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Explore in this unit the increasingly urgent problem of our world’s most necessary natural resource: water. Everything from pollution and shortages to household and dietary water footprints to some surprising solutions is covered!
Grab their attention with shocking numbers, make it real with their own personal audit, guide them to dig deeper with engaging documentaries and current issues, inspire them with the work of water activists, and help them spread change to their schoolmates.
By the end of this unit, your students will be able to:
- Calculate their own personal water usage
- Assess various stakeholders in the fight for this finite resource
- Articulate a wide variety of current issues and activists affecting our global supply
- Research and share with their school doable solutions to preserve our earth’s most precious resource
Greatness is believing in the power of one person’s choices to impact the world.
Few teenagers know the world beyond their own surroundings and many have no idea how their lifestyle, their consumption levels, their “normal” behavior are not the reality for much of the world, especially when it comes to our natural resources.
Guide your students through a variety of sources (from documentaries and charts to a simulation and news articles) as they grapple with the self-realizing question: “How can I improve my water footprint to better sustain this resource for others?”
You will set each of your students up for success in this high interest, multi-faceted project-based unit, regardless of ability, with highly scaffolded graphic organizers, student directions, and supplemental resources included at each step of the way.
Empower your students to become globally aware water citizens in this 2-3 week unit!
Activities are completely interchangeable- mix and match depending on time constraints, student ability, or personal interests.
Included in this unit:
- Unit overview and 4 additional pages of detailed daily lesson plans
- Step-by-step simulation script and directions for activities
- Answer keys for assignments and rubrics for projects and essay (both CCSS-aligned and generic)
- 25-slide editable PowerPoint slideshow with images, links, and student directions
Student Materials & Activities
- Log Notes & Concept Definition Sheet to record growing understanding
- How Well Do You Know Water Test to shock students’ incoming knowledge
- What if the World’s Water was a Gallon? Simulation to really “see” the finiteness of our water supply
- Personal Water Audit to uncover the real amounts of water used in a developed world's lifestyle
- Documentary Viewing Guide to see and hear from various water stakeholder, activists, and experts trying to solve or impending water crisis
- The Omni Processor to explore a creative solution Bill Gates is putting his money behind
- Current Issues Analysis to dig deeper into a variety of present-day water issues, from droughts to pollution to bottle water habits
- Be the Solution Project to share doable changes with classmates in a bulletin board (complete with 2 accompanying signage options)
- DBQ Essay to culminate learning from the wide variety of sources examined by answering, “How can I best sustain our water supply?”
- 2 BONUS Skill Sheets Annotating a Text, Analyzing a News Media Source
Note to Homeschoolers
Though the included teacher lesson plans and PPT slides are written to fully support a traditional classroom teacher, this resource is also a great fit for your teenage homeschooler:
- the inquiry, thematic structure of this unit is driven more by critical thinking, reading, and writing skills and a central high-interest question than any one set of state-specific, grade-specific content standards
- a wide age and ability range can easily access the rich variety of sources utilized in this unit, making it perfect for a multi-grade group
- your student’s voice is central to each activity, through talking out their learning, maximizing the one-on-one
- activities can be completed independently and aren’t solely reliant on group or whole-class work
- all utilized sources are free or inexpensive and easily obtainable; either included, accessible online, available at your local library, or purchased used through Amazon (links provided)
- this unit is independent of a textbook, though one could be used for greater background knowledge
- any activity can easily be left out to customize for your student’s skill level or personal interest
Want more Sustainability PBL units?
Sustainability Bundle PBL Unit: explore water, fossil fuels, and garbage in one cohesive unit, saving you 25%!
--- Garbage PBL Unit: explore the problems and solutions of our consumeristic, disposable lifestyles
--- Fossil Fuel PBL Unit: explore the problems and solutions of our favorite addiction- oil
Check out these other Global Issues PBL units!
World Population PBL Unit: explore worldwide population numbers, extreme poverty, and demographics
--- World Poverty PBL Mini Unit: explore what living on one dollar a day really looks like
Globalization PBL Unit: explore the growth and shrinking of our global population, connectivity, and resources
--- Globalization PBL Mini Unit: explore all the same topics in about half the time
--- Competing in a Flat World PBL Mini Unit: explore the flattening of the world’s economy
--- What’s My Eco Footprint PBL Mini Unit: explore the impact of one’s footprint in comparison to the world’s
Building a Global Issues or Geography curriculum from scratch?
Global Issues Course Bundle get this complete semester-long course in one download and save big!