- Review Process
- Take Action
- A project of
This three lesson unit uses the theme of the scarcity of potable water to encourage service learning. It is a research-based unit emphasizing the need for volunteers to participate in efforts to promote clean water.
Lesson One: Selecting the Tap. After discussing what potable water is and completing KWL sheets, the students are asked to reflect on literary and historical readings describing acts of philanthropy related to water. They will then research on-line, the types of impairments effecting local bodies of water. (2 x 45 min)
Lesson Two: Let Us Help. The work done by business, government and non-profit sectors is researched and presented in groups. Students then do a poster promoting safe clean water and water conservation in their community and in individual households.
Lesson Three: Feel The Wonder. Students are asked to participate in a volunteer experience involving water testing or a water clean-up project. The focus is on reflecting and assessing the benefits of this type of work.
* Researching information on the computer
* Analyzing and presenting data on water quality
* Analyzing one's own impact on the environment
* Refining team building skills/ working with your community
* The resource is interesting and easy to follow
* It has a good action project- "hands-on" and locally focused
* Lessons are written so that most students can be successful, though no adaptations for modifying work are provided
* It provides opportunities to connect with community members and groups in the action project
* It gives students an opportunity to practice real science and obtain results that are relevant to their lives
*It provides different ways to collect information on water issues- computer research, reflective questions on historical readings, and "hands-on" testing /clean up
* It provides opportunity for group work and incidental peer teaching
* The links and bibliograhical information need to be updated
* Rubrics/assessment techniques need development
* There are no accomodations for struggling readers
* The resource is written for an American audience so the web recommendations for teachers do not match with a Canadian audience. Some additional teacher prep to rework these lessons may be needed
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|
The issue of potable water is studied from a variety of perspectives. Perhaps a discussion on the "selling" of water to different countries could have been included. If it is scarce, why sell for profit?
|Consideration of Alternative Perspectives: |
|Multiple Dimensions of Problems & Solutions||Good|
The unit includes the environmental component of water care and conservation. The cost associated with maintaining water quality is shown to be a problem in the past and in present times. Society's responsibility to protect this resource is emphasized and volunteerism encouraged.
|Multiple Dimensions of Problems & Solutions: |
Effectively addresses the environmental, economic and social dimensions of the issue(s) being explored.
The problems associated with a shortage of potable water are not easily solved. The resource does provide some opportunities to study potable water and its properties and then to design plans to promote water conservation, work with other sectors of society , as well as to engage in group action projects.
|Respects Complexity: |
The complexity of the problems/issues being discussed is respected.
|Acting on Learning||Satisfactory|
In lesson three, a water clean up project and water testing experience are the focus. The organization of these activities depends on the motivation of the teacher and this will determine the quality of the action experience. The poster making project in lesson three gives action plan suggestions for students and other citizens as well.
|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
There are opportunities provided for self reflection in all lessons.
Lesson three calls for a pre-volunteer survey of values/beliefs and then a post-volunteer experience self reflection. This post-volunteer reflection gives students a chance to clarify and express their beliefs and values.
|Values Education: |
Students are explicitly provided with opportunities to identify, clarify and express their own beliefs/values.
|Empathy & Respect for Humans||Satisfactory|
The historical and literary reading reflection questions provide some opportunities for fostering empathy for past hardships for people who endured problems with water quality and availability. It also fosters respect for those who fought for social justice.
|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|
If the water testing or clean up is done in lesson three, then there is an out-of -doors experience.
|Personal Affinity with Earth: |
Encourages a personal affinity with -the natural world.
The readings are specific to river systems in Michigan and the historical/literary readings are designed for an American audience. Links for data collection are also for American river systems. However suggestions for action and the clean up/ water testing activities could easily be done locally.
|Locally-Focused Learning: |
Includes learning experiences that take advantage of issues/elements within the local community.
|Past, Present & Future||Satisfactory|
The water quality issues of the past and the role that some people had for initiating improvements is touched upon. The quality of water in present day is analyzed with data collection of impairments and the role of the four sectors in managing water resources researched. The message promoted is that the vision for the future is positive only if the degree of philanthropic contribution, at all levels, increases.
|Past, Present & Future: Promotes an understanding of the past, a sense of the present, and a positive vision for the future.|
The solutions for promoting the conservation of water are open-ended although some ideas and suggestions are given.
The message sent is that the more people who are involved in trying to find possible answers for the scarcity of water, the better.
Lessons are structured so that multiple/complex answers are possible; students are not steered toward one 'right' answer.
|Integrated Learning: |
Learning brings together content and skills from more than one subject area
|Inquiry Learning: |
Learning is directed by questions, problems, or challenges that students work to address.
The resource teaches to both the cognitive and affective domains.
Activities are appropriate for a wide range of abilities with slight modifications required for some reading assignments.
No accomodations are specifically listed.
|Differentiated Instruction: |
Activities address a range of student learning styles, abilities and readiness.
The clean up project in lesson four offers a direct experience to water quality issues. The first two lessons are more background research into what others did and are currently doing in case the student would like to follow those leads.
|Experiential Learning: |
Authentic learning experiences are provided
Students do work in groups and present ideas after discussion, but cooperative learning skills are not explicitly taught.
|Cooperative Learning: |
Group and cooperative learning strategies are a priority.
|Assessment & Evaluation||Poor/Not considered|
The resource has some reflective questions, but has more of a "self-evaluation" approach. The questions asked from the literary and historical readings have no answer keys or suggested extension activities. The rubric in lesson two needs more detail and there should be a rubric for the poster activity.
Lesson three requires a rubric to evaluate the student on the effort and enthusiasm in whcih they approached the clean up.
|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.|
Students work in groups, discuss their findings and share with other members of the class. Teaching is incidental only.
|Peer Teaching: |
Provides opportunities for students to actively present their knowledge and skills to peers and/or act as teachers and mentors.
Real events are described, but the descriptions are not thorough.
|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|
Students are given choices in many parts of the unit. They can choose the water way and the non-profit groups they would like to research. They can also choose the topic of their promotional poster. They are encouraged to continue to be involved in environmental issues in a "hands-on" manner after the unit is completed.
|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.|