Lesson Plans – Water

Earth’s Freshwater
Source: National Geographic
Seven-Unit Curriculum that explores the importance of water with vivid visuals, maps, and case studies. See especially Chapter 6, “Water and Human Communities.”
Grade Level: upper elementary
Subject Area: science, social studies


Exploring Downstream: Water Resources
Source: Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting
Lesson Plan with multiple learning activities that uses videos to explore “water wars” between Kenya and Ethiopia, effects of climate change in South Asia, and desertification in China. Extension exercises for math, action, and research.
Grade Level: high school
Subject Area: Social studies, science, geography, environmental studies


The Global Water Crisis
Source: Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting
Lesson Plan with multiple learning activities that uses World Water Day videos to discuss the growing global crisis in access to water. Offers research and action ideas
Grade Level: high school
Subject Area: Social studies, science, geography


Global Water Supply
Kindergarten – Elementary  Middle school  High school
Source: Water.org
Multiple lessons that address personal and global issues related to water. Also offers videos of Water.Org’s work here.
Grade Level:
Preschool – high school
Subject Area: environment, science


Human Rights and Sanitation
Source: Water-Aid
Curriculum with 7 lessons that differentiates between needs and wants and relates human needs to human rights. Links sanitation and water to basic needs. Developed in UK but easily adaptable.
Grade Level: middle – high school
Subject Area: social studies, science


Rights to a Clean Environment Toolkit
Source: Advocates for Human Rights
A multi-faceted educational tools with background information, lesson plans, action opportunities, and resources that analyze the right to a clean environment in the United States. Includes K-2 lesson on the Right to Water.
Grade Level: K-12
Subject Area: social studies, current events


A Rights to Safe, Clean Water for Everyone?
Source: Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting
Lesson Plan with multiple learning activities that explore different attitudes toward water as a human right, inviting evaluation of sources and research on global and local water issues.
Grade Level: high school
Subject Area: Social studies, science, geography


Walking for Water
Source: Development a Global Perspective for Educators
Lesson plan that incorporates the world water crisis into middle school math curriculum. Examines the accessibility of water in distance and in time and asks students to computer with their walking speed. Reviews the relationship between time, distance, and speed and conversion of units.
Grade Level: middle school
Subject Area: social studies, environmental studies, math


Water and Environment
Source: Teach UNICEF
Multiple grade-appropriate lessons focus on water and sanitation as a human necessity and the effects of lack of water on children around the world.
Grade Level: pre-K – high school
Subject Area: social studies


The Water Crisis: Lesson Plans for All Graces
Source: The Water Project
See especially the lesson “Dirty Water – So What?” which explores the potential impact of dirty water on hunger, poverty, education, and health.
Grade Level: middle – high school
Subject Area: social studies, geography, science


Water for All Workshop
Source: Grassroots International
Two-hour workshop module that examines the roots of the global water crisis and brainstorms what individuals and communities can to do defend their right to water.
Grade Level: high school – adult
Subject Area: social studies, environmental studies


Water on First Nation Reservation

Source: Development a Global Perspective for Educators
Using a Manitoba First Nations community news story, considers running water and sanitation as a human rights issue. Easily adapted to US context.
Grade Level: middle school
Subject Area: social studies, environmental studies, language arts


Water.Org

Source: Water.Org
Multiple lessons at every level regarding the global water crisis.
Grade Level: elementary-high school
Subject Area: social studies, science, environmental studies