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Conserving Water Through Art

Elementary, Secondary

Description

This lesson is designed to inform students about the scarcity of water in the world and to encourage them to think about ways that they can conserve water in their own homes.

Students will:

  • Discuss the distribution of water on earth and how much water is available to sustain life.
  • Discuss the various ways water is used in our society today.
  • make a group pledge to conserve water and visually represent the pledge on a large paper banner.
  • create decorative jars to place by sink to remind people to conserve water.

General Assessment

Strengths

  • The resource integrates art into the discussion of water and its sustainability.
  • This resource is well laid out and easy to use.
  • Blackline masters are available for printing directly from   the resource.
  • Activities presented will meet the learning styles of many students.

Weaknesses

  • Students do not take part in authentic action experiences.
  • The majority of activities are teacher directed.
  • Activities do not adequately address the impact of water use on the Earth and non-humans.

Relevant Curriculum Units

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        • Earth Systems: Understandings of the living world, Earth, and space are deepened through investigating natural systems and their interactions.
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        • Investigating change and the diversity of Earth’s systems helps us to develop understandings of the conditions necessary to sustain life
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        • Exploring connections strengthens our understandings of relationships to help us make meaning of the world.
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        • Arts: Visual Arts: To produce media works in the visual arts
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        • Science 2: Water is essential to all living things and it cycles through the environment

Themes Addressed

  • Water (1)

    • Water Use

Sustainability Education Principles

Principle Rating Explanation
Consideration of Alternative Perspectives Good
  • Much of the information provided is based on fact.
  • The resource discusses the different needs for demands placed on water.
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 Good
  • This resource does an adequate job of addressing the environmental implications of water use in an age appropriate manner.
  • Opportunities exist to connect social influences as students examine the various ways in which water is used.
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 Satisfactory
  • This resource does address the complexity of issues in an age-appropriate manner.
  • However, some of the solutions offered within the resource are over simplified.
  • The resource is most appropriate for younger children.
Respects Complexity:

The complexity of the problems/issues being discussed is respected.

Acting on Learning Good
  • Students are encouraged to take immediate action within their homes to conserve water.
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
  • Students are given opportunities to clarify and reflect on their own values relating to water conservation.
Values Education:

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

Empathy & Respect for Humans Good
  • Students discuss the importance of conserving water so all people in the world have enough water.
  • Students work together as a group.
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
  • All of the activities take place indoors.
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
  • Learning is locally focused and made relevant to the lives of the 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 Satisfactory
  • Students discuss the importance of water conservation for their future.
  • Little emphasis is placed on the issue of water conservation in the past.
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
  • Although lessons are structured in a teacher-led format, student ideas as a result of brainstorming are an integral part of the activities.
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 lesson provides opportunities for interdisciplinary learning. Science and art outcomes are addressed.
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
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 range of activities presented will address the learning styles of various students.
  • Differentiated instruction methods are not explicitly addressed within this resource.
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
  • Majority of activities presented are simulations.
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 work in groups but are not explicitly taught cooperative learning strategies.
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
  • Some opportunities for assessment and evaluation are presented for educators.
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 Satisfactory
  • Incidental teaching arises through group activities.
  • Peer teaching is included as part of the extension activities.
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 Satisfactory
  • Some background information is provided for teachers with facts relating to water scarcity in the world.
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
  • There are limited opportunities for students to choose elements of their own programming.
  • The majority of activitites are teacher directed.
  • However students are able to choose the medium in which they work on craft activities.
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.