Brittany Bruning

Sustainability Lesson Plan
Title & Topic:
Water and

Grade Level:
Third grade

Next Generation Science Standards:
National Standards:
o Core Idea ESS2.C: The Roles of Water in Earth’s Surface Processes.
Water continuously cycles among land, ocean, and atmosphere via transpiration,
evaporation, condensation, and crystallization, and precipitation, as well as downhill flows
on land.
o MS- ESS2-4: Develop a model to describe the cycling of water through Earth's systems
driven by energy from the sun and the force of gravity. [Clarification Statement: Emphasis is
on the ways water changes its state as it moves through the multiple pathways of the
hydrologic cycle. Examples of models can be conceptual or physical.] [Assessment
Boundary: A quantitative understanding of the latent heats of vaporization and fusion is not
o Core Idea ESS3.A: Natural Resources: Humans depend on Earth’s land, ocean, atmosphere
and biosphere for many different resources. Minerals, fresh water, and biosphere resources
are limited, and many are not renewable or replaceable over human lifetimes. These
resources are distributed unevenly around the planet as a result of past geologic processes.
o MS- ESS3-4: Construct an argument supported by evidence for how increases in human
population and per-capital consumption of natural resources impact Earth's systems.
[Clarification Statement: Examples of evidence include grade-appropriate databases on
human populations and the rates of consumption of food and natural resources (such as
freshwater, mineral, and energy). Examples of impacts can include changes to the
appearance, composition, and structure of Earth’s systems as well as the rates at which they
change. The consequences of increases in human populations and consumption of natural
resources are described by science, but science does not make the decisions for the actions
society takes.]Arizona Science Standard:
Common Core State Standards Connections:
MathematicsMP.5 Use appropriate tools strategically.
MP.2 Reason abstractly and quantitatively.
Objective (Explicit & Measurable):
 Analyze freshwater usage data to describe ways humans use water
 Explain why it is important to conserve freshwater
 List ways we can conserve freshwater resources
Evidence of Mastery (Measurable Assessment: formative and summative):
 (formative): Students will respond correctly to teacher questions and will be actively engaged in the
 (summative): Students will turn in their data collection, and their ideas on how to conserve water.
Differentiation: ELL students or students who are lower levels can have a modified summative assessment:
 The students will draw pictures of things they do when they are using water. Then they will verbally

talk about what they do with water and how they can use less with the teacher.
Sub-objectives, SWBAT (steps that lead to completion of objective; sequence from simple to more
 SWBT- analyze data
 SWTB- brainstorm solutions to a problem
 SWTB- collect their own data
 SWTB- create a solution to their own data
Lesson Summary and Justification:
This activity was developed to get students thinking about the many ways that people use freshwater, and
how we can conserve this precious and fundamental natural resource. In this one hour long activity, students
will watch a short documentary describing issues related to clean water availability, analyze water use data
and start to think about how they consume and can conserve water. This background knowledge will lead to
students collecting data about their own water use and finding areas in their lives to conserve water.
Background Knowledge: (What do students need to know to complete this lesson):
Students will need to know what freshwater is. They will need to be able to read charts, and analyze data
Misconception: (what possible misleading thoughts might students have?)
A common misconception is that freshwater is easy to obtain and it is everywhere.
Process Skills: (what skills are you introducing or reinforcing: ex: observation – reinforcing;
prediction - introducing.)

Observation – Watching the documentary and observing their everyday life use of water.

Inferring - making an "educated guess" about how much water they waste daily.

Classifying – categorizing what group of the population they belong in based on how much water
they use.

Predicting - stating a future outcome on how they can conserve water and what that affect it will
have on our world.
Safety: (what safety rules and items need to be addressed?)
Students will need to be quite and remain seated during the documentary. Since the lights will be off, they
must not get up since they will not be able to see.
If outside the classroom, they are using hot water, they must be sure to handle with care and not burn
Inquiry Questions: (testable in the here and now.)
1. (to explore): Give at least two reasons why safe freshwater is not available to many people around
the world
2. (to elaborate): What are some ways you can conserve freshwater in your daily life?
Key vocabulary: (list and define)
Materials: (list item and possible quantity)
1. Data- facts and statistics collected together for
1. Scientific Notebooks (class set)
reference or analysis.
2. Pencils
2. Freshwater- of or found in fresh water; not of
3. Copies of “WatermConservation” Student
the sea.
capture sheets
3. Anlayze- discover or reveal (something)
5. Copies of the water diary
through detailed examination.
4. Conserve- protect (something, especially an
environmentally or culturally important place or 6. Internet access for showing documentary
thing) from harm or destruction.
7. Copies of graphs cut for each group

Engage - In this section you should activate prior knowledge, hook student attention, pose a question
(IQ#1) based on your lesson objective that students will seek to answer in Explore.
Teacher Will: (hook)
Students Will:
 Open up lesson by stating: “Water is
 List all of the ways they use water.
fundamental to life on Earth. Knowing where
 Raise hand quietly in seat and wait to be
and how much rain or snow falls globally is
called on.
vital to understanding how weather and climate
 If chosen, walk up to the board and write
impact both our environment and Earth’s water
answer on the board.
and energy cycles, including effects on
 Brainstorm the differences between fresh
agriculture, fresh water availability and
and salt water.
responses to natural disasters.”
 Raise hand when they think of ideas and
 Ask students to list ways they use water.
how available those types of water are.
 Have the students share their answers aloud
and/or make a list on the board.
 Remind students that we use only freshwater.
(to drink)
 Most of the water on Earth is salt water.
 Discuss the difference between fresh and salt
water, as well as the availability of each.
Best Teaching Practice Strategy/Differentiation and Teacher Notes:
For ELL students, have picture examples of what freshwater and saltwater is.
Explore - In this section students should take the lead and actively use materials to discover information
that will help them answer the question posed in Engage. Teachers may choose to give steps to follow,
especially for younger students, but the goal is for students to discover some or all of the sub-objectives of
the lesson.
Teacher Will: (pose IQ #1):
Students Will: (list all steps)
 Show the students the short documentary
 Watch the documentary quietly in their
“Overview” from the safe drinking water
seats and record the answers to the
website.( http://www.drinking--water.org )
questions on their worksheets.
 Ask them to record answers to the questions as
 Participate as a class when reviewing the
they watch.
 Review the answers as a class.
Best Teaching Practice Strategy/Differentiation and Teacher Notes:
Allow students with glasses or issues with vision, sit closer to the screen. Students who have troubles
listening such as ELL students can it with the teacher and have additional aid when needed.
Explain – In this section students share what they discovered, teacher connects student discoveries to
correct content terms/explanations, students articulate/demonstrate a clear and correct understanding of the
lesson sub-objectives by answering the question from Engage before moving on.
Teacher Will:
Students Will:
 Go over key vocabulary with the students as a
 Get into groups quietly and analyze their

Divide students into groups of 4.
 Record facts they learned on their graph
Give each group a graph of water-use data.
 Share their findings with the class.
Ask them to discuss the data with their group
 Record and share what surprised them
and record three facts they learned.
about their data they discovered.
 Give each group a turn to share answers with
the class.
 Ask the students what surprised them about the
Best Teaching Practice Strategy/Differentiation and Teacher Notes:
Pair studens who struggle with stronger students so they can still actively participate instead of sitting out.
Elaborate – In this section students take the basic learning gained from Explore and clarified in Explain
and apply it to a new circumstance or explore a particular aspect of this learning at a deeper level. Students
should be using higher order thinking in this stage. A common practice in this section is to ask a What If?
question. IQ #2
Teacher Will: (pose IQ #2):
Students Will:
 Fill out the Water Diary at home for one
To challenge the students to a deeper level of thinking
the teacher will:
 Share their results with their table group
 Give students the Water Diary from Planet H20
and then with the class.
and ask them to complete it for one week.
 Draw graphs that represent their data.
(attached at bottom)
 Brainstorm ideas on how to conserve water
 After they have collected data for the week,
in their own daily schedules.
have them share their results. Students can even
 Record a new Water Diary after they have
make graphs to represent their data.
implemented those ideas.
 After they have examined their own use, ask
 Share new results with the class.
them to choose one or two things they will do
 Answer discussion questions along with
to conserve water. This will include FUTURES
the class.
THINKING since they have to change their
habits while being mindful of how it will
impact the future.
 Give them another copy of the water diary to
complete for a week after pledging to reduce.
 Share results after that week.
 Were they successful? Will they continue it or
hopefully add more ways to conserve water?
How will they encourage their families to
conserve water?
 If you have more time, or want to give students
something fun to do at home,
www.discoverwater.org is an interactive
website for students to learn more about water
issues and ways they can conserve.

Best Teaching Practice Strategy/Differentiation and Teacher Notes:
Since this activity is requiring a deeper level of thinking, allow extra time for the ELL and slower students to
catch onto what you’re wanting them to grasp. Allow the students to share in their groups what they
discovered so the other students can also see the difference conserving water can make. Draw pictures
instead of taking data. They can draw a picture of them showering and how lnong it took, and then the next
week, draw them showering with a changed time.
Evaluate – In this section every student demonstrates mastery of the lesson objective (though perhaps not
mastery of the elaborate content). Because this also serves as a closing, students should also have a chance
to summarize the big concepts they learned outside of the assessment.
Teacher Will:
Students Will:
 Carefully think about the questions the
 Ask the students to list ways they use water
teacher is saying. Then respond to them on
again. Has their list expanded or become
their paper.
more thoughtful?
 Turn in their paper to check for
 Then, ask them to list ways they can conserve
 Look at each paper and see who truly
understood the point of the lesson.
 The “Elaborate Water Diaries” can also be
used as a way to measure understanding.
Ask the students what they have learned during this lesson.
Do they think that thinking about the future and how we can change it is beneficial?
What can they do every day to change how our future is?
Future thinking is the link between how the past and present affect the future. This includes positive and
negative events. Future thinking can be achieved by brainstorming what issues we have now and how we
could solve them. Then think about how those solutions would affect the future. The future can be a year
from now, 2 years, and 100 years. The length of time you put between now and the future can affect what
problems you will encounter. Thinking about the future will allow you to make smarter decisions to solve a
problem not only now, but down the road as well. If you choose to solve an oil spill problem by banning all
boats from the water, then you are eliminating more than just the oil. You are taking away jobs, supply,
means of travel, research, etc. Sometimes solving a problem won’t be as black and white as we wish it could
be. There are many ways to go about something and the road that may be more difficult could be the best
decision for the world as a whole.
This lesson was clearly enhanced by using Futures Thinking because it allowed students to dig deeper than
the surface on the meaning of conserving water. They had to not only learn about how we use water and how
much we waste, but they then had to brainstorm how we can stop wasting water and how we can conserve
water for the future. The students had to put those ideas in action and see how those small changes can affect
the bigger picture immensely. They then could brainstorm of even bigger ideas on how to impact the future
even more. This time, outside of just themselves. By thinking about the future by using the knowledge of the
past and present, they are able to consider things that have not happened yet and predict how their actions
can affect it.

Guiding Questions:
What are the various ways humans use water?
Why is it important to conserve water?
What are some ways we can conserve water?
List at least 6 ways you use water in your daily life.

Explore and Explain:
Safe Water Documentary: While you watch the short documentary, answer the following
1. Give at least two reasons why safe freshwater is not available to many people around the

2. Why is having safe freshwater a big concern?

3. What are some solutions to this problem?

Analyze the Data: Discuss the data with your group and record three facts you learned from this
data. You will share these with the class.
1. Review your original list of ways you use water (Engage).
List more ways you use freshwater that you didn’t think of before this lesson.

2. Wh

some ways you can conserve freshwater in your daily life?

Name: _______________________________

Date: _______________________________

H2O Diary: How Much Water Do You Use?
Hypothesis: How many gallons of water does the average person use per day?

Direction: This survey is to be conducted truthfully over the course of one week. Put a tally
mark in the Times Per Day column very time someone living in your home does the activity.
Weekly Water Use Survey

Times Per Day

Sun Mon Tues



Estimated Total
Amount of Weekly
Water Used
Used (in

Thurs Fri Sat

Toilet Flushing


Short Shower (5-10

* 25

Long Shower (>10

* 35

Tub Bath

* 35

Brushing Teeth (running


Brushing Teeth (water
turned off)

* 0.25



Washing Dishes (running

* 30

Washing Dishes (Filling a

* 10

Running a Dishwasher

* 20

Washing Clothes

* 35

Watering Lawn

* 300

Washing Car

* 50
Total Weekly Water Use (gallons) =
Average Daily Water Use (gallons) /7 =
Average Individual Daily Water Use (gallons) / by
number of
living at
home =

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