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After examining facts, issues and responsibilities around the question of 'what is safe drinking water', students collect and test the quality of drinking water samples from five sources. The class is divided up to complete 13 tests on these samples. Student groups present their findings to the class.
Testing water quality and analysing findings is explicitly taught.
This activity gives students an opportunity to practice real science and obtain results that are very relevant to their lives.
The economics of treating dinking water is not addressed nor is the issue of the quality of the source water. These things are important from a sustainability perspective.
The following tool will allow you to explore the relevant curriculum matches for this resource. To start, select a province listed below.
|Consideration of Alternative Perspectives||Good|
This resource has students collect drinking water samples, test them for contaminants and interpret the results with respect to drinking water quality guidelines. Such an approach is objective and shows little or no bias.
|Consideration of Alternative Perspectives: |
|Multiple Dimensions of Problems & Solutions||Good|
After water samples are analysed students are directed to consider political and social issues relating to treatment of drinking water and availability of safe drinking water to all Canadian communities.
|Multiple Dimensions of Problems & Solutions: |
Effectively addresses the environmental, economic and social dimensions of the issue(s) being explored.
Students are directed to compare the quality of their drinking water to standards and report on that to their classmates.
|Respects Complexity: |
The complexity of the problems/issues being discussed is respected.
|Acting on Learning||Good|
Students are given the opportunity to determine the quality of their drinking water and report to classmates. They are encouraged to develop an action plan but need to look futher than this activity to learn how to take action beyond their classroom.
|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
Students are asked to consider safe drinking water availability of others.
|Values Education: |
Students are explicitly provided with opportunities to identify, clarify and express their own beliefs/values.
|Empathy & Respect for Humans||Good|
Students are encouraged to consider the plight of other sectors of Canadian society with respect to availability of safe 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||Poor/Not considered|
|Personal Affinity with Earth: |
Encourages a personal affinity with -the natural world.
|Locally-Focused Learning||Very Good|
Deals with students' own drinking water.
|Locally-Focused Learning: |
Includes learning experiences that take advantage of issues/elements within the local community.
|Past, Present & Future||Good|
Water quality in the present is addressed. Future aspirations are encouraged. No information about the past is provided.
|Past, Present & Future: Promotes an understanding of the past, a sense of the present, and a positive vision for the future.|
Findings will be compared to other sources of drinking water and drinking water quality standards. A variety of presentation options would be acceptable to communicate the interpretation.
Lessons are structured so that multiple/complex answers are possible; students are not steered toward one 'right' answer.
|Integrated Learning: |
Learning brings together content and skills from more than one subject area
|Inquiry Learning: |
Learning is directed by questions, problems, or challenges that students work to address.
|Differentiated Instruction||Very Good|
Activities are hands on, reading and research is needed, writing of reports is required. A variety of presentation options are encouraged when communicating with peers.
|Differentiated Instruction: |
Activities address a range of student learning styles, abilities and readiness.
|Experiential Learning||Very Good|
Studetns will be able to relate to the community that uses the water being tested.
|Experiential Learning: |
Authentic learning experiences are provided
|Cooperative Learning||Very Good|
Students work in groups to test water. They prepare presentations in groups. Presentations are made to a larger group.
|Cooperative Learning: |
Group and cooperative learning strategies are a priority.
|Assessment & Evaluation||Good|
Marking rubric for student presentations is provided.
|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||Very Good|
Once students have interpreted findings they report to their class. This could easily be extended to reporting to a larger community.
|Peer Teaching: |
Provides opportunities for students to actively present their knowledge and skills to peers and/or act as teachers and mentors.
|Case Studies||Poor/Not considered|
|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||Very Good|
Students are responsible for determining and comparing drinking water quality then reporting in which ever way they prefer.
|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.|