National Environmental Education Week | Water Curricula Free Resources

Credit Source:  National Environmental Education Week | Water_Curricula.

Water Curricula*

For resources on teaching about water, helpful websites, and web activities for students, visit the Water Resources page.

Jump To: Grades 5-8 | Grades 9-12

Grades K-4

  • Featured Activites from Earth Day Network These featured activities were developed by Earth Day Network in support of EE Week’s 2009 Be Water Wise! theme. You will need Adobe Reader in order to view these files. For a free download of Adobe Reader, click here.

    Conserving Water through Art, for K-4th grade students, ties creative expression to water scarcity and conservation.
    Water Scarcity K-2 is a social science activity in which students learn about the importance of water and the scarcity of fresh water.
    Water Scarcity 2-4 is a more advanced social science and language arts lesson on water scarcity around the globe.

  • A Day in the Life of a Drop This set of activities, produced by the U.S. EPA’s Water Sense program, was designed to help students in grades 3–5 understand the connections between the source of the water they use and the ways their water use habits affect the environment and human health. Students also learn how to reduce their impacts and engage family members. After completing the worksheets provided, students and families take the Pledge to Filter Out Bad Water Habits to demonstrate their commitment to saving water for the future.
  • A Hiking We Will Go In this lesson, students identify and describe examples of point and non-point source water pollution using the story of a family on a camping trip. The story, associated pictures, and a student activity sheet are provided. The lesson was produced by the Air and Waste Management Association and is best suited for K-2 students. It is correlated to PA Academic Standards and National Science Standards.
  • FLOW: Fisheries Learning on the Web FLOW is a comprehensive curriculum about the Great Lakes ecosystem with three core units: Food Web, Water and Fish. Geared toward upper elementary and middle school educators, standards-based lesson content features hands-on activities. Fun and engaging materials are available for free download.
  • Leaky Landfills In this lesson, designed for students in grades 3-5, students will learn about different types of landfills, construct a model of a landfill, and investigate potential sources of water pollution associated with landfills. Detailed instructions, teacher and student handouts, and resources are provided. The lesson was produced by the Air and Waste Management Association and is correlated to PA Academic Standards and National Science Standards.
  • Making a Rainstick In this activity, students write a poem about rain, create a rainstick of their own, and read a story about how Native people made and used rainsticks. The lesson was designed for grades K-4 by Michelle Heidinger of the CSU Chico Research Foundation, and it correlates to the National Standards for Arts Education as well as national Language Arts standards.
  • Pond Life and Life in a Drop of Pond Water are two complementary lessons for students in grades 3-5 to investigate and observe an aquatic ecosystem. Students will consider the relationships between organisms and their environment, observe microscopic organisms living in pond water, and consider how organisms obtain the materials they need to survive from the environment. The lesson is correlated to the Benchmarks for Science Literacy and was created by Science NetLinks, a program of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.
  • The Water Cycle This lesson, designed for grades 3-5, focuses on the processes of the water cycle and provides a context for teaching about fresh water conservation. Students will observe water in its three phases, visit a website to investigate the steps of the water cycle, design a model of the water cycle, create a water cycle poster, and learn a song about the water cycle to reinforce the concept. The lesson is correlated to the Benchmarks for Science Literacy and was created by Science NetLinks, a program of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.
  • The Water Sourcebooks, developed by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, contain 324 interdisciplinary, hands-on activities on topics including Introduction to Water, Drinking Water and Wastewater Treatment, Surface Water Resources, Ground Water Resources, and Wetlands and Coastal Waters. Activities are organized by objectives, materials needed, background information, advance preparation, procedures, and resources. The Water Sourcebook Series is correlated to national science, social studies, and geography standards, and all activities may be downloaded, printed and copied.
  • Water, Water, Everywhere In this lesson, students will identify water and land as examples of natural resources, investigate sources of water, and identify some ways in which humans make use of water as an economic resource, specifically for agriculture, transportation, and recreation. The lesson is suitable for K-2 students and is correlated to National Council on Economic Education standards.

Jump To: Grades K-4 | Grades 9-12

Grades 5-8

  • Featured Activites from Earth Day Network These featured activities were developed by Earth Day Network in support of EE Week’s 2009 Be Water Wise! theme. You will need Adobe Reader in order to view these files. For a free download of Adobe Reader, click here.

    Filtering Water is a lesson in water scarcity and the need to protect our water resources. In this activity, students build their own water filters.
    Melting Mountains explores the effects of climate change on our water resources.
    Carrying Water engages students in a personal water audit and a comparison of their own water use with that of a student living in Kenya.

  • A Day in the Life of a Drop This set of activities, produced by the U.S. EPA’s Water Sense program, was designed to help students in grades 3–5 understand the connections between the source of the water they use and the ways their water use habits affect the environment and human health. Students also learn how to reduce their impacts and engage family members. After completing the worksheets provided, students and families take the Pledge to Filter Out Bad Water Habits to demonstrate their commitment to saving water for the future.
  • Be Water Wise in School: Science that Impacts Your Campus This activity guide was developed by The Groundwater Foundation to bring together water education and action. It contains background information for teachers, lesson plan instructions, pre- and post-tests, vocabulary lists, website links for further student research, and community service-learning project ideas. A .pdf of the guide is available for free download at The Groundwater Foundation site, and it is correlated to National Science Education Standards.
  • Chemical Water Quality Monitoring This lesson plan was developed by LaMotte Company for middle schools. It aligns chemical water quality monitoring with National Science Education Standards. It provides background information, suggestions for how to prepare, step-by-step instructions, and assessment ideas.
  • Ecosystem Services – Water Purification This lesson was developed to highlight natural water purification as one of many services that healthy ecosystems provide for people. It covers types of water pollution, the watershed concept, and the problem of non-point source pollution. Students will research their own watershed and investigate natural water purification within it. The lesson is suitable for middle school. It is correlated to the Benchmarks for Science Literacy and was created by Science NetLinks, a program of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.
  • FLOW: Fisheries Learning on the Web FLOW is a comprehensive curriculum about the Great Lakes ecosystem with three core units: Food Web, Water and Fish. Geared toward upper elementary and middle school educators, standards-based lesson content features hands-on activities. Fun and engaging materials are available for free download.
  • Read a Water Meter and Water Bill This lesson from WET in the City’s Water Watchers guide helps students learn how to read a water meter and water bill to get an overview of the school’s total water consumption and the cost of that water. They will monitor the water meter twice a day for two weeks, which will help them develop an idea of water consumption patterns. Like all activities from WET in the City, this activity was designed to meet National Science Education standards.
  • A Recipe for Clean Water WET in the City developed this activity in which students examine the labels of household products to learn what hazardous chemicals they may contain. They also try less toxic alternatives to some of these chemicals to reduce the amount of toxins that go down the drain. The activity reinforces middle school math, health, and environmental science topics. Like all activities from the WET in the City curriculum, this activity was designed to meet National Science Education standards.
  • The Water Sourcebooks, developed by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, contain 324 interdisciplinary, hands-on activities on topics including Introduction to Water, Drinking Water and Wastewater Treatment, Surface Water Resources, Ground Water Resources, and Wetlands and Coastal Waters. Activities are organized by objectives, materials needed, background information, advance preparation, procedures, and resources. The Water Sourcebook Series is correlated to national science, social studies, and geography standards, and all activities may be downloaded, printed and copied.
  • What’s Up in the Environment has produced three long-term projects focusing on water issues: Contaminated Water, Watersheds, and Wetlands. Each project provides step-by-step instructions and resources for educators to get their students involved in local water issues. Depending on the project, students will engage in research of the history of water use in the community, monitor water quality at a specific site of interest, build a model to illustrate a method of stormwater mitigation, and formulate an action plan for the local community. The projects were designed for middle school students, and each is correlated to NAAEE and Technology Foundation standards.

One Response to “National Environmental Education Week | Water Curricula Free Resources”

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