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Earth Waters Our Lives

Theme: 
Water
Grade: 
5, 6
Essential questions
What are ways that we use our water resources?
Why is it important to identify water waste?
What is drought?
Why should we make efforts to conserve water?
In what ways might your personal habits impact the local ecosystem?

MODULE OVERVIEW: Estimated total time needed: 5–6 class periods
This module contains the following lessons.

Lesson 1: Eco-101: Water Fundamentals (Estimated time needed: 40–50 minutes)
This lesson helps students understand the value of water on Earth, the many ways humans use water, how humans can conserve water, and how students' personal habits related to water matter in terms of a larger ecology.

Lesson 2: Eco-Activity: Drip, Drip, Drop (Estimated time needed: 65–75 minutes—can be split into two class periods or assigned as homework)
In this lesson, students learn about the issue of water waste. They search for water leaks in the school building, apply scientific data-gathering procedures to document their observations, and calculate the long-term effects of any leaks they observe. Students learn the value of having scientific data as they pitch to school administrators recommendations for improvements. They also see that small water leaks like the dripping of a tap, multiplied by millions of dripping faucets, can add up to significant waste and that this waste can easily be reduced or prevented.

Lesson 3: Eco-Activity: Drastic Drought (Estimated time needed: 3–4 class periods)
In this lesson, students form a scientific understanding of a drought and the conditions that cause it. They also explore the consequences of a drought and identify personal and global actions to help prevent and cope with droughts. Knowledge development in this lesson is self- and co-constructed, as students work together in groups to create a news story that describes a significant historical drought or drought conditions in a nearby region. They present their findings to the class, along with details about actions taken to alleviate the drought and steps they can personally take to use water responsibly.

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