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Starting with the question ‘how much water do you use in a day?’ students investigate water consumption, water quality, water scarcity, access to clean drinking water and other relevant issues including how climate change is affecting the planet’s water resources. Students will calculate their personal water footprints, examine water problems in various cities around the world, propose solutions to global water shortages and identify conservation actions they can personally undertake in their own homes and communities.
In addition to the water use calculator the resource includes a slide presentation and links to articles and case studies to support students in this inquiry.
Additional background information for the teacher and additional sources of information to support the student inquiry would improve the resource.
This easy-to-implement lesson will support teaching units dealing with water distribution on earth, water availability, water equity, water and climate change, and water conservation.
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||Good|
There is no effort to advance one particular cause or solution to the water crisis. Students develop an understanding and perspective on the issue by collecting data and reviewing case studies.
|Consideration of Alternative Perspectives: |
|Multiple Dimensions of Problems & Solutions||Satisfactory|
The case studies describing different causes and effects of water problems in cities around the world provide the context for examining the environmental, social and economic dimensions of the water crisis.
|Multiple Dimensions of Problems & Solutions: |
Effectively addresses the environmental, economic and social dimensions of the issue(s) being explored.
The information provided for students adequately represents the complexities of the water cycle and the interrelated causes and consequences of limited access to clean drinking water.
|Respects Complexity: |
The complexity of the problems/issues being discussed is respected.
|Acting on Learning||Satisfactory|
Students begin by calculating their personal water use and conclude the lesson by identifying steps to reduce their consumption.
|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
Students are given the opportunity to share their understanding of the water crisis as experienced by different cities around the world.
|Values Education: |
Students are explicitly provided with opportunities to identify, clarify and express their own beliefs/values.
|Empathy & Respect for Humans||Good|
The inequality of access to clean drinking water is made very clear in the case studies students are presented with.
|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|
In examining different reasons for the water crisis, students consider the importance of wetlands and the need to protect them.
|Personal Affinity with Earth: |
Encourages a personal affinity with -the natural world.
The water-usage activity in which students calculate their consumption helps to make this inquiry personal and relevant.
|Locally-Focused Learning: |
Includes learning experiences that take advantage of issues/elements within the local community.
|Past, Present & Future||Satisfactory|
While there is a message of empowering individuals to make a difference and a sense of urgency for action, there is little attention given to a timeline for the water crisis.
|Past, Present & Future: Promotes an understanding of the past, a sense of the present, and a positive vision for the future.|
Students calculate their water-usage footprint, complete their own assessments of the water crisis occurring in different parts of the world and determine best steps forward based on their findings and discussions with classmates.
Lessons are structured so that multiple/complex answers are possible; students are not steered toward one 'right' answer.
The lesson addresses outcomes in science (water cycle, wetlands, climate change, pollution), social studies (access to drinking water, inequality, human population, regulation) and geography (major cities of the world)
|Integrated Learning: |
Learning brings together content and skills from more than one subject area
Students are presented with 3 key questions: how much water do you use each day, what evidence is there of a water crisis and what can you do about it. How they go about answering these questions is quite scripted.
|Inquiry Learning: |
Learning is directed by questions, problems, or challenges that students work to address.
Students complete a footprint activity, view a slide presentation, conduct research using materials provided by the resource, share their findings with classmates and develop a course of personal actions to take.
|Differentiated Instruction: |
Activities address a range of student learning styles, abilities and readiness.
|Experiential Learning||Poor/Not considered|
Other than the using the water footprint tool to calculate personal daily water usage, their is little offered in the way of 'hands-on' or real world experience.
|Experiential Learning: |
Authentic learning experiences are provided
The lesson includes one group assignment/activity.
|Cooperative Learning: |
Group and cooperative learning strategies are a priority.
|Assessment & Evaluation||Poor/Not considered|
Assessment tools or suggestions are not provided.
|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.|
Providing for understanding of the different types of water crisis faced by cities around the world is the responsibility of small groups of students working cooperatively.
|Peer Teaching: |
Provides opportunities for students to actively present their knowledge and skills to peers and/or act as teachers and mentors.
|Case Studies||Very Good|
Students form much of their understanding of the water crisis by reviewing case studies that describe problems faced by major cities.
|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.|