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This resource contains eight lessons that explore health issues related to water. Students are encouraged to become involved on behalf of safe drinking water at home and abroad. Lessons involve reading and interpreting well-organized fact sheets, summarizing information provided in case studies, power point presentations and visuals, and completing reflection questions. All Power Point presentations, fact sheets, summary charts, reflection questions and answer keys are provided. There are also links to lots of supplementary information on all topics discussed.
Lesson 1- Healthy Water- What Is It? After a teacher demo, students are asked to build definitions of healthy and unhealthy water (in groups) and begin entries in water journals.
Lesson 2- Unhealthy Water- What Is It? The students build on their definitions of healthy and unhealthy water and answer reflection sheet questions after a Power Point presentation on the cholera epidemic in London in the 1900s. Students are also asked to generate discussion on pictures taken of water supplies in First Nation Communities in Canada.
Lesson 3 - Disease Causing Microbes- Students break up into learning centers to gather information on five of the most common diseases caused by water containing harmful microbes. Groups present posters after a cooperative learning activity to share information with other students.
Lesson 4 - Water Treatment Practices- Students participate in a jigsaw activity and teach each other about the common methods of treating water. Also as a group, students write an itemized plan to correct a water treatment scenario. Finally after analyzing arsenic data from a well on a Saskatchewan farm, students are asked to reflect in their water journals as to whether Canada does have a drinking water problem and also on their role in improving water quality in their own communities.
Lesson 5 - Cases of Contamination- After viewing a power point presentation summarizing four case studies of waterborne illness outbreaks in North America, a class discussion is promoted and reflections written in water journals.
Lesson 6 - Water and The World- After examining shocking statistics on water data globally, the students will start to examine how accessibility to clean drinking water is also a human rights issue, and are asked to reflect on how they could work to change the water situation in a developing country.
Lesson 7- Water and North America- Students view a power point presentation that clarifies the responsibility of the different levels of government for drinking water. The remainder of the lesson focuses on case studies that explore the state of drinking water in two First Nations’ communities. Students read handouts on the role of "The Advanced Aboriginal Water Treatment Team" in improving water quality, answer reflection questions and respond in journals to the question, "What can be done to improve the water situation in Canada?"
Lesson 8 - Are They Responsible? Students participate in a simulated press conference that allows them to ask questions to a government representative (teacher in role play). After the "press conference" students vote to decide who they think is responsible for healthy drinking water in Canada. They then write letters to municipal, provincial or federal politicians voicing their concern about the accessibility and quality of drinking water for all Canadians.
Links are provided on how to organize a press conference, and exemplar letters are provided.
The following tool will allow you to explore the relevant curriculum matches for this resource. To start, select a province listed below.
|Consideration of Alternative Perspectives||Satisfactory|
A good cross-section of material is presented about water diseases, healthy and unhealthy water, as well as water treatment methods. In the final two lessons however, there could be more links and information given on viewpoints of INAC and Health Canada on water issues on First Nations communities, and what they perceive they are doing to alleviate the problems discussed.
|Consideration of Alternative Perspectives: |
|Multiple Dimensions of Problems & Solutions||Good|
The resource links how the environmental issue of unsafe drinking water is related to social problems and quality of life issues at home and abroad. The responsibility of providing clean water has economic implications associated with cost. This has led to a questioning of government policy, especially for rural and First Nations communities.
|Multiple Dimensions of Problems & Solutions: |
Effectively addresses the environmental, economic and social dimensions of the issue(s) being explored.
Although lessons are teacher-directed, the students have ample opportunities to reflect upon the many written and media texts provided, to help them suggest potential solutions for problems presented.
Critical thinking skills are encouraged which could empower students to be more involved in water quality issues.
|Respects Complexity: |
The complexity of the problems/issues being discussed is respected.
|Acting on Learning||Satisfactory|
The resource promotes an awareness of health problems caused by unclean water. The only action experience is a letter-writing campaign to officials at various levels of government or civil engineers involved with water treatment. The resource does provide links to SDWF resources to find other action plans.These are extensions however, and not an integral part of the activity.
|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
|Values Education: |
Students are explicitly provided with opportunities to identify, clarify and express their own beliefs/values.
|Empathy & Respect for Humans||Good|
Empathy is certainly fostered for those in Canada and around the world whose quality of life is affected negatively by unsafe drinking water in their communities.
|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|
There are no out-of-doors experience with this resource.
|Personal Affinity with Earth: |
Encourages a personal affinity with -the natural world.
Because safe drinking water is at the forefront in any community, a discussion about the dangers of drinking contaminated water becomes locally focused.
|Locally-Focused Learning: |
Includes learning experiences that take advantage of issues/elements within the local community.
|Past, Present & Future||Good|
Case studies discuss some past problems with unhealthy water. Current statistics and water policies give a good indication of the present. The future is seen as positive only if we remain vigilant in our efforts to screen, monitor, and treat our current water supplies. This resource highlights the need to do so at the individual, community and governmental levels.
|Past, Present & Future: Promotes an understanding of the past, a sense of the present, and a positive vision for the future.|
Although lessons are teacher-directed, there are opportunities for students to express opinions and insight into possible solutions and their role in implementing them. Critical thinking skills are encouraged which will hopefully empower students to become involved in safe water issues in their own communities, in Canada, and abroad.
Lessons are structured so that multiple/complex answers are possible; students are not steered toward one 'right' answer.
Safe drinking water is seen as an environmental, social and political issue. The lesson plans offer an integrated approach especially with science, health and social studies curricula.
|Integrated Learning: |
Learning brings together content and skills from more than one subject area
The students reflect on data presented, summarize articles, and participate in group discussions which allow them to build and discover knowledge by themselves, and develop, on their own, an understanding of concepts, principles and responsibilities. The resource does not provide, however, opportunities to explore their environment or perform any "hands-on" activities.
|Inquiry Learning: |
Learning is directed by questions, problems, or challenges that students work to address.
Most activities involve interpreting, summarizing, and presenting information gathered by reading and viewing various written and visual text. The cognitive and affective domains are taught.
The resource offers little, however. to the kinesthetic learner, and reading levels will be a problem for some students. No modifications or accommodations are suggested for struggling learners.
|Differentiated Instruction: |
Activities address a range of student learning styles, abilities and readiness.
|Experiential Learning||Poor/Not considered|
Poor. No simulations or authentic experiences are present in this resource.
|Experiential Learning: |
Authentic learning experiences are provided
|Cooperative Learning: |
Group and cooperative learning strategies are a priority.
|Assessment & Evaluation||Poor/Not considered|
Poor. Although the resource offers many summarizing charts, reflection sheets and answer keys, there are no specific formative or summative assessment assignments,checklists or rubrics provided. It is up to the teacher to decide how to evaluate the resource.
|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: |
Provides opportunities for students to actively present their knowledge and skills to peers and/or act as teachers and mentors.
Case studies are interesting and relevant. They give good detail, but the teacher would need to research each a little more to be able to answer student questions which may arise. This information can be found in the links provided.
|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|
Although lessons are teacher directed, there are opportunities for students in reflections and discussions to go deeper into specific issues.
|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.|