The Wonders of Water

 Creation and Implementation of a learning scenario

As children grow and understand the world around them, it is important they value water as being vital for their health and for a healthy environment. In a flexible learning environment (FLE), students will explore, investigate, and collect data about: sources of water, the need of water in our life, water cycle, water waste vs responsible consumption of water. Students will acquire a better understanding of how our actions could affect, positively or negatively, our water and, in consequences, the world around us.

Subject:

Language and Communication, Citizenship, Mathematics and Environmental Exploration, Science, Technology, Outdoor experience, Arts

Topics:

Forms of Water, Sources of Water, Water Cycle, Water Waste vs Responsible consumption of water, Water and Sanitation, Water and Plants

Age of students:

6-7 years old (or older students by designing tailored content and tools)

Aim of the lesson:

By the end of the lesson students will be able to understand the importance of water in our lives, to identify sources of water, to learn about water cycle, water waste vs responsible consumption of water and simultaneously become agents of change in their school, local community and beyond.

Trends:

Project-Based Learning: students get fact-based tasks, problems to solve and they work in groups.

Lifelong Learning: learning does not stop when leaving school.

Collaborative Learning: a strong focus on group work.

STEM Learning: Increased focus on Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics subjects in the curriculum

Outdoor Education: learning outside of the school building in the “real” environment

Student Centered Learning: students and their needs are at the center of the learning process.

Active Learning: Students are actively engaged with the lesson through discussions, problem-solving, experiments and other methods.

Peer Learning: students learn from peers and give each other feedback.

Edutainment: playful learning. Learning while having fun.

Augmented Reality: by pointing devices like smartphones and tablets to objects of reality you receive extra information.

Leadership and responsibilities – students will develop the ability to guide and motivate each other.

21st century skill:

While this learning scenario focuses on the 4C’s of 21st Century Skills- Critical Thinking, Communication, Collaboration and Creativity it will also strengthen among students many other 21st century skills, such as:

Ways of thinking: creativity, innovation, critical thinking, problem solving, decision-making and learning to learn.

Ways of working: communication, collaboration, teamwork.

Tools of working: information literacy and ICT literacy

Living in the world: citizenship, life and career skills, personal and social responsibility.

The backgroud of the learning scenario

Activities done within this learning scenario are part of Sustainable Education and Cultural Heritage eTwinning project. Transnational teams of teachers and students from France, Italy, Turkey, Spain, Georgia, and Romania were formed to carry out collaborative activities.By representing WATER and by following the approach of Team-Based Learning (TBL), my students will worked collaboratively with students from Romania (LAND), France (AIR) and Georgia (ANIMALS), as part of the transnational team “Beautiful”.

Addressing sustainability in primary education from a water perspective might be challenging and demanding, but it is needed. Therefore, I started the implementation of this LS by designing activities focused on the key role that water could play in teaching & learning related to sustainable development goals. The pupils of today are the grown-up population of tomorrow thus they firstly should become aware of the impact of their actions on the environment. As teachers we have the responsibility to take an action by sharing knowledge and providing practical tools to make learning appealing and fun while ensuring students consider the environmental, economic, and social impacts of their actions and decisions in the local and global community. This learning scenario provides a collection of ecological activities that should start to be taught from an early age.

Lesson 1: What’s with Water? Blue, Blue Everywhere!

Language and communication

Brainstorming and whole class discussion

A flexible, comfortable, and friendly working environment has previously organized in the classroom. Whole class is invited to discover and explore the Corner of Water: a world globe, aquatic plants, aquatic animals, books, magazines, and encyclopaedias for little students. (Annex 2 includes a list of materials needed for organizing the Corner of Water and photos).

After exploring the Corner of Water, students will take turns observing the world globe. By using the Google Earth Pro, teacher launches the driving-question:

Why is our Earth called Blue Planet?

Following, students start brainstorming around the question. With teacher guidance a discussion about water will be held.

How much water is on Earth?

Why is water important?

Could we live without water?

Where does the water we drink comes from?

Are humans the only ones who need water for living?

Students are encouraged to share their opinions and talk freely about water and its importance.

Explanation and Discussion

Based on students’ responses, teacher explains to students that Planet Earth has been called “Blue Planet” due to the abundant water on its surface. Liquid water covers most of the surface of our planet and that’s why people take it for granted. However, in some parts of the world the lack of clean water affects the health of the people. Without water there would be no life, so it is important to value and preserve it.

Lesson 2: Water, in all its forms!On, In and Above the Earth…

Science

Part 1: Whole class discussion

Teacher initiates a guided discussion related to the states of water:

Have you ever touched the water? (If yes, what did you feel?)

How many forms of water can we observe?

What is ice?

What does water turn into ice?

The lesson continues with a manipulation session. Students will receive an ice cub on a small plate. They are asked to hold the ice cube in their hands and observe.

What did you notice?

What did happen with the ice cube?

Why is the ice cube melting?

Students are encouraged to realize that the warmth of their hands is melting the ice.

Teacher explanation

Teacher talks about the different states of water by giving examples.

Water exists in many forms, such as liquid, solid, as in snow and ice, underneath the land surface as groundwater, and in the atmosphere, as invisible water vapor. Ice is frozen water. Water that we drink is liquid. Steam is also a form of water. We can see steam when we take a hot bath.

To extend the knowledge related the states of water, students will watch the video “Water cycle” and “Sources of Water.

Pictures can speak a thousand words. Therefore, on a flip chart a A3 picture related to water cycle is displayed. Same picture is given to students as a flashcard to be drawn. Teacher shows to the class a variety of pictures representing the sources of water.

Part 2: Exploration and investigation through the experiment “Make your own rain”

Driving question: Would you like the rain disappears?

The experiment focuses on what a cloud is and what makes it rain. Students will understand the connection between clouds and rain and recognize the pattern that clouds are necessary for rain. The activity starts by watching a video about what rain is and have a class discussion about the importance of rain and how we use water in our daily life.

Teacher tells students that even though some people may not enjoy rainy days, the water we get from rain is very important for people, plants, animals, in fact, for our Earth. By working in small group, the teacher directs and guides students to do each step of the experiment.

Each group will receive two plastic glasses (one of the glasses needs to be drilled with a toothpick; use the toothpick to make small and big drops), a spoon, a glass jar, large cotton balls, blue tempera/acrylic paint. The drilled plastic glass will be putted at the top of the jar. Students will be pouring 20 spoons of water in the other plastic glass and colour the water in blue. The coloured water will be poured over the cotton ball. When the cotton balls will be fully filled with water, “the rain” will be seen inside the glass jar. https://www.youtube.com/shorts/MUy3FAGBhYU

Teacher Explanation:

The clouds are made of tiny droplets of water. Up in the air, within a cloud, water droplets condense onto one another, causing the droplets to become bigger/ heavier. When they get too heavy to stay in the cloud, they fall to Earth as rain.

Lesson 3: Water for life. Make a change! Be water wise!

Mathematics, Art, Citizenship (non-STEM subjects)

Part 1: Water Waste vs Responsible consumption of water

Through this activity little students will understand and appreciate the value of water.

Driving question: What will living beings do without water?

By answering to the question, students are challenged to find ways to harmonize the water requirements with those of the natural environment. By working in two teams, students are going to create awareness drawings posters and digital posters in Canva.

The Detective Kids and the Trackers Kids teams are in charge with finding solution for saving water at school and at home and to work together for products that will help others to value, respect, and, above all, not waste water.

Part 2: Water and Sanitation

Teacher starts by talking about how water is essential for human health and well-being as it allows them to meet basic human needs such as drinking water and sanitation services. Through this part of the lesson, students will understand the connection between water and health by creating videos to promote healthy habits related to water. The products are expected to persuade the other students of the school and all the children to take care of their personal hygiene and to use water wisely in their daily life.

Students (with the help of teacher) will record a demonstration of how to brush the teeth and how to wash hands and avoid water waste at the same time.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7B27vVyJ14M

Part 3: Water Tracker

Children have many choices when it comes to beverages, and unfortunately, many children are reaching for sugar-laden drinks instead of water. In this part of the activity, students will learn about the importance of staying hydrated for their health.

Driving-question: Do you drink enough water or not? The answers to the question will trigger students’ curiosity to collect information about the water they drink at school and at home. This part of the activity requires parents’ involvement. For one month, students will monitor their drinking water consumption.

Lesson 4: Water, plants, and butterflies’ friendship

Outdoor experience, Engineering& Technology

Part 1

Driving-Question: Who’s the best, best friend of a plant?

After giving their opinions students are invited to watch the video “The needs of a plant”:

Students are taken in an outdoor setting. Teacher explains that they will participate in a Seed Finding Adventure. They are asked to find in the school garden 5 seed sachets. Once they are done, have them open the sachets and examine the seeds they have found. Students receive the materials and directions on how to place seeds in a glove (Annex 6). To better understand the relationship between water and plants, students will investigate the germination of seeds by exploring what plants need to grow.

Part 2: An apple a day keeps the doctor away!

Driving-question: Where does apple come from?

The previous outdoor activity will open the windows for discovering the development stages of a plant (an apple tree) and allow students to make real-world connection with the life cycle of a plant by exploring the elements of it.

In this part of the lesson students will work individually to cut imagines, arrange, and glue them in the correct order and assemble the components for designing the life cycle of an apple three. (Annex 7)

At the end of this activity students will learn that seeds need light, correct temperature, water, and air to germinate. After the germination, the plants will be planted and helped to grow for producing healthy food.

Part 3: Augmented reality

Driving-question: What other living beings need water to survive?

By using Quiver app, students will work in small groups to colour, scan, play and have fun while learning about a monarch butterfly life cycle.

During the lesson, students were immersed in experiences within which they gained in depth-understanding about the connection between water, plants, and all living beings. Students answers to the driving question of this lesson will be summarized in the proverb: Water, A friend in a need is a friend indeed!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7PFDkv2wr7E

Spread the word! Make your voice heard

Public event at school

At the end of the activity, students and teacher discuss, give feedback, share thoughts and opinions. Teacher will help and support students to organize a public event at school. Representatives of local community, parents, students and teachers of the school will be invited to attend to an online session with an expert in SDG’s goals. After that, all the learning products produced will be presented by teams of students. An exhibition will be placed at the entrance of the school during the school year as an example of responsible actions to save water, protect and preserve the environment.

Teacher will upload the results in a padlet that will be shared on social media channels. All the participants to the public event will complete an online survey aimed to find out the impact of the activities done within the project.

https://www.canva.com/design/DAE_SL9AqNA/zP4WjrFy7sfF0WBUtGUl0w/edit?utm_content=DAE_SL9AqNA&utm_campaign=designshare&utm_medium=link2&utm_source=sharebutton

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1ZlCZE2J78segDXXWga71mCVvsJ8c-RO4/edit?usp=sharing&ouid=112559187298903954885&rtpof=true&sd=true

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