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All the Water in the World

Understanding Water Sources and Conservation

Elementary, Middle

Description

This resource allows students to gain an awareness about the ways water is used in the Canadian economy. They will learn about the amount of water Canadians consume and how this is divided within the home. Students will compare their family’s and community’s water use to averages by calculating the water use of their families and using the data from the class to analyze the water needs of their town.

This lesson is divided in two parts.

Part A: Calculate your Water Footprint

  • Students will brainstorm how water is used in the Canadian economy and how they use water at home and at school everyday. They will estimate how much water they use. They will then be given the worksheet to calculate the water footprint of their family. They will have a discussion on ways to conserve water post-activity. 
Part B: Water Conservation Pictionary 
  • Students will pick cards from the Pictionary deck. They will draw the activity and have one minute to guess what the picture means. 

 

General Assessment

What skills does this resource explicitly teach?

This lesson will teach students how to graph real data .

Strengths

  • The lesson is easy to follow
  • All worksheets are included in the resource
  • The resource has a wide variety of learning activities which lends itself well to all learners
  • A backgrounder is included for teachers 
  • The length of this lesson makes it easy to integrate to curriculum

Weaknesses

  • Evaluation tools are not provided in this resource
  • Action activities are not part of this resource

Recommendation of how and where to use it

This lesson is only an hour long and could be easily integrated into any lesson about water conservation. 

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Themes Addressed

  • Citizenship (2)

    • Ecological Footprint
    • Sustainable Consumption
  • Water (1)

    • Water Use

Sustainability Education Principles

Principle Rating Explanation
Consideration of Alternative Perspectives Very Good

In this resource, students will assess their water usage as well as their communities water usage and compare it to the Canadian average. They will get to share their opinions and take informed positions in the discussion questions provided. 

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

Students will gain awareness about water usage in the Canadian economy, as well as how this affects them socially and environmentally. 

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 Poor/Not considered

Action opportunities are not included in this lesson, however the teacher could ask students to come up with a plan to reduce their consumption as an extension to the lesson. 

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 discussion questions at the end of part one offer plenty of opportunities for students to express their own beliefs/values

Values Education:

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

Empathy & Respect for Humans Poor/Not considered

This is not a focus of this resource.

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
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

Students will do an audit of the water consumption of their own household as well as their community therefore making it relevant to the lives of the learner. 

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 Good

In the discussion questions, students will get to realize that our past actions have brought us up to this point, they will look at their present usage of water, and think of ways to reduce their water consumption to help the future.

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

During the discussion questions, students will have a chance to share their own ideas on water usage and how to reduce their consumption. 

Open-Ended Instruction :

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

Integrated Learning Good

This resource is appropriate to use in Science classes when discussing sustainable consumption and in Math classes when using data to make graphs. 

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 Poor/Not considered

This lesson does not ask students to come up with questions or solutions. The resource has prescribed activities to follow. 

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 variety of activities in this lesson plan would address the needs of visual, auditory, and kinesthetic learners. However, strategies for learners with difficulties are not provided. 

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

Students will get to take part in a Pictionary game in part B of this resource. 

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 will need to work in groups to complete the activities of this resource. 

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 Poor/Not considered

Assessment tools are not provided in this resource. However, the teacher could use the discussion questions to assess the students understanding of the issue.

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 Very Good

Students will compare their family’s and community’s water use to averages by calculating the water use of their families and using the data from the class to analyze the water needs of their town. 

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 Poor/Not considered
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.