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Precious Water

3, 4
Essential questions
Where is most of the water on Earth located?
Why is only a small amount of water available for human use?
How do we use water?
What actions can we take to conserve water?
What is pH and how does it relate to water?
Why is it important to prevent pollution in our freshwater resources?

MODULE OVERVIEW: (Estimated total time needed: 2 hours and 25 minutes)
This module includes the following lessons:

Eco-101: The Water Planet (Estimated time needed: 50–55 minutes)
In this lesson, students learn where Earth’s water resources are located, the difference between freshwater and salt water, and how much water is available for human use. The lesson challenges students to think critically about dwindling water supplies and their personal water-consumption habits.

Eco-Activity: Where’s the Water? (Estimated time needed: 30–40 minutes)
The purpose of this lesson is to help students gain awareness of the many ways they use water daily and to get them thinking about how they might conserve water.

Eco-Activity: Water Testing (Estimated time needed: 30 minutes plus 2-hour break and then another 20 minutes)
Students begin this lesson by learning about the water cycle. Then they use the pH scale to test common household substances to learn their pH values. They learn that pure water has a pH of around 7, that anything above this level is considered basic, and that anything below this level is acidic. Students see how certain substances ending up in freshwater resources can cause that water to become too acidic or too basic and harm the life within it. They also conduct an experiment to see how water can evaporate and carry pollutants with it. Those pollutants can lead to acid rain, which is extremely harmful. The lesson ends with students hearing a story and discussing actions they can take to help keep our water resources healthy.

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