Water Unit

The Sunflower/Girasol Water Unit is divided into four sections which address the following questions:

1. How (and for what) do we use, or waste, water?

2. What is the source of our drinking water, and how does it reach our homes?

3. What are some of the causes and effects of water pollution?

4. What is the water cycle, and how does it work?

In the first section, students examine their own practices of using water in their homes. They estimate the amount of water used by their own families in a single day, and then take that information to estimate how much water is used by the population of their city, state, and country in a day. Students explore ways that they can save water, and then work with their families to implement one water saving practice in their own homes.

In the second section, students start by investigating the source of water for their own homes. They do this by talking to local water management authorities, and then make a diagram and mural based on the information they've gathered. They also survey their parents about water sources and water delivery systems in their native countries, and compare how water is used in different places.

In the third section, students investigate water processing and pollution created by humans. They investigate the practices of a local sewage treatment plant, and look at some of the ways that technologies are being used to clean up dirty water. Using ideas they've seen employed, students are asked to design different models for filtering water, and to test which one works best. Finally, students talk to their parents about sources of water pollution in their native countries, and discuss water pollution problems in the community.

In the final section, students look at the journey that water makes: how it gets from rivers, lakes, and oceans, back into the sky (i.e, the water cycle). Students do an experiment which shows how evaporation and condensation work; they also create a play in which each character is one of the components of the water cycle.

The length of time the Water Unit takes to complete depends on the number of extension activities you choose to do. In total, you should expect to spend about 5 weeks.


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