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Teacher Resouces: Clean Water

The teacher resources provided on this site are courtesy of Cathryn Berger Kaye, author and leading international expert in service learning, with some additional links provided by RandomKid ("rk")


•    Sample Lesson Plans

Visit GoToServiceLearning and Learn and Serve for a range of water-related lesson plans. 

Education Action Kit Created by the Blue Planet Network, this action kit is designed for teachers and includes lesson plans and project ideas. (rk)

•    Curriculum Web

Water Across the Curriculum

•    Book Recommendations

Going Blue: A Teen Guide to Saving our Oceans, Lakes, Rivers and Wetlands by Cathryn Berger Kaye: (description here)

Blue Covenant: The Global Water Crisis and the Coming Battle for the Right to Water by Maude Barlow: Geared to adults, this book will help teachers understand more about the policies that are exacerbating the problems as well as some potential solutions. (rk)

Not a Drop to Drink: Water for a Thirsty World by Michael Burgan (National Geographic, 2008) With timelines, photographs, charts, and a glossary, this book presents one of greatest issues of our time: the need for clean accessible water. The reader learns science (robot ocean floor exploration), history (retrieving ocean fossils), current events (the war in Darfur), global awareness (water consumption throughout the world) and innovative ways this dilemma is being addressed (Salt Solutions). Excellent for considering all the careers that connect to address our water concerns. 64pp., grades 5-12, nonfiction

One Well: The Story of Water on Earth by Rochelle Strauss (Kids Can Press, 2007) The seemingly simple language and art on closer examination are detailed depictions of what happens to water during its various cycles, including statistics. Many subject areas converge in this informative resource that includes habitats, issues of access, demands, pollution, conservation, and “Becoming Well Aware” with ideas for social action and engagement. 32pp., grades 4-8, nonfiction

Protecting Earth’s Water Supply by Ron Fridell (Lerner Publications, 2009) Water, water everywhere? Unless we are more cautious about our water supply our planet is at risk. Human induced pollution and global warming is threatening out water supply. This book tells about innovative solutions for collecting water from fog and water from air, and how a ten-year-old from Aluva, India developed her own rainwater harvesting system to help local farmers. 72pp., grades 4-7, nonfiction                                                                               

Book excerpt:
"Every living thing on Earth is made mostly of water. A tomato is 90 percent water. A person is less---about 65 percent. . . . Five days is about as long as any of us can survive    without water. We can’t grow crops or raise livestock without water either. We use it to produce electrical power and to make everything from paper to steel."

Ryan and Jimmy and the Well in Africa that Brought Them Together by Herb Shoveller (Kids Can Press, 2006) When six-year-old Ryan Hreljac heard about the lack of potable water in Africa, he thought, “I will get money from my parents to buy a well.” . His hard work and optimism led to the creation of Ryan’s Well Foundation, which as raised thousands of dollars for wells in Africa and South America. Ryan also traveled to Uganda, the location of the first well. There he met Akana Jimmy, his pen pal. Jimmy, an orphan, lived under the threat of being abducted by the Lord’s Resistance Army as a child soldier. His fortunate escape and good will of caring adults led him across the ocean to join Ryan’s family permanently. Learn more at, 56pp., all ages, nonfiction

•    Service-Learning Guides

The Water Planet Challenge Clean-Up

Service-Learning Guide

•    Articles and additional links:

Webquest for high school biology students: Co-investigators must identify and classify the microorganism that has contaminated the town's drinking water supply. Then, they will need to propose and test an environment-friendly biological remedy for this problematic situation. (rk)

Water facts (rk)

World's Water Crisis This site explores this topic from seven angles: WATER  SANITATION  CHILDREN  WOMEN  DISEASE  ECONOMICS  ENVIRONMENT(rk)

World Water Crisis Facts This site provides more detailed facts and figures about the breadth of this crisis (rk)

Special interest stories about water quality and related content (rk)

Video: Good Magazine takes a look at the world's water, how it's being used and the strains on this vital resource. (rk)