WATER AND ME
In this introductory lesson to water, students examine the importance
of water in their own lives. They will make a counting book to record how
often they use water in various ways.
Science is Elementary #103: Let's Explore Water
The students will:
- Name ways in which they use water.
- Tally the number of times they use water in various ways.
- Present their data in a counting book.
- Measure and graph the amount of water they use to wash their hands.
For the class:
For each student:
- basin, marked off in units with a permanent marker
- chart paper
- paper towels
- class graph showing amounts of water in the basin
- tally sheet
- several copies of the "Water and Me (pictures for the Number
- water book (included: Copy two-sided. Fold so that page numbers are
- 2 sticky notes
Have the class brainstorm all the different ways in which they
use water. Record their answers on chart paper.
Tell the class to notice all the ways water is used in the video.
Have them look for new ideas that they may have forgotten to put on the
CUE the tape Science is Elementary: Let's Explore Water
to the segment which starts with the girl saying: "How do you use water?"
(about 3:30 minutes into the video)
BEGIN the tape with "How do you use water?" Show this 1
minute segment. PAUSE frequently to identify the various ways water
is being used.
Revisit the class list and add any new ideas.
Use the "Water Usage Tally" sheet for your students to record
their home water habits for these 5 common usages. Each student will take
this sheet home to record his/her water usage that night (or all week, for
older children). Students will mark a tally in the corresponding category
each time they use water.
When the assignment is finished, each student will make a counting book
from his/her results. Reproduce a copy of the book for each student. Reproduce
enough "Water and Me (pictures for the Number Book)" for each
child to cut and paste into his/her book. On each page, the children will
fill in the number of times they did something, and then paste the corresponding
number of symbols. The last page of the book is for a total of how many
times the child used water in the given period.
Show the segment from the video, Science is Elementary: Let's
Explore Water, called "You try It!" (12 minutes in to the video.
It runs about 1 minute). The girl introduces the idea of measuring the amount
of water used for a shower or bath. In the classroom, discuss how much water
the children use when they wash their hands.
The children will take turns washing their hands, letting the water fall
into a basin instead of down the drain. How you measure the water used will
depend on the grade level of your students. You can mark off the basin in
non standard units, or in cups or hundred milliliters. Each student will
predict how much water he/she will use, and place a sticky note on the class
graph. After washing their hands, the children will put another sticky note
on the same chart, showing how much water they actually used. When everyone
has finished, discuss the results with the class. Were the children surprised
at the amount of water used?
1. Depending on the grade level of the class, you could perform
more advanced mathematical calculations of the amounts of water used in
the hand washing activity. For example, the students could add up how much
water was used by the whole class, and multiply it by the number of days
in a week or in the school year.
2. Using magazine pictures, make a collage of water usages. Encourage the
children to find pictures of people, plants, and animals using water in
3. These activities lead into the concept of water conservation. Discuss
what could cause a shortage of usable water. Encourage the children to conserve
this valuable resource.
Educators can find numerous resources regarding water by logging into OCEAN
PLANET. This is an exhibition at the Smithsonian Institution's National
Museum of History and includes exciting areas for exploration:
· Sea People
· Ocean Science
· Oceans in Peril
· Sea Store
· Museum Shop
HEROES shows pictures of people (from lawyers to surfers) who are champions
of oceans. Autobiographical sketches accompany the photos and provide personal
perspectives about how people make a difference in taking care of the ocean.
SEA PEOPLE provides information (and pictures) about people who live near
and make a living from the sea. The opening photo shows a stilt fisherman
near Galle, Sri Lanka.
RESOURCES offers an overwhelming number of links to aquariums, oceanography
from space, scientific journals, and environmental groups.
Master Teachers: Meg Hudson, Sarah L. Hudson and Linda Barnett
Lesson Plan Database
Thirteen Ed Online