World Water Day is held every year on the 22 March to promote the importance of freshwater and advocating for the sustainable management of freshwater resources. Take a look at some of the great teaching resources available to help you teach water-based lessons to your students.
UK-based charity WaterAid has some great free resources for primary school teachers that explain the importance of hand washing, the use of water around the world, the physics of flushing, and lots more. They also have a section packed with educational animations, videos, presentations and photos to add into your lesson plans.
The UNWater website, has a section for Kids and Teachers and gives a free colorful map detailing the water cycle. We really liked the design of the poster, and how it integrated science with playful cartoons. Definitely one for the classroom pinboard.
In one of the hottest places in the world, the Australian Department of Education has produced a water education toolkit where you can search by student level and resource type. Although much of the tools are Australian specific, they can be used in any classroom to teach about water and the environment. The toolkit on Discovering Wetlands is particularly detailed and gives lots of great ideas for teaching in the classroom.
As usual, YouTube has a huge array of videos related to World Water Day, including the official channel that has some great infographic style videos. This short ‘All You Eat‘ video puts using water into perspective with clever statistics, and ‘Water 101’ tackles the subject of Water for Food and aims to show the relationship between food production and water use.
The education arm of UNICEF has a section devoted to raising student awareness of the problems facing children with inadequate access to clean water. This could be used in conjunction with scientific resources to give a more balanced educational approach.
Teachers resource site PBS Teachers has put together an excellent source for lots of web quests and lesson plans related to water quality. Well worth a sift through.
This US specific site gives a huge range of different resources from groundwater, to drought, to water quality. It also has some thoughtful multimedia resources such as “Water in the 21st Century: The National Water Census” and “The Anatomy of Floods: The Causes and Development of 2011’s Epic Flood Events” which would be suitable for middle and high schoolers.
A great way to involve students and get them talking about the importance of water can be to use water-themed infographics, like those on the Visual.ly website. Students can be given an infographic each, and activities such as writing a summary description of the graph, explaining the statistics in their own words, presenting the graph to the class or designing a new version of the infographic can help them understand the key points behind water sustainability.
Silvia Gallagher is the Head of Content for AvatarGeneration. Her background is in online learning, virtual worlds, and educational games. In her spare time she likes riding bikes over mountains and playing around with new technology.