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Water Use
Around the World

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Subjects

  • Educational Technology
  • Mathematics
    --Applied Math
    --Arithmetic
    --Measurement
    --Statistics
  • Health
    --Environmental
  • Science
    --Agriculture
    --Physical Science
    ----Environmental
  • Social Studies
    --Geography

Grade

  • 3-5
  • 6-8
  • 9-12
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Brief Description

Students compare their water use with water use in other places around the world. Printable work sheet included.

Objectives

Students

  • estimate/calculate their use of water (in gallons) on a weekly basis.
  • create a graph comparing their water use with that of people in other countries.
  • think critically about the availability of clean water in different countries around the world.

Keywords

water, conservation

Materials Needed[shopmaterials]

Lesson Plan

The availability of clean water is something that most of our students take for granted. This lesson will explore the availability of clean water throughout the world.

Before the Lesson
Use the Per Capita Water Consumption in Selected Countries table (scroll down to page 2) as a source of information.

  • Count out index cards equal to the number of students in your class.
  • On each card write the name of a country and the number of gallons of water each person in that country uses each day. (If you teach students in grades 5 or below, you might round off the numbers; for example, round off 5.8 gallons per day to 6 gallons a day.)

    The Lesson
    Begin the lesson by asking students to identify the ways in which they use water at home. Make a list of ideas that students share. The ideas students share might include using water to drink, for cooking, for taking showers, for filling an aquarium, for watering gardens

    Ask students to study the chart and to identify the most common uses. You might have students work with a partner or in small groups to identify the ten most common uses on the chart. When the groups have completed that task, determine which uses most groups had on their lists.

    Provide students with a list of the most common uses of water and the typical number of gallons used for each use. You might write the list on a board or chart

    Washing face or hands: 1 gallon
    Taking a shower (standard shower head): 50 gallons
    Taking a shower (low-flow shower head): 25 gallons
    Taking a bath: 40 gallons gallons
    Brushing teeth (water running): 2 gallons
    Brushing teeth (water turned off): gallon
    Flushing the toilet (standard-flow toilet): 5 gallons
    Flushing the toilet (low-flow toilet): 1-1/2 gallons
    Getting a drink: gallon
    Washing dishes by hand: 10 gallons
    Running a dishwasher: 15 gallons
    Doing a load of laundry: 30 gallons
    Watering lawn: 300 gallons
    Washing car: 50 gallons
    or you could provide a copy of the handout Down the Drain: Personal Water Use Chart. Students in grades 3-up should be able to use the information above or on the handout to calculate/estimate their personal water use and their family's water use.
    If you have access to a computer(s) in the classroom, you might have students use the Water Consumption Calculator (alternate calculator) to get a rough idea of the number of gallons of water they use each week, month, and year.

    Provide each student with one of the index cards you created. Each student will represent the country named on the card he or she holds. Display a world map and have each student locate the country.

  • If you are using a wall map, have students write the number of gallons of water each person uses each day on a "sticky note." The student can stick the sticky note on the map.
  • If you are using a world map transparency on an overhead projector, give each student the opportunity to use a transparency marker to write on that country on the map the number of gallons of water used each day.

    Look at the world map. Talk about the disparity in water use from country to country.

  • In which countries do people use the most water?
  • In which countries do people use the least water?
  • On which continent, or in which areas, do people seem to use less water (suffer from a shortage of clean water)?

    Independent Activity
    Provide each student with a copy of the Water Use Around the World work sheet. Students will study the graph and answer the questions on the work sheet.

    ANSWERS
    See answers to this work sheet in the assessment section below.

    Follow-Up Activities

    Discuss the difficulties people face in countries where water use is less than where you live.

    Have students create a graph showing the water use per year in a handful of countries. Students might gather in groups and use their index card information as their graph data source. You might provide a bar graph template or, if students have computer access, they might use the free online Create a Graph tool to create their graphs. One bar on each student's graph might represent his/her own personal water-use estimate.

    Use jellybeans or cottonballs in this activity that simulates global water use: It's a Small World

    Assessment

    Answers to student work sheet:
    1. United States; 2. Malta; 3. 112,000 gallons; 4. less; 5. 215,000 gallons; 6. Belgium, 99 gallons.

    Lesson Plan Source

    EducationWorld.com

    Submitted By

    Gary Hopkins

    National Standards 

    MATHEMATICS: Number and Operations
    GRADES 3 - 5
    NM-NUM.3-5.1 Understand Numbers, Ways of Representing Numbers, Relationships Among Numbers, and Number Systems
    NM-NUM.3-5.3 Compute Fluently and Make Reasonable Estimates
    GRADES 6 - 8
    NM-NUM.6-8.1 Understand Numbers, Ways of Representing Numbers, Relationships Among Numbers, and Number Systems
    NM-NUM.6-8.3 Compute Fluently and Make Reasonable Estimates
    GRADES 9 - 12
    NM-NUM.9-12.1 Understand Numbers, Ways of Representing Numbers, Relationships Among Numbers, and Number Systems
    NM-NUM.9-12.3 Compute Fluently and Make Reasonable Estimates

    MATHEMATICS: Measurement
    GRADES 3 - 5
    NM-MEA.3-5.2 Apply Appropriate Techniques, Tools, and Formulas to Determine Measurements
    GRADES 6 - 8
    NM-MEA.6-8.2 Apply Appropriate Techniques, Tools, and Formulas to Determine Measurements
    GRADES 9 - 12
    NM-MEA.9-12.2 Apply Appropriate Techniques, Tools, and Formulas to Determine Measurements

    MATHEMATICS: Data Analysis and Probability
    GRADES 3 - 5
    NM-DATA.3-5.3 Develop and Evaluate Inferences and Predictions That Are Based on Data
    GRADES 6 - 8
    NM-DATA.6-8.3 Develop and Evaluate Inferences and Predictions That Are Based on Data
    GRADES 9 - 12
    NM-DATA.9-12.3 Develop and Evaluate Inferences and Predictions That Are Based on Data

    MATHEMATICS: Connections
    GRADES Pre-K - 12
    NM-CONN.PK-12.3 Recognize and Apply Mathematics in Contexts Outside of Mathematics

    MATHEMATICS: Representation
    GRADES Pre-K - 12
    NM-REP.PK-12.1 Create and Use Representations to Organize, Record, and Communicate Mathematical Ideas
    NM-REP.PK-12.3 Use Representations to Model and Interpret Physical, Social, and Mathematical Phenomena

    PHYSICAL EDUCATION AND HEALTH: Health
    GRADES K - 4
    NPH-H.K-4.4 Health Influences
    GRADES 5 - 8
    NPH-H.5-8.4 Health Influences
    GRADES 9 - 12
    NPH-H.9-12.4 Health Influences

    SCIENCE
    GRADES K - 4
    NS.K-4.4 Earth and Space Science
    NS.K-4.6 Science in Personal and Social Perspectives
    GRADES 5 - 8
    NS.5-8.4 Earth and Space Science
    NS.5-8.6 Science in Personal and Social Perspectives
    GRADES 9 - 12
    NS.9-12.4 Earth and Space Science
    NS.9-12.6 Science in Personal and Social Perspectives

    SOCIAL SCIENCES: Geography
    GRADES K - 12
    NSS-G.K-12.1 The World in Spatial Terms
    NSS-G.K-12.2 Places and Regions
    NSS-G.K-12.5 Environment and Society

    TECHNOLOGY
    GRADES K - 12
    NT.K-12.1 Basic Operations and Concepts
    NT.K-12.3 Technology Productivity Tools

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    Copyright © 2010 Education World

    Originally posted on 10/12/2005
    Last updated 03/30/2010



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