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Tapped Out: The World Water Crisis

Secondary, Middle

Description

Tapped Out: The World Water Crisis explores many of the international debates which surround water. Is water a commodity or a human right?  Should it be managed privately or publicly? What are the current and future threats to water?

Students research current issues surrounding water from both a Canadian and an international perspective. Several exercises allow them to experience through role play and discussion, the emotional issues surrounding water. 

The resource is organized around three themes.

  1. Water as a resource- Lessons examine the earth’s finite amount of clean water and the unequal access to it.
  2. Water and health- Lessons explore the relationship between unclean water and disease.
  3. Water and globalization- Lessons encourage discussion and debate concerning globalization and its effects on the production and consumption of products and services, including water.

*  In addition there is a section that focuses on taking action.

As with other Common Threads Projects the resource is supported by a DVD.  This documentary explores water issues through the eyes of an Ontario high school student and serves as a powerful introduction to the issues. 

Teachers will find that the lessons in this resource fulfill many of the curriculum expectations in a variety of subjects.

 

General Assessment

Strengths

  • There are many interesting activities and the video is well done.
  • There is plenty of background information both for teachers and students.
  • The lessons are well organized.
  • Detailed rubrics are provided for evaluation.
  • Suggestions of additional resources are provided.
  • The package is up todate.

Weaknesses

What skills does this resource explicitly teach?

The resource explicitly teaches the following skills:

  • Graphing skills 
  • Logical and critical thinking skills
  • Qualitative and quantitative research skills
  • Debating skills
  • Critical thinking skills in prioritizing principles of law 
  • Conflict resolution 
  • Oral presentations
  • Decision making

Recommendation of how and where to use it

These lessons could be used as part of World Water Day and Water Week in Canada.

This resource also support the teaching of math, language, communication and critical thinking skills.

Relevant Curriculum Units

The following tool will allow you to explore the relevant curriculum matches for this resource. To start, select a province listed below.

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Themes Addressed

  • Citizenship (1)

    • Sustainable Consumption
  • Economics (1)

    • Globalization
  • Human Health & Environment (2)

    • Environmental Contaminants & Health Hazards
    • Quality of Life
  • Human Rights (1)

    • Social Justice
  • Water (3)

    • Water Quality
    • Water Treatment and Distribution
    • Water Use

Sustainability Education Principles

Principle Rating Explanation
Consideration of Alternative Perspectives Good

Although this unit is clearly against the privatization of water, it does a good job of letting students explore various arguments.

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 Very Good

Presents as many different points of view, for example:

 

  • using math to understanding what part of the population have access to clean water
  • understanding the relationship between clean water and human health
  • the globalization of water resources
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 Very Good

The complexity of problems is very well respected and  a systems-thinking approach is encouraged.

Respects Complexity:

The complexity of the problems/issues being discussed is respected

Acting on Learning Satisfactory

While Lesson 4 & 7 provide great ideas and opportunities for authentic action experiences through which students can impact their community, the intended audience is their classmates.  Only one supplemental lesson has action as a core activity.

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 Good

Two of the activities allow significant opportunities for values clarification.

Values Education:

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

Empathy & Respect for Humans Very Good

This is very well developed through role playing.

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 Satisfactory

This theme is mentioned in the beginning but is not developed within the activities.

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

The video used in Lesson 5 (as suggested) makes the issue of water conservation very relevant to students.

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 Very Good

The sense of time is very well developed.

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 Very Good

Lessons are structured so that multiple/complex answers are possible. There are no right answers.

Open-Ended Instruction :

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

Integrated Learning Very Good

The lessons address a number of different subject outcomes.

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 intriguing questions, materials to use, & make their own decisions on how to find answers. The learning involves unique experience & provides definite opportunity for an 'ah-hah' event.

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 Good

The activities do address a range of learning styles but do not accommodate for people with learning difficulties.

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 lessons are simulations.

Experiential Learning:

Authentic learning experiences are provided

  •  Satisfactory: learning is made concrete. Working with real objects,  using real sources of information
  • Good: learning takes place in a real-world context. Simulation, mentorship
  • Very good: learning provides experience beyond the classroom.  Addressing real world issues and problems 
Cooperative Learning Satisfactory

Students work in groups.

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 Very Good

Tools are provided for students and teachers to demonstrate their learning.

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

Students rely on each other to learn.

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 Very Good

Real case studies are used.

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

Only a few parts of the lessons allow studnts to choose some minor elements. Most of the learning opportunity is determined by the teacher.

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.