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Water for All

Elementary, Middle

Description

Water for All explores causes of water shortages. Children are asked to explore the interconnected reasons for shortages as well as the impacts shortages are likely to have on the lives of real people.

The community-led approaches outlined in the case studies teach children about active citizenship and sustainable development. Children are encouraged to learn not only about those changes, but to learn from them as well.

This resource is accompanied by an excellent picture set for teaching about water. The content of some lessons/activities are intended for a British audience, and will need to be adapted for Canadian use.

The resource consists of seven different activities, plus information and resources for the teacher.

  • Water for All: Getting Started - Provides an overview of the lessons.
  • Introductory activity: Every picture tells a story - Tracking the consequences of water shortage - Using pictures and questions, the goal of the lesson is to help students understand that water shortages have the same repercussions wherever we live.
  • Water Quiz: Going short of water - Water shortages happen for a reason - An online set of pictures depicting water scenes gets students thinking about and identifying the causes of water shortages.
  • Water problems: Case studies - In groups, students examine the pictures from the water quiz more closely and report their findings; a slide set for each case study, with questions, is included to guide students.
  • Water math: Global statistics - Students match an online set of graphs with the correct math language (British units); the graphs and language deal with water availability statistics.
  • Water solutions: Case studies - Solutions are presented for the case studies that students viewed in simple picture sets.
  • Act locally – Learning from change - Students and teachers spend time transferring learning to local action; many ideas are presented, but the locale will determine which will work best.
  • Celebrate water for all! - After looking at and discussing a selection of celebratory pictures, teacher and students decide on how they can best share a celebration of water. Possibilities are presented.

The resource also includes:

  • An Image Well - Images from the Water for All resource - Provides quick access to all images in the lessons.
  • Teachers' notes -Introduction: About the resource and its use - Descriptions of rationale, pedagogy, and teaching techniques are well described in this section.
  • Curriculum links for England


  • Further information and recommended resources

 

General Assessment

Strengths

  • the resource comes with exceptional pictures that would be easy to insert into a Powerpoint presentation
  • the teaching ideas connected to the teacher notes (see The Image Well: Teaching Techniques) section are excitng and new

Weaknesses

  • the resource takes some time to get used to because it is all online and because of the sequencing of the lessons and teaching tools
  • the slideshows are not presented in full-screen format
  • the resource is intended for a UK audience and will need some alterations to ensure Canadian students find it relevant

What skills does this resource explicitly teach?

  • extracting information from graphs and pictures

Relevant Curriculum Units

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        • Applications of SS
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        • Water Systems on Earth

Themes Addressed

  • Citizenship (2)

    • Community-Building and Participation
    • Sustainable Consumption
  • Water (2)

    • Water Quality
    • Water Use

Sustainability Education Principles

Principle Rating Explanation
Consideration of Alternative Perspectives Good
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

It will be up to the teacher to ensure that multiple dimensions of the problem are presented as they work through the discussion questions with students. The resource incorporates perspectives on rights and responsibilities through the UN Declaration on the Rights of the Child.

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
Respects Complexity:

The complexity of the problems/issues being discussed is respected

Acting on Learning Very Good
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
Values Education:

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

Empathy & Respect for Humans Very Good
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

The out-of-doors may come into play when students begin their action projects. However, it is not an element that is explicitly built into the program.

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 Very 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 Very Good

The passage of time is represented in the case studies, but without being obtrusive.

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

A combination of structured, guided, and open inquiry is provided.

Open-Ended Instruction :

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

Integrated Learning Good

The use of a computer is heavily relied upon.

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 Good
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 lessons tend to be visual/auditory, with the kinesthetic aspect coming from keyboarding.

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 Very Good

Students use what they have learned about other cultures' success stories to create their own local action product.

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
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 Satisfactory

Assessment, reflection and self-assessment are not built into the lessons in a substantial way.

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
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 Good

Case studies, though authentic, lack substantial description.

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 Good

The initial lessons are teacher-led, but in subsequent lessons students do have the opportunity to make decisions regarding the work and learning they will engage in.

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.