Environmental Sustainability: Water

Lesson Title: Environmental Sustainability: Water
Academic Standards: HS-ESS2-5, HS-ESS3-1
Content Creator: Mrs. Wendy Martin
Level: High School
Duration: 30-40 min
  /  Environmental Sustainability: Water


  • Students will understand the unique emergent properties of water.
  • Students will understand the water cycle.
  • Students will understand where on the planet water is found and what forms are usable to humans.
  • Students will understand how water is connected to life and industry.
  • Students will determine their own water consumption.
  • Students will brainstorm ways to conserve water.
  • Students will understand what a watershed is.
  • Students will discuss water cleaning processes.
  • Students will go on virtual field trip to a water treatment plant.


Water makes up 75% of our planet. It is the biological medium that allows life to exist on Earth. However, less than 1% of that water is available for human consumption and use. As our population increases so will our demand for clean, usable water. In this lesson, students will discuss watersheds and how conserving water in our homes can influence water availability for people in other cities, states or even countries. Students will participate in an activity that will determine their “water footprint” and how they can make changes to conserve it. Also discussed will be the need for clean water. The class will go on a virtual field trip to a water treatment plant, following water as it travels from the home to the Mississippi River, being cleaned long the way.


  1. Watch video on the unique properties of water.
  2. Discuss water properties.
  3. Move into space and do water availability activity. Have students create a glass to scale that represents the amount of water available to humans. Compare it to a glass that represents all the water available on earth.
  4. Use power point slide to show how water is distributed worldwide.
  5. Move back into space center.
  6. Do activity where students pick up two objects and discuss with class how water is related to this object. Examples of object are listed in ancillary section.
  7. Do water usage activity to determine water footprint. Worksheets for this are readily available online.
  8. Discuss watershed connections.
  9. Discuss ways to conserve water in the home.
  10. Discuss water cleanliness issues.
  11. Take a virtual field trip to a water treatment plant.

Demonstratives & Media

Instructional Videos
3D objects

Suggested Ancillary Support

Unique Properties of Water Video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0eNSnj4ZfZ8   Possible IFXs for water activity: animals (land and aquatic) plants cell phone and computer clothing (cotton Tshirt for example) vehicles rain barrel food paper products plastic bottles sink/bathtub/toliet garden hose