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Subject: Science, Geography
Grade Level: 3-5
Time Allotment: Three 45-minute class periods and three days out of class to conduct H2O Diary Survey


Step OneSTEP 1

Ask for a student volunteer, but do not explain why to the class. Whisper to the student to pour a glass of water and take only a couple of swallows and then announce out loud, "I'm finished."

When the student finishes, ask the class what the students should do with the unwanted water.

If there is a sink, ask another student to wash his or her hands in front of the class. Ask the class whether they leave the water running when they wash their hands, brush their teeth, or do the dishes. Have students estimate how often they do this.

Use the class's comments as talking points for a discussion on water usage.

Step TwoSTEP 2

Pass out H2O Diary Survey. Have students take the form home and complete the survey for three days.


In this activity, students will monitor their household use of water and calculate how many gallons of water one person uses each day for three days.

Step OneSTEP 1

Have students to take out their completed H2O Diaries.

Ask students if they had any interesting observations of their household water use or comments about the survey.

Step TwoSTEP 2

Pass out the H2O Diary Worksheet. Students complete the worksheet in class.

Discuss results of the H2O Diary Worksheet. Brainstorm where drinking water comes from.


In this activity, students will read personal accounts from three children from Sri Lanka, Morocco, and China. They will then use reading comprehension and geography skills to establish what methods are used to obtain drinking water around the world.

Step OneSTEP 1

Tell students that drinking water is obtained by using one of three methods: from a lake or reservoir, from a well in the ground, or by collecting rainwater.

Explain that they will be learning about all three methods from three children around the world.

Pass out Global Stories handout.

Read each Global Story and complete the Global Stories worksheet.

Step TwoSTEP 2

As a class or in groups, locate each region on the map and discuss the three methods for obtaining drinking water.


Step OneSTEP 1

In pairs, students complete the final section of the Global Story Worksheet, filling in their region's climate and water obtaining methods.

Step TwoSTEP 2

Class discusses how they get their drinking water

  • Talk specifically about your local region and whether the water is from aqueducts, rivers, lakes, reservoirs, wells, or rainwater collection.

  • What are some advantages and disadvantages of these methods?


Students choose another region in the world to research. Research the village and water method and prepare visual presentations about what they learned.

Students write opinion essays about what method of obtaining drinking water they think is best and why.

Students draw pictures demonstrating different ways to obtain drinking water and display them as a class quilt or mural.

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