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Welcome to the Sustainability Lesson Clearinghouse

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Sustainability Lesson Clearinghouse

When Are We Wasting Water?

Lesson Description:
Students will be able to…
  • Identify and describe how an individual’s action in regards to water conservation can affect change and improve the environment.
  • Identify the units used to measure capacity (cup, pint, quart, gallon) and convert from one unit to another within one system of measure.
  • Demonstrate healthy behaviors (proper hand-washing techniques) that prevent disease and promote wellness.

Lesson Type:
  • Experiment
  • Group Work
  • Other

Sustainability Topic:
  • Water

GEF Program Category:
  • Sustainable Water Challenge

Time Needed:
1 hour
Standards Addressed:
Science Standard 12: Understand the nature of scientific inquiry.
  • Benchmark # 3: Plan and conduct simple investigations.
  • Benchmark # 4: Use appropriate tools and simple equipment (e.g., measuring cups) to gather scientific data and extend the senses.

Mathematics Standard 4: Understand and apply the basic and advanced properties of the concepts of measurement.
  • Benchmark # 1: Understand the basic measures of perimeter, area, volume, capacity, mass, angle and circumference.
  • Benchmark # 3: Knows the approximate size of basic standard units (e.g., cups, pints, quarts, gallons) and the relationships between them (e.g., how many cups in a pint).

Geography Standard 14: Understand how human actions modify the physical environment.
  • Benchmark # 2: Know the ways in which the physical environment is stressed by human activity (e.g., water pollution, excessive water usage).

Geography Standard 15: Understand how physical systems affect human systems.
  • Benchmark # 3: Know ways in which human activities are constrained by the physical environment (e.g., availability of water or lack thereof).

Geography Standard 18: Understand global development and environmental issues
  • Benchmark # 2: Know ways in which resources can be managed and why it is important to do so (e.g., water conservation measures).
  • Benchmark # 4: Know how human-induced changes that are taking place in different regions and the possible future impacts of these changes (e.g., in some areas water is plentiful whereas in other locations there is very little).

Health Standard 8: Know essential concepts about the prevention and control of disease.
  • Benchmark # 1: Know ways in which a person can prevent or reduce the risk of disease and disability (e.g., practicing good personal hygiene).

Materials Needed:
  •  "Proper Hand Washing Techniques" handout provided below
  •  "Wasting Water" worksheet provided below
  • Large pails
  • Liquid hand soap 
  • Measuring cups
  • Clean hand towels, one per student
  • Watches with second hand
  • Pencils  

School or Group:
Green Education Foundation (GEF)
Contact Email:
Located in: Health

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Center for Green Schools