Author:
Melody Casey
Subject:
English Language Arts, Science
Material Type:
Lesson Plan
Level:
Upper Primary
Grade:
5
Tags:
  • GEDB
  • Global Education
    License:
    Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial
    Language:
    English

    Education Standards

    GEDB Social Issues Within Our Worlds: Water Conservation (Lesson 1 of 4)

    GEDB Social Issues Within Our Worlds: Water Conservation (Lesson 1 of 4)

    Overview

    In this lesson, students will learn the importance of water and how people in other countries do not have clean water to drink. First, students will research water conservation within their own communities. They will discover how water is purified and the steps necessary to keep our water sources clean. The students will then conduct research on the people of Sudan and how difficult obtaining clean drinking water can be. Students will conclude this lesson by building their own homemade water filters. This lesson was developed by Christina Hartzell as part of their completion of the North Carolina Global Educator Digital Badge program. This lesson plan has been vetted at the local and state level for standards alignment, Global Education focus, and content accuracy.

    Lesson Plan

    Description

    In this lesson, students will learn the importance of water and how people in other countries do not have clean water to drink. First, students will research water conservation within their own communities. They will discover how water is purified and the steps necessary to keep our water sources clean. The students will then conduct research on the people of Sudan and how difficult obtaining clean drinking water can be. Students will conclude this lesson by building their own homemade water filters.


    Content

    Student Engagement/Motivation

    Students will begin this lesson AFTER the teacher has read aloud, "A Long Walk to Water" by Linda Sue Park.  The children will be able to make connections with the main characters, Salva and Nya.  The students will be able to compare and contrast the lives of people living in the Sudan region in 1985 and 2008.  The students will become more engrossed on the topic of water conservation after experiencing (reading) a true story of a boy who had to overcome his own obstacles while struggling to find safety while searching for his family.  The students will also be encouraged to read, "Home of the Brave" by Katherine Applegate.  "Home of the Brave" allows students to see analogies between America and other developing countries.  This book demonstrates the difficulties people of Sudan have to endure in order to obtain clean drinking water on a daily basis.  (The titles aforementioned are readily available at school and public libraries.  Relevant titles may also be used.)
     

    ***During this lesson, students were learning about The Water Cycle in Science class.    Students also created and participated in a poster contest via the city in which we live.  The posters demonstrated where water comes from and how we can preserve water.  This allowed students to make connections to help within their own community. 


    Learning Targets and Criteria for Success

    Learning Targets

    1. I can develop my understanding that the world's supply of fresh water is limited.
    2. I can explore the concept of water distribution around the world and how the availability of clean water affects people's quality of life.
    3. I can identify ways to conserve water at home, school and community.

    Criteria for Success

    1. I will create a poster about water conservation.
    2. I will construct a homemade water filter.
    3. I will demonstrate my understanding of the connection between clean water and the quality of life by implementing conservation into my daily life.

    Supplies/Resources

    1. See additional link on "How to Make Water Filter"
      1. water bottles
      2. scissors or knife
      3. coffee filter
      4. sand
      5. large gravel or small rocks (I used both)
      6. 20oz plastic cups
    2. Dirty water (water that is from a nature source such as a pond, creek, lake, etc.)
    3. Computers/Internet
    4. Poster board
    5. Markers
    6. Kid friendly websites that explain the water cycle and water conservation
    7. Water cooler bottles and/or empty gallon bottles
    8. A Long Walk to Water by Linda Sue Park
    9. Home of the Brave by Katherine Applegate

    Learning Tasks and Practice

    1.  The students will research the water cycle:

    1. http://water.usgs.gov/edu/watercycle-kids-adv.html
    2. http://www.sciencekids.co.nz/sciencefacts/weather/thewatercycle.html

    Students will demonstrate their understanding by creating a learning poster that teaches others about the water cycle and how the world's water supply is maintained and limited.  The poster should also show how people can conserve water at home, school, and/or community. *For this activity, my students participated in a poster contest that my county was promoting.  Each student created a poster that was submitted to the contest.

    2.  Students will use the internet to compare and/or study graphs of the average rainfall in Sudan to that of the United States.

    1. https://weather-and-climate.com/average-monthly-Rainfall-Temperature-Sunshine-in-Sudan
    2. https://weather-and-climate.com/average-monthly-Rainfall-Temperature-Sunshine-in-United-States-of-America

    Students will brainstorm ideas of what happens when people do not have access to water on a daily/weekly basis and what effects this may have on their quality of life.  Students should make connections between the luxuries of life that they enjoy on a daily basis (drinking water, baths, washing clothes, dish washers, etc.) compared to those that live in regions that have little rainfall (limited water sources, vegetation, having to walk to the nearest dirty river to obtain water, etc.)

    3.  Students will participate in "a long walk to water."  Students will need to bring in empty milk cartons (gallon size) in order to experience a real-life problem.  The students will then walk to the nearest water source if there is one located within an acceptable walking distance.  If not, students can walk around the school while the teacher provides the dirty water.  The students will fill up their bottles/milk cartons with the dirty creek water.  In addition, I will also use a water cooler bottle because it is heavier and more effective when filled with water.  After the students fill up their gallon with water, have them walk a mile carrying this water.  Each child will get a turn to carry the larger container in order to actually get an idea of what the children of Sudan have to experience each day when they need water.  This will allow the students to make the connection that water is not readily available in other countries and that obtaining water is a difficult task.

    4.  Students will make a homemade water filter.  Each student will use their dirty creek water they collected or were given.  This allows the students to see the water directly from an unpurified source.  They will then create their own water filters.  This link is helful for step by step directions: www.instructables.com/id/Simple-Water-Filter-out-of-a-Waterbottle. This will allow the students to understand how getting drinking water from the creek isn't safe enough to drink and that other purification measurements need to be taken.  I will ask the students, "Would you drink this water?"  Of course, they will all say, "NO WAY!"  The students will be able to make the connection that people in other countries have to purify their water before drinking it.  The students will be able to see how dirty the water was before and after they filtered it.  After an hour, most of the water will make its way through the filter.  Then we will discuss with the students about how even though the water is "cleaner", it still contains bacteria that can't be seen.  In order to have clean drinking water, people in other countries have to boil their water before drinking it.  This will give the students an eye-opening experience about the struggles people may have to overcome just to get a drink of water.


    Technological Engagement

    1. Internet access to research

    Collecting and Documenting Evidence of Learning

    Evidence of Learning

    1. Completion of "Water Cycle" learning poster
    2. Construction of water filter
    3. Discussions
    4. Anecdotal Notes

    Student Self-Reflection and Action Steps

    After this lesson, students will become more aware of the fact that water is a limited source and that it truly affects the quality of life.  Students should become more conscious of the way they use water within their homes and school.  Students will now be able to teach others on ways to conserve water.  The character trait of compassion is intertwined within this lesson for people of other countries.  When reading and/or exploring other topics, students will be able to better make connections between the hardships of developing countries and the luxuries within the United States.  Students can become active participants in local, state, and world efforts in raising awareness of the need for clean water, especially in Sudan.


    Feedback/Instructional Adjustments

    1. More time may be needed (depending on grade level).
    2. Teacher may need to bring in "dirty" water if there is not a water source close to school.
    3. Highly recommended: "Home of the Brave" by Katherine Applegate and "A Long Walk to Water" by Linda Sue Park.

    Extended Learning Opportunities

    1. Compare and contrast rainfall in other countries.
    2. Seek out opportunities within the community to educate others on water conservation.
    3. Research The Lost Boys of Sudan.
    4. Create ways to make water filters from recycled items.

    Teacher Reflection of Learning

    Overall, this lesson was a series of projects that gave my students a true understanding of how water is limited and effects our quality of life.  My students had many "eye-opening" moments when they realized that children in other countries do not have running water in their homes and the process they have to go through in order to obtain clean drinking water.  Students were able to hear real-life stories about kids their own age having to suffer because of the lack of clean water.  This lesson motivated my students to change some of their own water habits (turn off the water when brushing their teeth, shorter showers, etc.)  This lesson is a great way to give students a hands-on experience with issues that are globally happening around the world.