Water Unit

The Sunflower 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, children will examine their own practices of using water in their homes. They will 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. Children will 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, children will start by investigating the source of water for their own homes. They will do this by talking to local water management authorities, and then make a diagram and mural based on the information they have gathered. They will also survey their parents about water sources and water delivery systems in their native countries, and compare how water is used in both places.

In the third section, children will investigate water processing and pollution created by humans. They will 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 have seen employed, children will be asked to design different models for filtering water, and to test which one works best. Finally, children will talk to their parents about sources of water pollution in their native countries, and will discuss water pollution problems in the community.

In the final section, children will look at the  journey that water makes: how it gets from rivers, lakes, and oceans, back into the sky (i.e, the water cycle). Children will do an experiment which shows how evaporation and condensation work; they will 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, if you do an average of two activities each week, you should expect to spend 6-8 weeks on this unit. 

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