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Welcome to the Sustainability Lesson Clearinghouse

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Sustainability Lesson Clearinghouse

Splish, Splash: Water's Journey to My Glass

Lesson Description:
Crucial to our existence, water sustains all life on earth. Following the old adage, "what goes around comes around," water moves continuously through the stages of the hydrologic cycle (evaporation, condensation, and precipitation). How does our drinking water fit into this hydrologic cycle? Where did the water we drink fall as precipitation? Did this water percolate down into the ground as part of a groundwater system, or did it remain on the surface as part of a surface water system? What path did this water follow in order to become our drinking water? This lesson will explore the hydrologic cycle and water's journey to our glass.

Students will:
  • Understand the components of earth's hydrosphere, especially the surface and subsurface features.
  • Prepare a diagram to illustrate the path of his or her drinking water from the place of precipitation to the tap.

Lesson Type:
  • Discussion

Sustainability Topic:
  • Ecosystems
  • Water

GEF Program Category:
  • Sustainable Water Challenge

Time Needed:
Two hours
Standards Addressed:
Connections to the national geography standards:
Standard 7: "The physical processes that shape the patterns of earth's surface"
Materials Needed:
  • Topographic map of your region
  • Glass of water
  • Student journals, or paper
  • Writing and drawing materials

School or Group:
National Geographic
Contact Email:
Tags for searching:
Located in: Social Studies | Science

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