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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.
ITV Series
Science is Elementary #103: Let's Explore Water
Learning Objectives
The students will:
For the class:
For each student:
Pre-Viewing Activities
Have the class brainstorm all the different ways in which they use water. Record their answers on chart paper.

Focus Viewing
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 class chart.

Viewing Activities
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.

Post-Viewing Activities
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.

Action Plan
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 different ways.
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:
· Heroes
· Sea People
· Resources
· Ocean Science
· Oceans in Peril
· Reflections
· 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.
Ocean Planet

Master Teachers: Meg Hudson, Sarah L. Hudson and Linda Barnett

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