In this lesson, students will identify water and land as examples of natural resources investigate sources of water and identify some ways in which humans make use of water as an economic resource, specifically for agriculture, transportation and recreation.
View an image of the earth . Tell the children that they are going to view a image of the Earth viewed from space. Give them time to view the image and then ask them to identify the areas of water and the areas of land visible on the Earth’s surface. Stress the fact that humans created neither the land nor the water. They are “gifts of nature” which humans are able to use. Ask the following question: Where do we find water on the Earth? [Note down the water sources as the children name them. For example, oceans, rivers, streams, lakes, underground supplies.]
- Understand the importance of water as a valuable resource.
- Understand the uses of water as a productive resource.
- CNN: “The Earth From a Million Miles Away”
- View of Earth from Space: Still Image.
- Dairy Cattle: This photo shows dairy cattle drinking water.
- U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service- Pacific Region: Ecological Services- Prevention Investigation and Monitoring- Irrigation.
- Beachgoers, Capitola, California, USA: This photo shows sunbathers on a beach.
- American Forest and Paper Association: This website provides information and news about the American Forest and Paper Association.
- Official Nebraska Government Website- Nebraska State Historical Society: Information about the Neligh Mill State Historic Site.
- Idaho Forests: This website is an information service of the Idaho Forest Products Commission.
- Hanford Mills Museum: The complex of weathered wood buildings reflected in the mill pond mirrors more than 150 years of rural life and industry in the northwestern Catskill Mountains.
- USGS- Science for a Changing World: Water Science for Schools.
- United States Environmental Protection Agency: This website lets students study the water cycle or learn about water conservation by providing information and ideas.
- Penn State Study on Dairy Cow – Photo of cows drinking water
- The photographs on the websites listed below show some of the ways in which we use water as an economic resource. Ask the children to view the photographs by clicking on the website addresses and to answer the following question:
- What are the different ways in which water is being used in these photographs?
Give the children time to examine the photos and then discuss their findings of what water is used for.
- [This https://news.psu.edu/photo/277671/2013/05/22/dairy-water shows dairy cattle drinking water. Discuss the fact that we need water in order to raise animals, which we then use for meat or for dairy production. Ask for other examples, such as pigs, chickens, sheep.]
- [This photo shows an agricultural irrigation system. Discuss the fact that we need water in order to grow plants, which we then buy at the grocery store. Ask for other examples, such as apples, lettuce, potatoes.
- [This photo shows sunbathers on a beach. Discuss the fact that we use water when we want to have fun. For example, we go on holiday to the beach, we go to the swimming pool, we go to water parks, we go fishing and boating on lakes and rivers.]
- Show the children four large pieces of chart paper, each a different color, headed as follows:
- We use water to grow plants
- We use water to raise animals
- We use water to help us to get around
- We use water when we want to have fun
Ask the children to draw an example of water being used in one of these ways.
As the children complete their pictures they can post their drawings on to the appropriate chart. Discuss the charts with the class once they are completed.
- Learn about other natural resources, such as woodlands, information and ideas concerning forests, and products made from wood. Idaho Forests and the American Forest and Paper Association provide a starting point for the students.
- Take a class field trip to visit a water mill and learn about how water can be used as a source of energy. Information from Hanford Mills Museum in East Meredith, NY and the https://history.nebraska.gov/visit/neligh-mill-state-historic-site have great information on water mills and their history.
- Study the water cycle or learn about water conservation from https://www.usgs.gov/special-topic/water-science-school , or from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) .
Comment that we also use water when we make other products eg. paint. Ask the children to look at items at home, with the help of their parent, and to find some with water listed as an ingredient. Ask them to bring one such item in to school and then create a display using all the products brought in.
Grades K-2, 3-5
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