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Global Water

Planet H20



Global Water is one of a series of lesson plans available on the Planet H20 website which was created to supplement the Planet H20 television special. Planet H2O examines the inter-connection between water and every form of life on Earth and introduces the complex issues surrounding the world's most vital resource — its water supply.

Students learn how children in different parts of the world get their drinking water and the methods used for obtaining clean drinking water. Students collect data on their household water use and calculate how many gallons of water a person uses per day.

Students will:

  • Examine and calculate personal water use
  • Collect data
  • Estimate water use for one day, three days, one week, one month, and one year using mathematical equations
  • Identify countries on a world map
  • Analyze different methods for obtaining drinking water
  • Assess the advantages and disadvantages of different methods of obtaining drinking water

General Assessment

What skills does this resource explicitly teach?

  • How to monitor household use of water and calculate how many gallons of water one person uses each day
  • Use equations to calculate the gallons of water each person has used in their household per day, three days, week, month, and year


  • The Planet H20 website contains a wealth of information and experiments.
  • The lesson plans are easy to use and contain all of the needed materials to complete the lessons.
  • Good resources and websites for further investigation are available.
  • The website links are up to date.
  • The lesson plan clearly states the learning objectives.


  • The Planet H20 website activities, experiments and interactive resources should be incorporated in the lesson plans.
  • No assessment tools are provided
  • Needs to include some inquiry based/discovery learning activities.
  • No action projects are suggested
  • No opportunities for students to share their learning or discoveries with peers or the community.

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.

Themes Addressed

  • Water (2)

    • Water Treatment and Distribution
    • Water Use

Sustainability Education Principles

Principle Rating Explanation
Consideration of Alternative Perspectives Good
  • This resource has students collect data on their household water use and calculate how many gallons of water a person uses per day. Such an approach is objective and shows little or no bias.
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 Satisfactory
  • Students discover three methods for obtaining drinking water and evaluate the effectiveness of each method. They discuss the avantages and disavantages of the methods.
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
  • The lesson provides a starting point for looking at the advantages and disadvantages of different methods of obtaining drinking water but no solutions are explored.
Respects Complexity:

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

Acting on Learning Poor/Not considered
  • Although the lesson plan has students monitor their household use of water and calculate how many gallons of water one person uses each day for three days no action experience is suggested.
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 Satisfactory
  • By participating in the H20 Diary survey activity, students could improve personal attitudes, values and behaviours towards water use.
Values Education:

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

Empathy & Respect for Humans Good
  • Students read personal accounts from children from Sri Lanka, Morocco, and China. They learn about three different methods to obtain drinking water around the world
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
  • No outdoor experiences are suggested.
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 students learn about their water usage but do not discuss the importance of water conservation.
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 Poor/Not considered
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 Satisfactory
  • A combination of teacher directed lessons, find the answer from text worksheets and some reflective discussion questions.
Open-Ended Instruction :

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

Integrated Learning Good
  • Science
  • Geography
  • Math
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

Completing the water usage survey allows students to discover how much water is being consumed at home on a daily basis. The research activity found in the extension activities section allows for students to gather information on their own and present it to their classmates. This activity is optional but should have been part of the lesson plan.

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 Satisfactory
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 H20 Diary Survey is an age appropriate experience which allow the students to learn about water consumption but stops short of being an authentic experience.
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
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
  • No personal reflection or self assessment opportunities.
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
  • If the students choose to complete the research activity found in the Extension activities section they receive the opportunity to present their findings and share their information.
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
  • Students will read personal accounts from three children from Sri Lanka, Morocco, and China
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 Extension Activites provide some suggestions to further their knowledge.
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.