WATER CITY CHAPTER INTRODUCTION
RELATED LESSON PLAN
Inquiry project: How clean
is your water? (in printable PDF format)
Water touches all aspects of human life
- from our basic need of water for survival to the agricultural
and industrial development of every human civilization.
Life on Earth began in water and the connection between
life and water remains unbroken, as water is a fundamental
part of all living organisms. The need for water has been
a driving force of social, economic and cultural development
throughout human history. However, residents of large
cities like New York usually know little about the natural
sources of the water they use and drink everyday and how
they can contribute to avoid water waste and pollution.
Water City provides fun and relevant information that
can be integrated into classroom activities about the
topic of water. For instance, students can conduct investigations
of the long travel of water from its natural sources until
it reaches their homes, learn about the hydrologic cycle
and research the ways in which water is storaged in their
buildings and neighborhoods. Students can also learn what
to do in order to avoid wasting water in their everyday
activities and understand the importance of keeping water
clean for the life quality of humans and other organisms.
Bringing students’ resources into the science
The topic of water provides a unique opportunity to integrate
students’ knowledge and experiences into the classroom.
For example, students usually hold a diversity of experiences
with water in the city, including first-hand observations
of different bodies of water such as ponds, rivers or
even the ocean. Children’s knowledge about aquatic
plants or animals can also become tools for class projects
in which students research the characteristics of aquatic
ecosystems, including bodies of water located in the school
In addition, students usually have many questions about
why we need water for survival: Why do we feel thirsty
after doing exercise? In which part of our bodies do we
keep the water we drink? What may happen to us if the
water we drink is not clean? What causes water to be polluted?
These and other similar questions can become starting
points for the development of inquiry projects. Also,
through the lesson How clean is your water? students can
test different samples of water for pollution and investigate
how pollution affects a living organism.
Finally, in order to connect this topic with students’
lives outside of school students can conduct a research
study regarding the use of water in their families and
communities: How much water do I and my family use every
day? How much water can we save? (see Go Wild in New York
City, page 17). The development of this kind of activities
can promote students’ engagement in direct action,
such as changing their own personal habits of water consumption,
or promoting their community awareness of the importance
of preserving water natural sources.
RELATED LESSON PLAN
Inquiry project: How
clean is your water? (in printable PDF format).