Day Five: Respecting Our Water
Remind the students of the previous activities they have done regarding water. Ask the students to identify what the four sacred elements are and what colour is used to represent them. Ask them what they have learned about water so far? Today in the talking circle they will be asked to talk about what they can do to show respect to water. Pass around the “talking rock or feather”.
Story Time: Once upon a time, not too long ago, there was a little girl named Shakira and her brother WyLee. They would like to listen to stories and they liked to have fun. One day they were watching their mother and they asked her what she was doing. She said she was writing a story to teach little children about honouring the water. Shakira said, “Water is in us and all around us”. WyLee said, “What could we do without water?” The mother and the children started to think about how important water was to the world. Without water there is nothing. Everything is made up of water. Shakira said, “What can I do to save the water?” They put on their thinking caps and they thought and they thought. “I can turn the water off when I am brushing my teeth” said WyLee, “and I won’t turn the outside water tap on for fun anymore. I could also not play with the toilet and only flush when it’s necessary.” Shakira said, “How about when I have a bath, we can save the water and use a pail to flush the toilet? I could also make sure I limit my showers to ten minutes.” They all started thinking about how without water the world was not a good place. They thought about how no one could live without water. Our bodies are made up of water. Can you think of how you can save water?
- Have the children brainstorm about ways that they could limit their use of water.
- Write a story on chart paper about the class and their ideas to conserve water.
1) Messy Table Activity: Water Fun Mixtures
- Food dye
- Cooking oil
- Paper plates and cups (various sizes)
- Dish soap
- Water basin
- Exploring with water is always fun. Provide students with an opportunity to add and mix water with various substances to see the reactions.
- Have the children mix water and flour together. What have they made?
- Mix the water with the food dye and then pour some oil into the water.
- What happens with the water? Give the children an opportunity to mix the various substances and then to form an object of art on a paper plate.
- Have the children use the glue they made with the newspaper to form land on one of the paper plates, add dirt and rocks.
- Inquire how the substances could have been mixed without the use of water.
- Have students work in groups of three to design a sculpture using the materials provided to portray the message of water conservation.
2) Cut and Colour Table Activity: “Water” Colour
- Photocopied Water Activity Page (located at the end of this unit in the resource pages)
- Coloured chalk
- Blue construction paper (8 ½” x 11”)
- Give each child the photocopied paper with the word water written in capital letters.
- Ask the children to colour in the letters, once this is completed the children will cut out the letters and put them on the black construction paper.
- The teacher should have the word water in the correct formation on chart paper or on the white/blackboard.
- Students can then use chalk to draw water like waves on the paper.
- Have students in a group of five and then colour in one letter each. Then place the letter on the construction paper to form the word: W A T E R.
3) Creative Art Activity: Water World Globes
- Baby food jars (medium or large jars)
- Florist clay
- Small figurine (plastic muskrat or crow or turtle)
- (Blue) glitter
- Glue gun/Hot Glue for glue gun
- Plastic greenery (aquarium plastic plants, one should be enough for entire class)
- Coloured rocks & Seashells
- Remind the students about the First Nation Creation stories about life beginning in water.
- Make sure jar is washed and clean.
- Attach figurine to inside of jar lid using florist clay.
- If you are using a small object, it's a good idea to build up the clay so the object will appear taller.
- Attach greenery, coloured rocks, etc.
- Use your imagination, but make sure anything you put in the globe is waterproof and won't dissolve.
- Fill jar with water to within ½ inch of top. Use cold water as warm water tends to cloud.
- Sprinkle 1 or 2 tablespoons of glitter into water.
- Insert figurine in water, screw on lid.
- Let stand overnight, lid side up.
- Use glue/sealer to ensure that it is waterproof. This is an ideal gift for parents and a reminder to students about the unit they have just completed.
- To make a more elaborate water globe, add tiny objects (tiny turtles or birds) to float in the water, use food colouring in the water, various colours glitter, etc. This can be altered in any way to be a one-of-a-kind.
- You can place felt over the baby food lid, so that it will not scratch surfaces and looks better.
- A drop or two of coloured (blue) cooking oil could be added to the globe to represent swirling of the waves and current. Let the children use their imaginations.
Connections: Before beginning this craft, review and read the two First Nation Creation stories (located at the beginning of the unit) to the students. Discuss how these Creation Stories relate back to life beginning in water. Perhaps a small plastic turtle could float to the surface of the water globe. The figurine could be a muskrat or if that cannot be found a beaver. Small plastic toys are available at dollar stores.
4) Physical Play Activity: Water Relay
- Clear plastic cups (draw line about ¾ of the way up)
- Food dye (red, blue, yellow)
- Ice cream pails (two for each relay team) (one of the ice cream pails for each relay team should have a line drawn with the permanent marker approximately ½ of the way up the pail)
- Permanent marker
- Ice cream scoops or ladles (enough for each group)
- Physical space to run (outdoors is a good idea)
- If indoors, have a rag or paper towels to pick up water spills.
- Divide the students up into relay teams (about 3 to four per team).
- Place the two pails about five meters apart. Put water in each pail at the starting line.
- Drop colour dye for each group except one will be clear.
- Place ice-cream scoops or ladles in the first pail.
- Instruct the students to fill the clear cups with as much as they can safely carry.
- Only one child can run with the water at a time, the next person in line will help the participant fill their plastic cup. If they spill the water they have to go back to their first pail to top the water up to the black mark and then begin again.
- One team member must wipe up what was spilled.
- Yell start/go.
- Have children try to fill the other empty pail with water from their pail. As soon as the children fill the pail to the permanent marker line about half-way up the pail, the race is over.
- Instruct students to sit down once their second pail is filled. This can be done a few times.
- Discuss with the students how it might feel to have to carry all the water that they needed in their household. Ask how many ice cream pails would be needed to fill up their tub.
Adaptation: Use sponges (one for each team) instead of plastic cups. Students find it very fun to transfer water using sponges. However, this must be played outside. Afterwards, make sure that the students use the water to water plants, trees, etc. around the playground rather than bringing the water inside to dump down the sink drain.
5) Extra Activity: Cyclone Experiment
Activity: This is also known as “whirlpool glass” and “tornado machine.” It demonstrates to younger children what hurricanes, tornadoes and whirlpools look like.
- Two 2-litre plastic soda bottles
- Blue food colouring
- Glitter (optional)
- 3 x 5-inch card
- Masking tape
- Duct or electrical tape
- Safety scissors.
- Wash out the soda bottles and remove their labels.
- Fill one bottle with water and add a teaspoon of blue food colouring and a few pinches of glitter, if desired. The food colouring and glitter make the cyclone more visible.
- Roll the card width-wise so that it will fit in the mouths of the soda bottles.
- Use masking tape to hold the end of the card in place.
- Put the rolled-up card in the mouth of the bottle that contains the water.
- Take the other soda bottle and place its mouth over the rolled-up card, pushing the bottle down so the mouths of both bottles are flush.
- Tape the mouths of the bottles together with duct or electric tape, making sure that the seal between the two is as waterproof as possible.
- Grab the bottles by their bases and turn the “cyclone” upside down.
- As the water begins to pour from one bottle to the other, gently swing the bottles in a counterclockwise motion until the tornado forms.
6) Extra Activity: Muskrat in Water Craft
- Creation Story: Turtle Island
- Paper plates (The stronger the better)
- At least one muskrat picture and additional fish, sea mammal pictures (These can be drawn/made by the students or cut out of magazines).
- Plastic wrap
- Sand, Leaves, shells, small plastic plants etc.
- A variety of blue and green shades of tissue paper
- Hole punch
- For homework, ask students to collect at least one picture of a muskrat, as well as other pictures of fish and other underwater mammals. Have extra pictures on hand for students who were not able to find any pictures or forgot.
- Provide each student with 1 paper plate, 4 coloured pieces of tissue paper (of their choice), 1 long string, some leaves, shells and a tablespoon of sand.
- Show the students how to place glue on their plates and pour/shake the sand around on their plates to represent the land at the bottom of the body of water.
- Have students use their chosen tissue paper to represent water; they can cut and scrunch it any way they choose and glue it to their plate.
- Students can then glue their accessories (leaves, shells, plastic plants) and chosen pictures of muskrats, fish, and other sea mammals onto their plates.
- Cover the plate with plastic wrap for protection and tie the paper plate with the string so that the students are able to hang their creation around their neck and walk around the classroom to show their creation to their fellow classmates. After this has been completed, hang the plates on the wall.
Snack Time Ideas
1) Snack: Turtle Island Salad
- Head of lettuce
- Blue Jell-O
- Mix blue Jell-O and let set for some time while you cut up things a turtle might eat such as lettuce (finely chopped), celery, apple and melons.
- Place in the semi-gelled Jell-O and then pour into clear cups and place in fridge until Jell-O is set. Variation:
- After the Jell-O is set place a chocolate turtle on top.
Additional Unit Resources
1) Playdough Recipes
All Playdough Recipes can be found at: Creative Kids at Home. (2008) Homemade Playdough for children. Retrieved from: http://www.creativekidsathome.com/activities/activity_8.html#KoolAid%20Play%20Dough
Recipe: Cooked Playdough (flour and salt)
- Store in sealed container for up to three months.
- 3 cups flour
- 1.5 cups salt
- 6 tsp cream of tarter
- 3 tbsp oil
- 3 cups water
- Pour all ingredients into a large pot.
- Stir constantly over medium heat until a ball forms by pulling away from the sides.
- Knead the playdough until the texture matches playdough (1-2 minutes).
Recipe: Cooked Playdough (baking soda and corn starch)
- 1 cup baking soda
- 1/2 cup corn starch
- 3/4 cup water
- Have the children mix the baking soda and corn starch in a pot. Use hands to make sure all the lumps are broken up.
- Add water.
- The adult should put the pan on the stove over medium heat and stir constantly.
- As soon as the mixture gathers together, remove from the heat.
- When it cools, have your child knead it into a smooth playdough.
Recipe: Uncooked Playdough (salt and flour)
- 1/4 cup salt
- 1 cup flour
- 1/4 cup water
- Have your child mix the flour and salt in a bowl then add water.
- Knead and squeeze the dough to make a clay consistency. You may need to add more water.
- Note: Your students will find that this playdough doesn't last as long as that made using the cooked recipes.
Recipe: Kool-Aid Playdough
- 2 ½ cups flour
- 1 cup salt
- 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 2 cups boiling water
- 2 packages unsweetened Kool-Aid
- Mix dry ingredients.
- Add oil and water.
- Wearing gloves, knead for 10 minutes
- Store in Ziploc bag in refrigerator
Note: Your hands may smell of the Kool-Aid flavour, even with gloves.