Part Four: Respecting Water and Water Conservation
Science: Importance of Water to Life
Time Frame: Two weeks and three 30 Minute periods
- Students will be able to experiment with plant life and the effect that water has on the growth and survival of plants.
- Students will be able to see that water is needed for plants to grow and survive. That without water, plants, like humans, could not live.
Materials: (Per Dyad)
- Three clear plastic drinking cups
- Potting soil
- 3 Bean seeds
- Chart Paper
- Notebook for observations
Space Requirements: Classroom with natural sunlight coming in
Background Information: Students have been looking at the importance of water to everyone’s home and community. One of the most important things to realize about water is that you need the right amount of water to survive. Too much water can result in death and too little water can result in death. Students will be given the opportunity to experiment with water and a bean plant. Likewise, whether the bean plant receives too much or too little water it will die, but if it receives the right amount it will survive. Also, unsafe drinking water can be detrimental to human health; likewise, it can also be detrimental to the bean plant’s health. Some human health issues that come from waterborne diseases and illnesses have lifelong effects among those who drink the water. Often, First Nation and rural Canadians do not have safe drinking water.
- Ask the students to hypothesize what will happen to their three seeds. Have them explain their answers.
- Divide the students into dyads where they will be given three beans and the soil and containers to plant them. Students will observe that all the seeds and the containers and soil are identical. Students will use a permanent marker to mark the glasses A, B, C.
- Seed A will be planted so that you can view the seed at the side of the glass, about two inches below the surface. It will be watered every third day about a 1/3 cup of water over a two-week period. Students will be asked to comment on its growth and appearance over 66 the two-week period. A will be placed in direct sunlight.
- Seed B will be planted so that you can view the seed at the side of the glass, about two inches below the surface. It will be watered every day about a 1/2 cup of water over a two-week period. Students will be asked to comment on its growth and appearance over the two-week period. It will be placed in direct sunlight.
- Seed C will be planted so that you can view the seed at the side of the glass, about two inches below the surface. It will only be watered the first day in the two-week period, only one tablespoon of water will be added. Students will be asked to comment on its growth and appearance over the two week period. It will be placed in direct sunlight.
- Over the two-week period students will observe the colour and measure their respective experiments. Students will then draw pictures of the three subjects. Students will write in their plant journal about their observations of the three plants. Students will make bar graphs regarding the growth (or lack of growth).
- Students will fill out the questionnaires/observation sheets for the three science periods. Students will be able to hypothesize what will happen to the bean seeds over the twoweek period and see if they are correct in their assumptions. Students will use their three sheets to compare and contrast the growth and development of the bean seeds. Students will write a final report on their experiments.
- Dyad Rubric
- Report Evaluation
Importance of Water to Life Worksheet #1
What do you think will happen to experiment A?
What do you think will happen to experiment B?
What do you think will happen to experiment C?
Draw a picture to represent experiments A, B, and C.
Importance of Water to Life Worksheet #2
What has happened to experiment A?
What has happened to experiment B?
What has happened to experiment C?
Draw a picture to represent experiments A, B, and C.
Importance of Water to Life Worksheet #3
What did you think was going to happen with experiments A, B, and C?
What ended up happening with the different bean seeds?
Why is water important to the development of plants?
How do you think this compares to water/fluids that you drink, or for First Nation or rural communities’ water in Canada?
Health: Our life begins in water and we need water to survive
Time Frame: 45 Minutes
- Students will realize that their life begins in water and that they need water in order to survive.
- Students will understand that water plays an important part in maintaining a healthy body and complexion.
- Students will be made aware of the fact that water has a cleansing effect within their lives.
- Interaction with water
- Teacher lecture
- Small groups
- Lecture notes from background information
- Poster paper
- Areas to break into small groups
Background Information: Before a person is born they are within their mother’s womb floating in water. The water cushions the child and keeps them safe within that protection space. When a child is born they may drink from their mother, tohtoosapoy, (“breast milk” in Cree), this liquid is made by the mother drinking water and other liquids. If the mother does not drink water she is not able to produce this life-giving nourishment. When a child is first brought into the world, they leave the water of their mother to begin life with a bath of water. Sometimes a small baby is given sugar water to drink, thus a child may begin life with water. As the child grows, water plays an important part in the child’s life. Water is something that we use every day but may not always pay attention to it. Usually when one first wakes up they “wash up” with water and perhaps soap or they may have a bath or shower. They may drink juice that is mixed with water. Water is such an important part of our lives. We use water in so many different ways; it is not something that we can live without. While water makes up most of the earth’s surface, only 1% of all water is fresh water that is usable. In today’s modern society we use a great deal of water for a variety of things. Most of the water we use in our house is through flushing the toilet. Water is in us and all around us. Without water we would not be able to live nor operate.
- Have students brainstorm about the phrase “We begin in water. Water is in us and all around us...” What does this phrase mean for them? Write down all their thoughts and contributions on chart paper or black/white board (10 minutes).
- Divide the students into dyads with the objective of developing a poster or commercial (radio or television) promoting the statement or phrase “We begin in water. Water is in us and all around us...” (20 minutes).
- Have students present and explain their poster or commercial to the class. Students will be peer-evaluated based upon their work by using a rubric (15 minutes).
- Dyads rubric
- Presentation rubric
Social Studies: First Nation Water Issues
Time Frame: 90 Minutes or two 45 Minute periods.
- Students will be able to review various stories regarding water issues of First Nation and Métis People.
- Students will be able to identify water issues within the media and provide the classroom with current events and facts regarding water in their area.
- Students will monitor media outlets for current events regarding water (floods, river flows, tsunami, etc.)
- Teacher instruction and lecture
- Media and Internet search
- Small group brainstorming and interaction
- Chart paper
- Teacher’s information or handouts, photocopied
- Internet access
- Media access to print
- Audio and video
- Camcorder & video tapes
Background Information: Throughout the history of Canada, water has played an important role in not only establishing settlements but influencing trading and traveling routes. It was the Hudson Bay Company and Great West Trading Company that provided Aboriginal people with trading goods. It was the Métis people who were often the interpreters and the traders for the companies that introduced Euro Canadians to the original highways; our waterways. Many of the explorers came through various waterways to discover the beauty and the vastness of North America. It was within the last century that waterways began to be blocked with the construction of hydroelectric dams, many of the great waters flooded over Aboriginal hunting and sacred sites. With recent changes in the constitution and the duty to consult Aboriginal people this would not have been done. There is a famous historical and sacred rock (Mistasini) that was blown to bits in the Diefenbaker Dam area. The James Bay Cree have been fighting with the Quebec and federal governments regarding land claims by the James Bay I and II Dam projects. Yellow Quill First Nation was on a boil water advisory for nine years. Many Aboriginal communities have just recently been hooked up to water and sewage lines. Water is one of our greatest resources but it is not as protected as Aboriginal people would like to see. At one time there was talk about diverting Canadian waterways to the United States of America, but many Aboriginal people opposed this. We should not be messing with Mother Earth’s veins; our rivers and streams. Water is a sacred spirit in which it holds our life force, a person can live months without food, but can only live for a few short weeks or less without water. It is important for people to realize the importance of water and that it is something that needs to be respected and honoured. Water conservation is an important part of respecting our water.
- Have students read through the stories provided in the handout. Ask students to write jot notes regarding these four case studies. Invite the students to reflect and offer opinions on the information they have read (15 minutes).
- Divide the students into four groups; each group will be assigned one case study. The task of each group is to find additional information about their story on the Internet and through multimedia sources. They are then to present their topic as if they are on a national newscast. Each of the students will play different roles. The students must first write and then rewrite their screenplay for the newscast and research the information. The news item should be no longer than three minutes (45 minutes).
- Students will then record the information onto a camcorder (20 minutes). Students will present their recorded newscast and talk about the process behind gathering and making the news. Each group will be allocated ten minutes to present their newscast and the process in which they gathered and obtained information (40 minutes).
- Optional: Download the newscast onto the computer and add graphics and text to the story. Include websites and links. Put the newscast onto a school website and e-mail it to the SDWF and/or a partnered school.
- Group Evaluation Rubric
- Presentation Rubric
Please read the Grade Nine Operation Water Spirit Unit for the four case studies.