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Clean Water for All

Elementary, Middle

Description

The resource activities aim to increase students understanding of the various causes of water pollution and to raise awareness of the global inequality of access to safe water around the world.

Students will:

  • observe the differences between the two containers of water (clean water and polluted water)
  •  explain the definition of water pollution
  • compare various photos of clean and contaminated bodies of water
  • share their knowledge about the leading causes of contamination of water
  • classify the causes of water pollution from the most important to the least important
  • identify continents and countries that do not have access to clean water.

The resource is part of a collaborative educational project that aims to promote the global goals of sustainable development announced by the United Nations. It aims to raise awareness that there are different types of inequality in the world and to raise awareness of the consequences of inequality on society as a whole.

General Assessment

What skills does this resource explicitly teach?

  • internet skills
  • research skills
  • classifying
  • speaking and communicating 
  • working cooperatively with group members

Strengths

  • Photos provided are excellent examples of different types of water pollution.
  • Lesson plan is easy to use
  • The information and topic is relevant to the students' lives.
  • Activities encourage the sharing of ideas and discussion opportunities

Weaknesses

  • No rubrics or evaluation tools are provided for assessment
  • An outdoor activity should be included such as a community walk to identify water pollution near the school.
  • Provide opportunities to share their learning with parents and the community so they may all work together to prevent water pollution in their local area.

Relevant Curriculum Units

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        • Global Issues and Governance: Complex global problems require international cooperation to make difficult choices for the future.

Themes Addressed

  • Human Health & Environment (2)

    • Environmental Justice
    • Quality of Life
  • Human Rights (3)

    • Education
    • Poverty
    • Social Justice
  • Water (4)

    • Marine Environments
    • Water Quality
    • Water Treatment and Distribution
    • Water Use

Sustainability Education Principles

Principle Rating Explanation
Consideration of Alternative Perspectives Good

The resource offers different learning activities to expose different points of view on which students will have to reflect and express themselves. Discussion topics include pollution issues and issues related to inequities in access to safe water.

Consideration of Alternative Perspectives:
  • Satisfactory: absence of bias towards any one point of view
  • Good: students consider different points of view regarding issues, problems discussed
  • Very good: based on the consideration of different views, students form opinions and  take an informed position
Multiple Dimensions of Problems & Solutions Good

The resource exposes various issues related to water pollution and inequities in access to safe water. The social, environmental and economic dimensions can be addressed during discussions and knowledge sharing among students.

Multiple Dimensions of Problems & Solutions:

Effectively addresses the environmental, economic and social dimensions of the issue(s) being explored.

  • Satisfactory: resource supports the examination of  these dimensions
  • Good:  resource explicitly examines the interplay of these dimensions
  • Very Good:  a systems-thinking approach is encouraged to examine these three dimensions
Respects Complexity Good

The activities provide an opportunity for students to become aware of the complexity of the issues related to the inequalities of access to drinking water.

Respects Complexity:

The complexity of the problems/issues being discussed is respected.

Acting on Learning Good

Students are asked to write down two things they can do on a daily basis to prevent water pollution in their local environment. As an extension to the learning, the resource suggests that teachers encourage their students to participate in The Design for Change “I Can” School Challenge which invites students to take action, make change for themselves and share it with children across the world.

Acting on Learning:

Learning moves from understanding  issues  to working towards positive change — in personal lifestyle, in school, in the community,  or for the planet

  • Satisfactory: action opportunities are included as extensions 
  • Good: action opportunities are core components of the resource
  • Very Good: action opportunities for students are well supported and intended to result in observable, positive change
Values Education Very Good

The students have many opportunities to reflect, express themselves and clarify their values. They are invited to share their thoughts with peers.

Values Education:

Students are explicitly provided with opportunities to identify, clarify and express their own beliefs/values.

Empathy & Respect for Humans Very Good

The resource proposes activities that demonstrate to students the inequalities that exist between people regarding access to drinking water.

Empathy & Respect for Humans: Empathy and respect are fostered for diverse groups of humans (including different genders, ethnic groups, sexual preferences, etc.).
Personal Affinity with Earth Good
Personal Affinity with Earth:

Encourages a personal affinity with -the natural world.  

  • Satisfactory: connection is made to the natural world
  • Good: fosters appreciation/concern for the natural world
  • Very Good: fosters stewardship though practical and respectful experiences out-of-doors 
Locally-Focused Learning Good
Locally-Focused Learning:

Includes learning experiences that take advantage of issues/elements within the local community. 

  • Satisfactory: learning is made relevant to the lives of the learners
  • Good: learning is made relevant and has a local focus
  • Very Good: learning is made relevant, local and takes place ‘outside’ , in the community 
Past, Present & Future Satisfactory
Past, Present & Future: Promotes an understanding of the past, a sense of the present, and a positive vision for the future.

Pedagogical Approaches

Principle Rating Explanation
Open-Ended Instruction Good

Most activities provide opportunities for discussion and reflection, to enable the emergence of multiple solutions.

Open-Ended Instruction :

Lessons are structured so that multiple/complex answers are possible; students are not steered toward one 'right' answer.

Integrated Learning Good
  • sciences
  • social studies
Integrated Learning:

Learning brings together content and skills  from more than one  subject area

  • Satisfactory: content from a number of different  subject areas is readily identifiable
  • Good:  resource is appropriate for use in more than one subject area
  • Very Good:  the lines between subjects are blurred 
Inquiry Learning Satisfactory

Students are provided with questions and problems to solve.

Inquiry Learning:

Learning is directed by questions, problems, or challenges that students work to address.   

  • Satisfactory: Students are provided with questions/problems to solve and some direction on how to arrive at solutions.
  • Good: students, assisted by the teacher clarify the question(s) to ask and the process to follow to arrive at solutions.  Sometimes referred to as Guided Inquiry
  • Very Good:  students generate the questions and assume much of the responsibility for how to solve them.  . Sometimes referred to as self-directed learning.

 

Differentiated Instruction Satisfactory

The learning activities are for auditory and visual type learners. The pedagogical approach is rather conventional.

Differentiated Instruction:

Activities address a range of student learning styles, abilities and readiness.

  • Satisfactory:  includes a variety of instructional approaches
  • Good: addresses  the needs of visual, auditory &  kinesthetic learners
  • Very Good: also includes strategies for learners with difficulties
Experiential Learning Satisfactory

The learning activities allow students to share knowledge and information. In addition, there is a component: Acting for global goals that proposes a movement to take action.

Experiential Learning:

Authentic learning experiences are provided

  • Satisfactory: learning takes place through ‘hands-on’ experience or simulation
  • Good: learning involves direct experience in a ‘real world context’
  • Very good: learning involves ‘real world experiences’ taking place’ beyond the school walls.
Cooperative Learning Satisfactory

Students work in groups of two.

Cooperative Learning:

Group and cooperative learning strategies are a priority.

  • Satisfactory:  students work in groups
  • Good: cooperative learning skills are explicitly taught and practiced
  • Very Good: cooperative learning skills are explicitly taught, practiced and assessed
Assessment & Evaluation Good

The activities offer many opportunities for reflection.

Assessment & Evaluation: Tools are provided that help students and teachers to capture formative and summative information about students' learning and performance. These tools may include reflection questions, checklists, rubrics, etc.
Peer Teaching Satisfactory

Students have the opportunity to present their learning and knowledge through the proposed activities.

Peer Teaching:

Provides opportunities for students to actively present their knowledge and skills to peers and/or act as teachers and mentors.

  • Satisfactory: incidental teaching that arises from cooperative learning, presentations, etc.
  • Good or Very Good: an opportunity is intentionally created to empower students to teach other students/community members. The audience is somehow reliant on the students' teaching (students are not simply ‘presenting')
Case Studies Satisfactory
Case Studies:

Relevant case studies are included.  Case studies are thorough descriptions of real events from real situations that students use to explore  concepts in an authentic context.

Locus of Control Satisfactory

For each proposed activity, there is also a section entitled: Differentiation and Alternatives. There are activities on which students have the opportunity to further deepen certain questions. In addition, the resource offers students the opportunity to write a question on the subject and to try to answer it with the help of peers and the group.

Locus of Control: Meaningful opportunities are provided for students to choose elements of program content, the medium in which they wish to work, and/or to go deeper into a chosen issue.