Water Teacher Resources

Find Water educational ideas and activities

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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 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.
Make a splash with young scientists as you teach them all about water using this activity packet. Thirstin, a cartoon glass of water, walks children through the water treatment process, teaches them about different sources of water, and emphasizes the importance of conservation. 
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!
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 students to develop their own solutions to the ancient problem of finding reliable sources of potable water.
Not only do we need to drink water to survive, it has become increasingly important to us in its ability to help generate electricity. In some cases, it is renewable, and in others, it is not. Middle schoolers scrutinize a scenario by analyzing the effect of certain methods of electricity generation that require water. A short video opens the lesson, and a collaborative problem-solving activity concludes it.
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.
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.
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.
Environmental explorers examine the campus and take note of living organisms. Introduce them to the biosphere and the questions of the day: How much water can be found in the biosphere? A slide show helps you along, and even contains a water cycle animation. Explorers visit the outdoors again and use a dichotomous key to identify land cover plants and relate them to the water that is available.
Investigate the amazing ability of plants to filter contaminants from water with this series of in-class demonstrations. After placing six small, potted plants in plastic cups, different solutions and mixtures are poured into them that represent common pollutants found in water. As the mixtures percolate through the soil and into the cups, pupils make comparisons with the original liquids to determine whether or not the contaminants were removed from the water. 
Having a clean, reliable source of drinking water is essential for any community, but in many cases this is easier said than done. Engage young environmentalists in exploring the five factors affecting vulnerability of a groundwater supply with this simulation activity. Provided with the conditions of four hypothetical towns, students calculate a vulnerability score for each community's aquifer and answer questions about the results. This lesson allows learners to apply their knowledge of geology to better understand the availability of Earth's most valuable resource; fresh water.
Young scientists transform themselves into rivers, oceans, clouds, and drops of water in order to explore the water cycle. After assigning and explaining to students their different roles in the activity, the teacher reads aloud a narrative describing the different stages of the water cycle while the class acts out each event. Perform this engaging activity as an introduction to a lesson plan series on the hydrologic cycle, repeating it throughout the unit to reinforce children's understanding of the process.
Ecology candidates culture pond water organisms over a few days time, then they experiment to find out how increasing nutrients affects the population. As part of a unit on water, this exploration gives your class an understanding of how important it is to protect freshwater bodies. This can be used as part of the water unit, or alone as a lesson on water pollution.
After background reading on ground and surface water is complete, young hydrologists create a water table contour map. The map displays the elevation of surrounding areas and requires that the cartologists draw contour lines and arrows to indicate direction of water flow. Follow-up questions provide the opportunity to solidify the experience and new knowledge.
Incorporate reading strategies, math, research, and the scientific method into one lesson about water conservation. After reading a story about a landlady trying to determine how many people are living in an apartment, learners develop a hypothesis about the number of residents in the apartment then collect data about the water usage in their own homes; that information is used to test the hypothesis. After sharing a variety of conclusions, the class learns simple tips to save water.
In a cross-curricular lesson linking math and science, examine the percentages of earth's water supply with your elementary kids using pasta or dixie cups of water. Younger learners focus on identifying local water sources on the globe or a map, then making a pie chart of the earth's water, while older kids graph the data on a bar graph after performing a brief simulation representing the distribution of earth's water.
Having fresh, clean drinking water is a privilege many people take for granted. Help raise awareness about the scarcity of water and the importance of conservation by discussing different ways water is used in everyday life. Brainstorm ideas for reducing water consumption, making a class pledge to conserve this valuable resource. Finally, create toothbrush holders that will remind young conservationists to use less water at home. A great lesson for celebrating Earth Day, or include as part of a unit on the water cycle, natural resources, ecosystems, and numerous other earth and life science topics.
Really there are two presentations in this collection of slides. The first is an intermediate-level introduction to the water cycle that even investigates factors affecting soil infiltration. The second is an exploration of the factors affecting climate. You will want to edit some of the slides (one is nearly blank), but will find this a valuable starting point for more than one earth science lesson. After teaching the concepts, have small groups develop models that demonstrate how unequal heating and rotation of the earth cause the circulation patterns that drive climate.

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