your administration and facilities manager to let your class examine the water flow rates in different areas of the school. After the audit, the class researches opportunites for conserving water and writes a report or develops a presentation, making suggestions to the staff. Tremendous teacher support is provided through the resource. Consider using it with an environmental science or a physics class.
Assign ecologists one of five countries that struggle with access to clean water. They research the water crisis in that country and then present information to classmates. A handout was designed for each country, and a worksheet on which individuals can collect information during the class presentations. Though this instructional activity only involves research and sharing, it is a topic of tremendous importance for your environmental science curriculum.
A simple hydrolysis system is set up. Learners observe the hydrogen and oxygen bubbles given off as water molecules are broken apart. Note that the write-up is confusing. Though intended for grades 5 - 8, ions and electrolytic processes may be beyond the scope of the curriculum. Should you use this activity for high schoolers, however, you may want to have them collect more specific data and write a lab report.
Experiments are great ways to learn and explore new topics. Third graders discuss how some macroinvertebrates can live in polluted water, while others cannot. They head to the computer lab with guiding worksheets as they learn more about the affects of water pollution and adaptations in the macroinvertebrate population. The instructional activity concludes with a mock water testing experiment to understand how scientists know so much.
What a lovely way to explore a healthy water environment. The instructional activity begins with a painting exercise, where the class listens to a recording of stream and nature sounds. They paint what they hear and then discuss what constitutes a healthy aquatic environment, leading into a full discussion on water pollution. The instructional activity culminates in a writing activity that has them focus on how a healthy aquatic environment changes to an unhealthy one through pollution and misuse.