Search for Resources

Water Usage

Middle

Description

This action-oriented resource focuses attention on the issue of water conservation.  Students conduct school wide, personal, and classroom water-use audits to yield 'before' results. After scrutiny and analysis of their findings, students make behaviour changes to meet a water conservation challenge. Resource components include:

Background information on water distribution, availability, consumption and conservation.

Assessing Water Use Activities:

  • Water Walkabout- to assess water usage at school
  • Water You Use Everyday- to assess personal water use
  • Water Conservation Challenge- students attempt to reduce their personal water usage

Taking Action Activities:

  • Catching Raindrops in Nicaragua- students examine water supply problems and solutions around the world
  • Toilet Dam Project- students construct a water-saving toilet dam for use at home
  • Teachers and students may also choose to follow suggestions for designing a rainwater collection system

Three additional extension suggestions are included.

General Assessment

Strengths

  • The resource is easy to use and involves students in inquiry.
  • The authors have included ready-made check lists for student data collection.
  • The case study is student ready.
  • Creating the toilet dam is simple, effective and free.
  • Interesting, well referenced background information is provided.
  • The activities empower students to create meaningful change.

Weaknesses

  • The background information is for teachers only. A visual presentation for students would be far more engaging and informative.
  • No marking rubrics or checklists are provided for ease of assessment.

What important ideas are implied by the resource, but not taught explicitly?

  • Students have a role to play in creating behaviour change.
  • Most homes do not have low flow toilets.
  • Schools have a role to play in water conservation.
  • Schools, classes and individuals use too much water.
  • Less water use means a better life for all.

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.

  • Step 1Select a province
  • Alberta
    • Step 2Select a grade level
    • Grade 6
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Math
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Number
        • Statistics and Probability
      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Evidence and Investigation
      • Social Studies
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Democracy: Action and Participation: Citizens Participatiing in Decision Making
    • Grade 7
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Math
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Number
        • Statistics and Probality
      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Interactions and Ecosystems
    • Grade 8
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Math
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Number
      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Freshwater and Saltwater Systems
  • British Columbia
    • Step 2Select a grade level
    • Grade 6
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Math
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Numbers
        • Statistics & Probability
      • Social Studies
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Canada and the World: Human and Physical Environment
        • Canada and the World: Skills and Processes of Social Studies
    • Grade 7
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Math
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Number
        • Statistics & Probability
      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Ecosystems
        • Processes and Skills of Science
      • Social Studies
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Ancient World Cultures: Skills & Processes of Social Studies
    • Grade 8
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Math
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Number
      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Earth and Space Science: Water Systems on Earth
  • Manitoba
    • Step 2Select a grade level
    • Grade 6
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Math
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Number
        • Statistics and Probability
    • Grade 7
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Math
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Number
        • Statistics and Probability
      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Interactions Within Ecosystems
      • Social Studies
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • People & Places in the World: Global Quality of Life
    • Grade 8
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Math
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Number
      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Water Systems on Earth
  • New Brunswick
    • Step 2Select a grade level
    • Grade 6
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Math
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Number
        • Statistics and Probability
      • Social Studies
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • World Cultures: World Issues
    • Grade 7
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Math
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Number
        • Statistics and Probability
      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Interactions Within Ecosystems
    • Grade 8
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Math
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Number
      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Water Systems on Earth
      • Social Studies
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Atlantic Canada in the Global Community: Interdependence
  • Newfoundland & Labrador
    • Step 2Select a grade level
    • Grade 6
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Math
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Number
        • Statistics & Probability
      • Social Studies
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • World Issues
    • Grade 7
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Math
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Number
        • Statistics & Probability
      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Interaction of Ecosystems
    • Grade 8
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Math
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Number
      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Water Systems on Earth's Surface
  • Northwest Territories
    • Step 2Select a grade level
    • Grade 6
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Math
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Number
        • Statistics and Probability
    • Grade 7
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Math
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Number
        • Statistics and Probability
      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Interactions and Ecosystems
    • Grade 8
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Math
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Number
      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Freshwater and Saltwater Systems
  • Nova Scotia
    • Step 2Select a grade level
    • Grade 6
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Math
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Number
        • Statistics and Probability
      • Social Studies
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • World Issues
    • Grade 7
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Math
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Number
        • Statistics & Probability
      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Science 7: Interactions Within Ecosystems
    • Grade 8
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Math
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Number
      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Science 8: Water Systems on Earth
      • Social Studies
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Citizenship
  • Nunavut
    • Step 2Select a grade level
    • Grade 6
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Math
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Number
        • Statistics and Probability
    • Grade 7
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Math
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Number
        • Statistics and Probability
      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Interactions and Ecosystems
    • Grade 8
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Math
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Number
      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Freshwater and Saltwater Systems
        • Interactions in Our Environment
  • Ontario
    • Step 2Select a grade level
    • Grade 6
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Math
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Data Management and Probability
        • Number Sense and Numeration
    • Grade 7
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Geography
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Natural Resources around the World: Use and Sustainability
      • Math
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Data Management and Probability
        • Number Sense and Numeration
      • Science & Technology
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Interactions in the Environment
    • Grade 8
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Math
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Number Sense and Numeration
      • Science & Technology
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Water Systems
  • Prince Edward Island
    • Step 2Select a grade level
    • Grade 6
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Math
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Data Management
        • Number Sense
      • Social Studies
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • World Issues
    • Grade 7
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Math
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Number
        • Statistics & Probability
      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Interactions Within Ecosystems
    • Grade 8
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Math
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Number
      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Water Systems on Earth
      • Social Studies
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Canadian Identity: Citizenship
  • Quebec
    • Step 2Select a grade level
    • Grade 6
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Math
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Arithmetic
        • Statistics and Probability
    • Grade 7
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Math
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Arithmetic and Algebra
        • Statistics and probability
    • Grade 8
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Math
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Arithmetic and Algebra
  • Saskatchewan
    • Step 2Select a grade level
    • Grade 6
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Math
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Mathematics 6 : Number
        • Mathematics 6: Statistics and Probability
    • Grade 7
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Math
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Mathematics 7: Number
        • Mathematics 7: Statistics and Probability
      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Science 7: Life Science: Interactions within Ecosystems
    • Grade 8
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Math
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Mathematics 8: Number
      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Science 8: Water Systems on Earth
      • Social Studies
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • The Individual in Canadian Society: Resources & Wealth
  • Yukon Territory
    • Step 2Select a grade level
    • Grade 6
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Math
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Numbers
        • Statistics & Probability
      • Social Studies
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Canada and the World: Economy and Technology
    • Grade 7
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Math
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Number
        • Statistics & Probability
      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Ecosystems
      • Social Studies
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Applications of SS
    • Grade 8
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Math
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Number
      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Water Systems on Earth

Themes Addressed

  • Water (1)

    • Water Use

Sustainability Education Principles

Principle Rating Explanation
Bias Minimization Very Good
  • Supports an ESD perspective.
Bias Minimization: Presents as many different points of view as necessary to fairly address the issue(s).
Multiple Dimensions of Problems & Solutions Very Good
  • The focus is on economic and social aspects of water, but the environmental implications are clear enough.
Multiple Dimensions of Problems & Solutions:

The resource effectively addresses multiple dimensions of problems and solutions. These should include the environmental, economic and social dimensions of the issue(s) being explored.

Respects Complexity Very Good
  • Connections are made between local water consumption, energy consumption, and access to water in Latin America.
Respects Complexity: The complexity of problems is respected. A systems-thinking approach is encouraged.
Action Experience Very Good
Action Experience: Provides opportunities for authentic action experiences in which students can work to make positive change in their communities.
  • Poor = action activities poorly developed
  • Satisfactory = action opportunities are extensions instead of being integral to the main part of the activity
Action Skills Very Good
  • Students perform audits, analysis and create solutions.
Action Skills: Explicitly teaches the skills needed for students to take effective action (e.g. letter-writing, consensus-building, etc.).
Empathy & Respect for Humans Good
  • One excellent case study from Latin America is provided.
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
  • An out-of-doors experience is not suggested.
Personal Affinity with Earth: Actively encourages a personal affinity with non-humans and with Earth. For example, this may involve practical and respectful experiences out-of-doors.
Locally-Focused Very Good
Locally-Focused: Encourages learning that is locally-focused/made concrete in some way and is relevant to the lives of the learners.
Past, Present & Future Good
  • The lesson focuses on the present and future but refers to the past in the case study.
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
  • The 'right' answer is to reduce and the activities all lead in that direction. Getting to that answer requires a combination of structured inquiry and guided investigation.
Open-Ended Instruction :

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

Interdisciplinary and Multidisciplinary Learning Very Good
Interdisciplinary and Multidisciplinary Learning: Multidisciplinary= addresses a number of different subjects Interdisciplinary= integrated approach that blurs subject lines Good: The resource provides opportunities for learning in a number of traditional 'subject' areas (eg. Language Arts, Science, Math, Art, etc.). Very Good: The resource takes an integrated approach to teaching that blurs the lines between subject boundaries.
Discovery Learning Satisfactory
  • Students are provided with intriguing personal questions, materials to use & some direction on how to find answers. The learning involves a unique experience.
Discovery Learning:

Learning activities are constructed so that students discover and build knowledge for themselves and develop largely on their own an understanding of concepts, principles and relationships. They often do this by wrestling with questions, and/or solving problems by exploring their environment, and/or physically manipulating objects and/or performing experiments.

  • Satisfactory = Students are provided with intriguing questions, materials to use & some direction on how to find answers. The learning involves unique experience & provides some opportunity for an 'ah-hah' event
  • Good = 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.
  • Very Good = Students choose what questions to investigate as well as the materials/strategies to use to answer them.
Values Clarification Very Good
  • Discussion questions are provided in lesson 3.1 and 3.2 p3 that allow students to consider their beliefs and values before and after the water reduction challenge.
  • Subsequently, students are asked to consider how a water crisis may have been avoided in Nicaragua.
Values Clarification: Students are explicitly provided with opportunities to identify, clarify and express their own beliefs/values.
  • Poor = Students are not explicitly given an opportunity to clarify their own values.
  • Satisfactory = Students are given a formal opportunity to clarify their own values. The range of perspectives in the resource is limited, therefore, students do not have an appropriate amount of information to clarify their own values.
Differentiated Instruction Satisfactory
  • The lessons are heavily kinesthetic and visual.
  •  No differentiation or adaptations are suggested for learners.
Differentiated Instruction: Activities address a range of learning styles/different intelligences. They teach to both cognitive and affective domains. Accommodations are suggested for people with learning difficulties.
Experiential Learning Very Good
Experiential Learning: Direct, authentic experiences are used.
  • Satisfactory = simulation
  • Good = authentic experience
  • Very Good = authentic experience related to the primary goal of the lesson
Cooperative Learning Satisfactory
  • Students work together.
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
  • While the activities provide opportunities for teacher evaluation, no rubrics are 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 Poor/Not considered
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
  • One authentic case study is provided.
Case Studies: Relevant case studies are used. Case studies are thorough descriptions of real events in real situations that can be used to examine concepts in an authentic context.
Locus of Control Satisfactory
  • There is minimal opportunity for student choice.
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.