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# The Ripple Effect: Using Math, Science and Technology to Learn about Water Resources and Conservation, Audit Curriculum II

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### The Ripple Effect: Using Math, Science and Technology to Learn about Water Resources and Conservation, Audit Curriculum II

1. 1. Draft You and the Water Cycle: Using Math, Science & Technology to Learn about Water Conservation Grade 4 2500 Shadywood Road Excelsior, MN 55331 952-471-9773 www.freshwater.org 1
2. 2. Draft It is amazing to think about, but if you live in the Twin Cities area, your body is 65 to 70% Mississippi River water – because that is the source of your drinking water. If you live in Duluth or other places in the arrowhead, you drink Lake Superior. Most Minnesotans fill their bodies with groundwater that is pumped up from private or municipal wells. Because it is necessary for life, it is important to know where water comes from, and where it goes after we use it. And since the Earth only has a limited quantity of water, it is important to think about ways to save and protect this vital fluid. This standards-based multidisciplinary unit of study incorporates science, technology and math as students explore real world problems and the following concepts:  How much fresh water is available on Earth?  The Water Cycle: Where does your water come from? Where does it go?  How much water does it take to wash your hands?  Water Investigation: How much water do you use every day?  Detecting Wasted Water: How can we all conserve water? 2
3. 3. Draft How much fresh water is available on the Earth? Grade 4 Subjects Math & Science Objective Students will use a model and their math skills to learn that the amount of fresh water available for human use is very limited. Concepts There is a finite amount of water on Earth. Less than 1% of all the water on Earth is fresh water available for human use. Lesson Overview Scientists often use models to investigate or to explain difficult concepts. In this activity students will use small objects such as paper clips or milliliters of water to represent amounts of water contained in oceans, frozen in glaciers or icebergs, trapped underground and flowing as fresh surface water. Standards Subject Standard Benchmark Math Number & operation Represent & compare Represent equivalent (4.1.2.1) fractions & decimals in fractions using fraction real-world math situations; models & other use place values to manipulatives. Use the understand how decimals models to determine represent quantities. equivalent fractions. Math Number & Operation Solve real-world and Use strategies based on (4.1.1.6) mathematical problems knowledge of place value, using arithmetic. to divide multi-digit whole numbers by one- or two- digit numbers. Math Number & Operation Represent & compare Use place value to describe (4.1.2.4) fractions & decimals in decimals in terms of real-world mathematical thousands, hundreds, tens, situations: use place value ones, tenths, hundredths & to understand how decimals thousandths. represent quantities. Physical Science Solids, liquids & gases are Distinguish between solids, Matter states of matter with unique liquids and gases. properties. Time 45-60 minutes 3
4. 4. Draft Skills Sorting Data recording Comparing decimals & fractions Interpreting Critical thinking Vocabulary Model Set Decimals Fractions Percentages States of Matter Materials  Student Data sheets (May also be used as math assessment.)  Set of 1,000 objects (pennies, paper clips, etc.)*  Poster board or Butcher paper squares approx. 30‖x30‖*  Wire cutter (to snip a single paper clip)  Black fine-point marker (optional) *One for each group of students Background Information Water is life. It is amazing to think about, but if you live in the Twin Cities area, your body is 65 to 70% Mississippi River water – because that is the source of your drinking water. If you live in Duluth or other places in the arrowhead, you drink Lake Superior. Most Minnesotans fill their bodies with groundwater that is pumped up from private or municipal wells. We live in the ―Land of 10,000 Lakes‖ and the birthplace of one of the world’s great rivers, the Mississippi. The Earth’s water supply may seem boundless but there is a limited amount, especially of fresh water to meet the needs of humans, plants and other animals. About 97% of all water is contained in oceans. A sub set of all water: Fresh water is only 3% of the total water supply. But 2% of all water is fresh but frozen in glaciers and icebergs. That leaves only 1% of all water that is fresh liquid water—but 0.98% of this water is trapped underground, some in areas too deep to pump. Thus, only 0.02% of all water is fresh water available for our use. This activity will set the stage for students to later examine their personal water use and may help them recognize why drinkable water is so valuable and why conservation is so important. 4
5. 5. Draft Directions Part #1 Discussion: Engage students in a discussion of the abundance, location and value of water.  Where do we find water on the Earth? (Oceans, Rivers, Lakes, Glaciers, icebergs, Rain, Groundwater)  Look at a globe or map. Where is most of the water?  Do you think we have plenty of fresh water on the Earth?  Do you think water is as valuable as gold or silver? (Accept any student answers. Then, you may want to ask the question again at the end of the lesson.) Part #2: 1. This activity may be done as a single class demonstration or the students may be divided into small groups with each group having a set of objects to manipulate. One thousand (1,000) small objects will be used to represent all the water on Earth. 2. These objects may be any of the following:  Paper clips – which can be purchased from an office supply store in a pack of 10 boxes, each containing 100 clips, for less than \$5.00.  Pennies – rolls acquired from the bank.  Other small sorting objects you may have on hand. Round objects such as beads or marbles are not recommended because they may roll off the sorting area. 3. Gather students around a poster board or piece of butcher paper that will serve as a surface for sorting. In the center of the sorting area, place a pile of 1,000 paper clips (or other objects). 4. Tell students the 1,000 paper clips represent all the water on Earth. The Oceans contain 97% of all water. Only 3% of all water is fresh water. (All water represents a ―Set‖. Ocean water and fresh water are ―sub sets.‖ Frozen glacier water and groundwater are sub sets of the Fresh water sub set.) 5. Ask students to create two piles of clips. One pile represents ocean water. One pile represents fresh water. Hint: Which pile will be easiest to count out? 6. How many paper clips must be in the ―Oceans‖ pile (or sub set) to represent 97%? (970 paper clips.) How do you write this number as a fraction? (970/1,000) As a decimal? (0.970) Label this pile ―Oceans.‖ 7. How many paper clips must be in the ―Fresh water‖ pile (or sub set) to represent 3%? (30 paper clips) How do you represent this number as a fraction? (30/1,000) As a decimal? (0.030) 6. Ask students to focus on the pile (sub set) of 30 clips that represent fresh water. 7. Of all the water on Earth, 2% is fresh water not available for use because it is frozen in glaciers or icebergs. How many paper clips must be moved from the fresh water a pile to represent the sub set of frozen fresh water? (20) Write this number as a fraction. (20/1,000) As a decimal. (0.002) Label the pile ―Glaciers & Icebergs.‖ 5
6. 6. Draft 9. About 1% of all the water on Earth is liquid fresh water. How many clips should be left in this pile. (10) Write the number as a decimal (0.001) and a fraction. (10/1,000) NOTE: We have rounded the number 0.98% to 1% 10. Of all the liquid water, most is groundwater. Only about .0002 or .02% of this water is on the Earth’s surface in rivers, streams and lakes. And a smaller amount is in the air, soil, plants and animals – even in us. NOTE: For simplicity you may want to use <1%. 11. What part of one paper clip would be used to represent this very small amount of water. Clip a small piece off a single paper clip to represent usable fresh water. Wrap Up Discussion  Ask for student reactions.  Are they surprised at what they have discovered?  Why do they think we tend to place so little value on our water?  Students may be somewhat alarmed by the realization that freshwater is in such limited supply on Earth. Assure them that in the next few lessons, they will learn how they can easily learn to conserve water and protect this precious resource. Optional If you have access to a 1,000 ml graduated container and several smaller containers you can measure out amounts of water (970 ml, 20ml 10ml and a drop of water) for display. (Coloring the water with blue food color makes small amounts easier to see. References For additional information about water: http://ga.water.usgs.gov/edu/earthhowmuch.html. 6
7. 7. Draft Student Data Sheet Name ____________________________ How much fresh water is available on the Earth? Scientists sometimes use models to explain concepts. We are going to create a small model to demonstrate the amount of water on our planet. We will use 1,000 paper clips (or we could use 1,000 ml of water) to represent all the water on Earth. Fact #1: Of all the water on Earth, 97% is in the salty oceans. Write this number as a fraction to the thousandth place. _____________________ Write this number as a decimal. _____________________ Fact #2: Only 3% of all the water on Earth is fresh water. Write this number as a fraction to the thousandth place. _____________________ Write this number as a decimal. _____________________ Fact #3: Of all the fresh water on Earth, 2% is frozen in glaciers or icebergs. Write this number as a fraction to the thousandth place. _____________________ Write this number as a decimal. _____________________ Fact #4: Of all the fresh water on Earth, only about 1% is liquid water and much of it is under ground too deep to pump. Write this number as a fraction to the thousandth place. _____________________ Write this number as a decimal. _____________________ What do you think? What did you learn about the amount of fresh water on Earth available to meet the needs of all the plants and animals – including people. 7
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9. 9. Draft The Water Cycle Connects Us All: Where does water come from? Where does it go? Grade 4 Subjects Earth Science & Physical Science Concepts Waters of the Earth are continually recycled as states of matter change. The sun powers the water cycle through the processes of evaporation, transpiration, condensation & precipitation. Overview Students will work in groups to set up demonstrations and observe changes of state within the water cycle: evaporation and condensation, and transpiration in plants. Standards Subject Standard Benchmark Earth & Space Science Water circulates through the Identify where water (4.3.2.3.1) Earth’s crust, oceans & collects in the atmosphere, atmosphere in the water ground and earth surface. cycle Describe how water moves through the processes of evaporation, condensation & precipitation. Physical Science Matter Solids, liquids & gases are Distinguish between solids, (4.2.1.2.1) states of matter that have liquids & gases in terms of unique properties shape & volume. Physical Science Matter Solids, liquids & gases are Describe how the states of (4.2.1.2.2) states of matter that have matter change as a result of unique properties heating & cooling. Vocabulary Recycle Water Cycle Evaporation Transpiration Condensation Precipitation States of Matter 9
10. 10. Draft Background Information Water, water, everywhere – but not a continuously new supply! Water on our planet is used over and over again in a cycle of continual evaporation, transpiration, condensation and precipitation, which is powered by the sun. The water you drink today may have quenched the thirst of a dinosaur millions of years ago. It may have traveled in clouds, splashed down during a thunderstorm, oozed through a muddy swamp, floated the ocean tide, been trapped underground or frozen in an iceberg. One of the unique properties of water is that within the Earth’s normal temperature range, it can exist as a solid, a liquid and a gas. This property, and the sun’s energy, make the water cycle possible. Earth’s plants and animals are all a part of the water cycle too! Plants absorb water through their roots, use it in the food-making process and then transpire it out their leaves. In addition to all our commercial and household uses, we drink our ice water, perspire and respire. Even the moisture from out bodies returns water to the cycle. Directions – Day 1 Time: 30 – 40 min. Materials Drinking glass of water Poem, You’d Be Surprised Where Your Drink of Water Has Been Droppers (1/group) Petri dishes or saucers (2/group) Small beaker or jar of water (1/group) Sandwich bag (1/group) Activity #1. The Water Cycle Connects Us All Read the Water Cycle poem and then direct students to set up two simple experiments that demonstrate evaporation and condensation. The poem is designed to capture the student’s imagination and to help them realize how the water cycle is vital to their existence. (Note: Students may not know a few of the words in the poem, but they will get the idea.) 1. While holding the glass of water, read the poem, “The Water Cycle Connects Us All”. Then, for a little drama, take a sip of water. 2. As a follow up you may use an excellent 3.5-minute online Water Cycle Cartoon Video produced by Scholastic. It can be projected on your smart board. Find it at the link: http://teacher.scholastic.com/activities/studyjams/water_cycle/. 2. Now students are ready to set up their investigation. Divide students into small groups. Provide each group with a small beaker or jar of water, two Petri dishes or flat saucers and a sandwich bag. Desks should be clear of all books and paper. 10
11. 11. Draft 3. Ask students how water can do all the things described in the poem. How can water travel to all those places? 4. Ask students to carefully dip the tip of one finger in the water container so they get one tiny drop. Hold the finger up without moving. What will happen to the drop? 5. Introduce the term, Evaporation. The heat from their fingers is evaporating the water. Where is the water going? How can they speed up evaporation to dry their finger? (By blowing on fingers) 6. Distribute Student Data page #1 which contains instructions. Students will work in small groups to investigate processes in the water cycle. 7. The Petri dish and the jar with the baggie may be set up at the same time. If this activity is set up in the morning and sun is bright, observations can be made later in the day. HINT: If you do not have a sunny window, a gooseneck lamp can be used to provide heat representing the sun. Jar showing condensation of water inside the plastic bag. The few drops of water in the Petri dish will evaporate quickly. You may wish to have students experiment by placing some dishes in a dark cabinet or in a refrigerator, to see if evaporation rates are faster in the sun’s heat. Day 2 Activity #3. Transpiration and Condensation Materials Stalks of celery with leaves (one stalk for each set up) Note: Make a fresh cut at the top and bottom of each stalk Jars or beakers (one for each celery stalk) Water with food coloring (red or blue) to make a strong, bright solution Plastic sandwich bags (1/group) Student Data page 2 Knife (for your use only) Directions 1. Introduction: Living things are part of the water cycle too. Forests, cattails in wetlands and algae beds in the oceans contribute large amounts of moisture back into the air – and we do too! 2. To help students recognize their bodies are a small part of the water cycle ask them to hold the palms of their hands up close to their mouth and exhale softly. Do they feel a little moisture form on their palm? They have just released a bit of water vapor into the air. With every breath a little moisture is sent into the air. Just think, their breath may soon be floating in the clouds above your school! 11
12. 12. Draft 3. Distribute Student Data page #2. Direct students to read instructions and obtain their equipment. 4. Demonstrate how to slip some leaves inside the baggie and zip it shut. The leaves should be left attached to the stalk. 5. See student data page #2 for instructions on setting up celery, colored water and the bag on the leaf. Before giving celery to students you should make a fresh cut on the top and bottom of each celery stalk. This promotes water uptake by the celery. Food coloring lets students see that the plant has taken in the water. The photo on the left provides evidence that the colored water has traveled up through the stem and reached the leaves. Students can observe that Transpiration has occurred as water vapor is released from the leaves trapped in the bag. The water vapor condenses to liquid when it contacts the surface of the bag. The photo on the right shows condensation that is occurring inside the plastic bag. Additional Resources US EPA-Water Cycle Animation http://www.epa.gov/climatechange/kids/water_cycle_version2.html USGS-diagrams http://ga.water.usgs.gov/edu/watercycle.html Windows to the Universe-Water Cycle Diagram http://www.windows.ucar.edu/tour/link=/earth/Water/water_cycle.html Water Cycle Reading Comprehension (Multiple choice) http://education.jlab.org/reading/water_cycle.html THE SNOWFLAKE – A WATER CYCLE STORY, by Neil Waldman WATER WORDS – RHYMED & DEFINED, by Barbra McKinney A DROP OF WATER A book of Science & Wonder, by Walter Wick 12
13. 13. Draft Student Data Page 1 Name ________________________ Date _____________________ Investigating the Water Cycle Evaporation: the process of changing from a liquid to a gas. Water, heated by the sun, rises from oceans, rivers, lakes, or even puddles to form water vapor, an invisible gas floating in the air. Condensation: the process of changing from a gas to a liquid. Water vapor cools as it rises in the air. When the vapor touches dust particles or pollution high in the sky the vapor forms water droplets in fog or clouds. This process is called condensation. Part #1.  Gather your equipment: 1 Dropper (1/group) 2 Petri dishes or saucers (2/group) 1 Small beaker or jar of water (1/group) 1 Sandwich bag  Add 6 drops of water in each Petri dish or saucer. Place one dish on a sunny windowsill. Place the other in a cabinet. Observe from time to time.  What do you think will happen?  Observations: Part #2.  Cover your beaker or jar of water by slipping the sandwich bag over the top of the beaker. Place the beaker on a sunny windowsill next to your Petri dish.  What do you think will happen? 13
14. 14. Draft  What are you observations for each container?  Conclusion: Did evaporation or condensation occur in either container? How do you know? Explain your answer. 14
15. 15. Draft Student Data Page 2 Name ________________________ Date _____________________ Investigating the Water Cycle Part #3. Transpiration and Condensation Plants, especially big trees, or algae in the oceans, or cattails in a pond, release large amounts of water vapor into the air. This process is called transpiration. In first or second grade you learned that plants take water from the soil to make food and to grow. But what happens to the water when plants are through with it? To demonstrate Transpiration you will need the following materials: 1 jar or beaker 1 stalk of celery with leaves attached 1 small plastic sandwich bag Water with red or blue food coloring 1. Fill the container half full of colored water. 2. Select a clump of leaves on the celery stalk and carefully slip the baggie over a cluster of leaves. Zip the baggie closed as far as possible against the leaf stem. (Be sure to leave the leaves attached to the stem.) 3. Place the celery stalk upright in the colored water. 4. Set the container in a sunny spot on the windowsill or place it under a bright light. 5. What do you think will happen? Write your hypothesis here. 6. Make observations from time to time. Record what you notice. 7. Explain your observations by describing the processes that occurred. 15
16. 16. Draft Assessment The Water Cycle: Use the vocabulary below to label the processes in the water cycle. Evaporation: the process of changing from a liquid to a gas. Water rises from oceans, rivers, lakes, or even puddles to form water vapor floating in the air. Water vapor: the gaseous form of water. Evaporation is faster when conditions are warm or windy. Condensation: the process of changing from a gas to a liquid. Water vapor in the air cools and condenses to form water droplets in fog, dew or clouds. Precipitation: any form of water falling from the clouds, such as raining, snowing, sleeting or hailing. Transpiration: water released to the atmosphere by plants. Plants absorb water, use it in photosynthesis and then return the water to the atmosphere usually through their leaves. 16
17. 17. Draft Water Cycle: the cycle in which water on the Earth is constantly changing states of matter as through evaporation, condensation, transpiration and precipitation. Water can be stored in the oceans, lakes or underground for long periods of time. 17
18. 18. Draft The Water Cycle Connects Us All You’d be surprised where your drink of water has been! The glass of water you’re about to drink Deserves a second thought, I think, For Avogadro, oceans, & those you follow Are all involved in every swallow. … The water in you is between & betwixt, And having traversed is thoroughly mixed, So someone quenching a future thirst Could easily drink what you drank first! The water you are about to taste No doubt represents a bit of the waste From prehistoric beast and bird – A notion you may find absurd. The fountain spraying in the park Could well spout bits from Joan of Arc, Or Adam, Eve, and all their kin; You’d be surprised where your drink has been. Just think! The water you cannot retain Will some day hence return as rain, Or be beheld as the purest dew, Though long ago it passed through you! By Dr.Verne Rockcastle 18
19. 19. Draft How much water is used to wash your hands at school? Grade 4 Subjects Math & Science Concepts Use of appropriate tools to measure the volume of water used in hand washing. Reflection on how water use has an impact on water supply. Overview: Students will work in teams, using containers to catch and measure the volume of water flowing from a faucet as hand washing is simulated by singing the Happy Birthday song. Students will average the data collected by each team to achieve a class average for use in the estimation of the amount of water used by the student body in hand washing at the school. Standards Subject Standard Benchmark Math: Number & Operation Solve real-world and Solve multi-step real world (4.1.1.5) mathematical problems math problems requiring using arithmetic. use of addition, subtraction & multiplication of whole numbers. Math: Data Analysis Collect, organize, display Use tables to display data. (4.4.1.1) and interpret data. Physical Science Objects have observable Measure the volume of Matter (4.2.1.1.1) properties that can be water using appropriate measured. tools and units. Physical Science Solids, liquids & gases are Water changes shape Matter (4.2.1.2.1) states of matter that have depending on the shape of unique properties. its container. Earth & Space Science: To improve their existence, Describe how methods Human interactions with humans interact with & people use to obtain & use Earth Systems influence Earth Systems. water affect water supply & (4.3.4.1.1) quality. Vocabulary Data Average Estimate 19
20. 20. Draft Prediction Measurement Unit of measurement Volume Time 45 minutes Background Information This activity is designed to set the stage for the ―water audit‖ students will take in the next two lessons. On the water audit spreadsheet, students will encounter average water use estimates that have been derived by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in order to analyze and regulate water use and conservation measures in various water delivery systems such as faucets, showerheads, toilets, dishwashers, washing machines and lawn sprinklers. The students will simulate this EPA process of finding an average for their class use of water by collecting individual data for hand washing. In the lesson measurements made by student teams will be averaged to achieve a ―class number‖ for the amount of water used when washing hands. This number can then be used to estimate water use by the entire student body. Students gain better understanding of the meaning of average by seeing how much each team varies, compared to the average taken from all teams. Materials  Buckets (1/group, see information below)  Measuring Cups for volume measurement (optional, see above)  Student data sheets Directions Preparing for the activity: 1. Consider logistics of your faucets and the size of the containers in which students will collect faucet water. Procedures will vary according to the type of hand washing facilities as well as the size and depth of the sinks.  Hardware stores carry gallon or half-gallon plastic containers that are calibrated for measurement. Recycled plastic one-gallon ice cream buckets work well for this activity if used with measuring cups.  Do your faucets have a timed shut-off valve or low-flow fixtures? If so, this is a perfect opportunity to discuss the reasons why – to save water, and to cut down on cost. With this faucet, students will need to time how long the automated flow lasts as well as the amount of water collected.  In some schools, the ―trough-type‖ sinks located in the hallway outside of the bathrooms may make water collection easy, because they will have enough depth to accommodate a gallon or half-gallon bucket which should be able to hold 15 seconds of flowing water. (It takes approximately 15 seconds to sing Happy Birthday, and the volume of water collected will be about ½ gallon). 20
21. 21. Draft  Individual bathroom sinks may not be deep enough to hold a gallon container. In that case, students can use smaller containers and time a 5-second interval to collect water. Then, they can calculate the amount of water used to wash hands.  If you have a classroom sink which is different from those found in the bathroom facilities, students might want to compare the amount of water used in each sink type. 2. Begin the activity by asking students ―How much water do you think you use when you wash your hands?‖ Write estimates on the board. 3. Today, you are going to work in teams to measure the volume of water you use. 4. Ask: ―In order to have clean hands, how long should we wash?‖ A generally accepted instruction for children is to wash for as long as it takes to sing the Happy Birthday song. (The song provides some standardization of the technique, although it will vary some.) 5. Establish teams: one member holds the container, one member measures time, one member softly sings the song. If needed, a fourth member can turn the faucet handle. 6. After water is collected, students measure the volume of water. 7. Create a chart or spreadsheet to record all data on the board. How much water did each group use? Are there differences in the amounts? What could account for the differences? 8. Now, use the data to have students compute the average amount of water used by the class. 9. Use your ―average‖ number to answer the following questions.  How much more or less does your team measurement vary from the average?  Why do you think your numbers vary?  When everyone in class washes hands for lunch, on average, how much water is used?  How much water is used when everyone in the school washes up for lunch?  How much water is used during the entire week, when everyone in school washes up for lunch? Wrap Up Discussion Based on what the children have learned about the fresh water supply on Earth, why is water conservation important? 21
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23. 23. Draft Student Data Sheet Name________________________________ Water used while washing hands at school How much water did your team measure in this hand washing activity? ______________ Create a chart to record measurement data from all the teams. Average the measurements from all teams. The average amount of water we use when we wash our hands is: ___________________ How much does your team measurement vary from the average? ___________________ Why do you think your team measurement varies? Calculate how much water is used when every in class washes hands for lunch. How many students go to your school? __________ Calculate how much water is used when everyone in the school washes up for lunch. Calculate how much water is used by all the students in school to wash hands for lunch during the entire school week? 23
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25. 25. Draft Water Investigation: How much water do you use every day? Grade 4 Subjects Math & Science Objectives In this two to three-day series of lessons, students will measure the amount of water they use in various activities during a 24-hour period and record their data on a spreadsheet. Then students will use technology to take the online questionnaire about their home water use. (Depending on math readiness, the lessons may lapse over three sessions). Concepts The first step in problem solving is collecting data for analysis. By learning about personal water usage, students can see which activities use the most water and consider where water can be conserved. Standards Subject Standard Benchmark Math (4.1.1.5) Number & Demonstrate mastery of Solve problems requiring Operation multiplication; multiply the use of multiplication of multi-digit numbers; solve multi-digit numbers. Use real-world and mathematical various strategies including problems using arithmetic. the use of technology. Math (4.4.1.1) Data Collect, organize, display, Understand that spreadsheet Analysis interpret data, including data tables and graphs can be represented by decimals. used to display data. Math Number & Represent & compare Represent equivalent Operation fractions & decimals in real- fractions using fractions (4.1.2.1) world math situations; use models such as parts of a place value to understand set. how decimals represent quantities. Science (4.3.4.1.1) Human In order to improve Describe how methods Interactions with Earth existence, humans interact people utilize to obtain & Systems with & influence Earth use water in their homes & Systems. communities can affect water supply & quality. 25
26. 26. Draft Skills Measuring Recording data Multiplying with decimals Using a Spreadsheet Using Computer Technology Analyzing data Materials  Student water use spreadsheet or printed questionnaire (choose one)  Student Computers to enter water use data online Key Words Water Audit Estimation Hatch Marks Spreadsheet Technology Analysis Conservation Background Information Now that students are aware of the small amount of fresh water available for human use, they will use the spreadsheet and online questionnaire to examine their personal water use habits and possible ways they can conserve water. The water audit is a way for students to take account of their water usage. In light of what they have learned about the continuous water cycle, students may wonder why there is a need to conserve. But whenever we withdraw pure drinking water from an underground aquifer, we pollute the water as we use it. Some pollutants such as sewage are possible to treat and remove from water. Some pollutants such as pharmaceuticals, pesticides and industrial wastes are difficult or impossible to remove. So, pollution renders some of our precious supply of fresh water unusable. Because water is life, it is imperative that we conserve and protect our resources. In later lessons students will learn simple ways they can conserve our water resources. Directions: Day 1 (Time: 20 – 30 minutes) Introducing the Spreadsheet 1. Start class discussion by challenging students to list ways they and their families use water. 2. Now, students are ready to think about the amount of water that is used for each activity. Today they will be keeping records of all their water-use activities. 26
27. 27. Draft 3. Distribute the student spreadsheet entitled “Water Investigation: How much water do you use every day?” 4. Read and discuss the introductory paragraph explaining their homework task. 5. Direct student attention to ―Hand washing,‖ the first item on the spreadsheet. Location Activity Estimated # of Total Water gal/washing times/day Used/day Bathroom Washing Hands 0.5 gal 6. Discuss the activity where students measured hand washing at school. Compare the class average with the estimated number of gallons/washing given in the chart on the spreadsheet. Are the two numbers the same? 7. The number in the chart is an estimated average number for a home faucet, which may be slightly different than the average number students measured at school. (Many schools use more efficient low-flow faucets to save water and money.) 8. Throughout the rest of this spreadsheet, students will use numbers estimated nation-wide by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. These numbers have been filled into the charts. 5. Help students begin recording data. How many times have they washed hands today? Show them how to use the hatch marks to begin recording data in the appropriate column. 6. Next ask students to record the number of times they have flushed a toilet since arising this morning. Again, use hatch marks. Explain they will keep track for the rest of the day. 7. Point out the ―Family Water Use‖ section and explain that tonight they may ask their family members to help them fill out this section of the spreadsheet. 27