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Water is by nature an all-encompassing topic with connections to life and environment everywhere. This resource is generally geared toward scientific properties of water and the water cycle, but has links that will take you into many other areas of study as well.
Powerpoint Presentation for Water Workshop
AMNH Water Exhibit Online
The American Museum of Natural History [AMNH] mounted a special Water Exhibit from November 2007 through May 2008. The resulting web site includes an extensive, annotated list of water resources biased towards usage, finiteness and conservation. Teachers can navigate the site’s sections quickly from here
Essential questions the exhibit explores online at
The educator page is a click away at
This site includes links & resources for teaching and learning about
Properties of Water
Life in Water
Marine & Fresh Water Habitats
Ocean and Climate
K-12 Online and print
What is Water?
Is a great essay linked to the Oceans course, online at
For grades 9-12, this article looks at the fundamental connection between life and liquid water and asks what exactly is water and what properties does water have that we couldn't possibly live without.
“It includes a set of related links and briefly discusses *
the properties water possesses that we couldn't live without, * how seawater differs from fresh water, * what happens to sound and light when they travel through water and *
how marine organisms adapt to the properties of seawater. Suggested discussion questions:
What is water? Why do living things need it to survive? Note students' answers on the chalkboard or a sheet of flipchart paper.
Send students to this online article, or print copies of the article for them to read.
Revisit the question from the start of the activity. Add answers to the list generated before reading the essay. As a class, discuss what students learned from the article and what surprised them most.”
What's the Big Idea?
for grades 3 and up
Did you know that all living things need water? Or that the water on Earth today is all we will ever have? Learn more about this precious resource. This online reading with images is best for elementary school.
for grades 3 through 8
You know that oil and water don't mix, but what about saltwater and freshwater? Find out firsthand with this kid-friendly experiment that examines both salinity and density. Website at
Illustrated, step-by-step directions demonstrate a way to test the density of water at different levels of salinity and how a liquid's density affects the objects placed in it
for grades 3 through 12
Create the smallest of ocean currents in a glass baking dish. You'll see firsthand why saltwater is denser than freshwater and why salt sets the seas in motion.
for grades 6 through 12
If you've spent even a few hours in a pool, you know that the deep end is colder than the shallow. But do you know why? Experiment with colored ice cubes for insight into water density.
Other Online Resources for Educators from AMNH
This reference list contains brief descriptions of and links to 18 Web sites that offer a wide range of water-related activities and resources. The sites include
videos and interactives that investigate current research about water,
a lesson plan that demonstrates the importance of wetlands,
a water quiz that tests students water knowledge and then guides them about how they can help conserve this resource, and
a comparison of water prices around the world and water’s value in different cultures.
From the American Museum of Natural History
Water for Educators
Use these free online resources to help teach water-related topics, including the properties of water, the importance of water to living things, climate and Earth processes, and the conservation of marine and freshwater habitats.
Investigate current research about water through videos and interactives. Look for the Earth Features such as "Melting Ice, Rising seas" and Bio Features such as "Bronx River Restoration" and "Our Oceans, Ourselves."
At the Museum's website for kids, students can take a quiz on virtual water (the water we didn't know we're using), play a game to explore how ocean creatures survive under water, find out how we can protect freshwater and marine habitats, and more!
Your Water On Tap
Students can explore how drinking water is delivered and treated, and how wastewater and storm water is processed.
Additional Web Links
Environmental Kids Club
This EPA's environmental education site illustrates the different steps of the water treatment process, a "pollution drawing gallery," and an interactive "what's wrong with this picture?"
EPA Water Teaching Resources
This is a comprehensive list of water-related teaching resources for all grades, assembled by the Environmental Protection Agency.
Create a Wetland Scene Lesson Plan
Correlating with Geography Standard 16, this lesson plan from National Geographic explains the importance of wetlands and asks student groups to research and report upon various types of wetlands. Includes assessment, extensions, and links.
Learn how to make water conservation a part of your every life. You'll find a water calculator, water saving tips, glossary, and information on a wide variety of water-related topics.
Take the interactive water quiz to see how much you know about water, and explore how you can make a difference. Educators can download free lesson plans.
NWF Water Calculator
Designed by the National Wildlife Federation, this site enables students to calculate personal water usage and compare it to the state average. Part of a five-part water education and conservation resource.
USGS Water Calculator
With this calculator produced by the US Geological Survey, students can find out how much water they use at home on a typical day. Then explore other topics such as Earth's water and the water cycle.
USGS Water Science for Schools
The US Geological Survey's Water Science for Schools site will grab kids' attention with graphics, activities, quizzes, and fun facts about the properties of water. QUIZ:
Voices of Youth
Voices of youth speak out about water issues (in English, Spanish, French, and Arabic) on this UNICEF-sponsored site. Includes games, real-life stories, fact sheets, and links.
Water Facts and Figures
Sponsored by UNESCO, this multilingual site compares the way water is priced around the world and its value in different cultures. Links to a wide range of international water-related initiatives and resources.
This site explains the concept of a water footprint (the amount of water used to produce the goods and services consumed by an individual, business, or nation) and explores the implications through a water footprint calculator, a photo gallery of products, case studies, research, and links.
Just a Day at the Beach
from the NY Times examines building sand castles (need sand for this one) and the variables that effect their stability (gr. 6-12)
works to protect and restore the Hudson River and its majestic landscape as an irreplaceable national treasure and a vital resource for residents and visitors. Educational outreach and 2 booklets online about climate change and an activity workbook for grades 3-8 at
More – Lesson Plans
Wondrous Water Lesson Plan
Based on The New York Times article "Small, Yes, but Mighty: The Molecule Called Water", this lesson plan provides experiments and activities that investigate the properties of water, and gets students to reflect on its importance. Includes a range of extension activities.
lesson plan and materials are not available online. They are made available to teachers who complete a Project Wet professional development workshop which is available free of charge – and they will come to you (minimum 10 participants). Call Dena Mehalakes at the NYS DEC in Wappinger Falls, (845) 831-8783 x 321 or email her at
. Online at
Add one here
Conservation, Environmental Changes, Human Impact
Taking Account of Water:
Grade 4-8 Students will be able to see how often and how much they use water, and understand the importance of water conservation at
Down the Drain: How Much Water Do You Use?
Developed by the Center for Innovation in Engineering and Science Education, this collaborative project explains how kids can figure out their daily water use, collect date from other places around the world, and consider conservation strategies. Includes lesson plan and activities.
The Aral Sea – Then and Now
look at how diverting water for agricultural has dramatically changed the sea and its environs. (Grades 3-5)
Shedding Light on Watersheds
Students discover the importanance of watersheds and mankind’s impact through discussion, construction of models and online activities.
My Life as a Water Droplet
Students visit 10 different stations as directed by cards at each one depicting a water droplet’s action. The first set are available online at
This well-conceived lesson is designed to help students in grades 3-5 understand how water changes form over the course of the water cycle.
Add one here
A selection of resources for teaching water in the classroom are aggregated here:
More from US Government Agencies
NOAA: Ocean Explorer – Sound in the Sea
An overview of the research on ocean acoustics.
USGS: Water Science for Schools
A rich resource on many aspects of water, including teacher resources.
NASA: The Water Cycle
An Earth Observatory article discussing the basics of water and NASA’s contribution to water research. For upper grade levels at
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Water Web site can be found online at
Simple water cycle song
Science experiment – Removing coin from water filled plate without getting your fingers wet
Bellagio Fountains choreographed to All That Jazz on MetCafe
Water Bubbles – Scientific waves in a bubble, air into water drop,
Blue drop added to water in slow motion
Popping a water balloon in space
Throwing boiling water into freezing winter air
- has a great collection of free multimedia resources for the classroom and professional development with links to lesson plans. You can search by subject, grade and media type.
Two elementary level students (grades 3-6) creating a water filter with lesson plan links
Earth as a system (8-12)
Interactive Activities for Students
for grades 1-4 with animation and labeling activity online at
Brain Pop Movies with quizzes –
Virtual Lab from Glencoe for MS-HS exploring the
Virtual Lab – determining water pollution and
levels is online at
Soil testing Virtual Lab investigates how different types of soil hold water. Students collect data and use it to make observations about the relationship of
soil porosity to soil permeability
States of Matter
is an 8th Grade Science Project very nicely done complete with an online quiz and Hangman Game.
Build a Prairie
The Watershed Game
. Watershed Game only has novice level. Good for grades 4-8. Higher grades can also use; create additional scenarios and/or more in-depth responses.
Add Yours Here
Digging Deeper – Select Articles
A Tall, Cool Drink of ... Sewage?
By ELIZABETH ROYTE. Published: August 10, 2008 NY Time Magazine. In the world’s driest places, the future of drinking water may flow from a wastewater-recycling plant.
By DONOVAN HOHN. Published: June 22, 2008 Magazine. The world’s oceans are filling with bottles, wrappers and other flotsam. Is there anything better to be done than picking it off the beach, one piece at a time?
by Susan Casey, BestLife Tavel & Leisure. Published Feb 20, 2007. Our oceans are turning into plastic...are we?
Plastic in seas and lakes aggregated links at
Los Angeles Times special series: Altered Oceans won a Pulitzer Price
published July 30- August 3, 2006. [Flash media] Check the resources list at
Drought & Climate Change Issues
The Future Is Drying Up
By JON GERTNER. Published: October 21, 2007 NY Times Magazine. The West is the fastest-growing part of the country. It’s also the driest. And climate change could be making matters much, much worse.
to Water-Sharing Pact
By RANDAL C. ARCHIBOLD Published: December 10, 2007. Federal officials have reached a new pact with several Western states on how to allocate water if the Colorado River runs short.
The Lede: Water Woes From Florida to Spain to Orbit
By Patrick J. Lyons.
Published: May 16, 2008 NY Times. Growing urban thirsts and drought-crimped supplies are driving some cities to much more drastic measures than just restricting lawn watering. Anyone for an ice-cold pitcher of recycled sewage?
The Food Chain –Series of Articles from NY Times
Articles in this series will examine
growing demands on, and changes in, the world’s production of food. List is online at
. Changing climate patterns, including rain distribution, are a key concern.
For example, the lesson plan, Running Out of Rice, online at
, examines the reasons for Australia’s rice shortage and its impact on the rest of the world.
Water has a lot to do with weather, and extreme weather, so check the weather page.
and other disasters, check out
FEMA for Kids
(grades 1-5) at
and go to floods at
. This site has
Flood Disaster Math.
Library from PublicLandsDay.org at
including curriculum links and resources for water, conservation, watershed, fish, from various government and research facilities
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