The Great Water Hunt
Students learn to identify water sources and go on a "hunt" to see where and how water is used around the school.
- Grades: PreK–K, 1–2
- Unit Plan:
Students will create a model of the land-to-water ratio in a large group and search for all the places water is used at their school while on a Great Water Hunt.
- Discuss where we find water.
- Compare how much of the world is covered with water.
- Observe where in the school, home, and community we use water.
- Distinguish between water from different sources.
- Water dropper and a cup of water
- A book about water, such as A Cool Drink of Water, or Water: Emergent Reader Science
- 20-32 pieces of 9- by 12-inch construction paper depending upon class size (1/4 green and 3/4 blue)
- Water sounds CD
- Colored markers
- Chart paper
- Pictures of bodies of water
- Clipboards with blank paper for each student
Set Up and Prepare
- Make a CD of water sounds either from free internet downloads or your own.
- Prepare an Idea Web (PDF). This will be used throughout the unit so leave space for additional circles. Begin by making a large circle in the middle and writing "Water" inside. Draw a line from the large circle to three medium circles.
- Collect various pictures of bodies of water: ocean, lake, river, stream, pond, waterfall, pool, reservoir, etc. Books, travel magazines, and the Internet are good sources.
- Chart the "Where Is Water Song" in Part 1, Step 3.
- If possible, arrange a time for students to visit school personnel using water while on their Great Water Hunt: (cafeteria worker washing food, gardener watering plants, maintenance cleaning with water, etc.)
- Arrange to have some parent volunteers to help with the Great Water Hunt.
Step 1: Sit the students in a circle and tell them that they are going to be talking about wonderful water works. Ask students to hold out their hands. Using an eyedropper, put a few drops of water into their hands. Read a book on water. I especially like A Cool Drink of Water because it has vivid photographs. Show students the word "water" on the idea web.
Step 2: Show students the globe. Ask them what they think the blue parts of the globe indicate. Tell them that most of the earth is covered with water, shown on the globe as blue. Wherever there is blue, there is a body of water. Randomly distribute the blue and green construction paper. For a class of 20, I use 3 sheets of green construction paper and 12 sheets of blue. You can set additional pieces out on the carpet beforehand to create the 1:4 ratio of land to water. Tell students to lay their paper one-by-one in the middle of the circle. Tell them that they're making a representation of the land and water on the Earth. Ask them to tell you what the green and blue paper represents.
Step 3: Ask students to look for bodies of water while you pass the globe around for them to touch and examine for a few seconds each. Play the water sounds CD and invite the children to listen to the sounds of water and think about what they hear while they're waiting their turn.
Step 4: After everyone has seen the globe, write "What are bodies of water?" in one of the medium circles. Ask, "What bodies of water did you notice on the globe?" Chart any responses.
Step 5: Present the charted "Water Song." Tell them it's sung to the tune of "Where is Thumpkin?" Invite them to sing with you and then guess as you hold up a body of water picture.
Where is water?
Where is water?
In the world,
In the world.
Slippy, drippy water,
Squishy, swishy water,
In a _____________________,
In a ________________________.
Repeat song until you have included all the pictures.
Step 6: Refer back to the idea web. Ask if any new bodies of water should be added. Use a different color marker to indicate pre- and post-charting.
Step 1: Refer students to the water idea web from the Day 1. Write two questions in the remaining medium circles: "How do we use water?" and "Where do we find water?" Ask students to volunteer answers. Chart any responses. Tell them that the class is going on a Great Water Hunt to see where and how water is used around the school. Tell children that they may record their findings by drawing or writing words for where they see water on their clipboards. Have your parent volunteers help the students "hunt" in small groups.
Step 2: Distribute the clipboards and pencils. Begin the search for water in the classroom and around the school. If you like, extend it out into the neighborhood. Encourage children to write a letter for initial sounds of the things they discover.
Step 3: Return to the classroom and students to color their pictures and add letters and words.
Step 4: Gather students together and have them share their findings. Add any new information to the idea web. Use a different color marker to indicate pre- and post-charting.
Supporting All Learners
Encourage students who are ready to write words, using inventive or standard spelling. Label pictures for other students as needed.
Have students copy the class-made construction paper model of the land and water on the Earth on their own piece of paper. Students should draw the same number of blue and green rectangles using crayons.
Assign students to go on a "Water Hunt" at home and record where water is used. Share these responses in class and add them to the idea web.
- With the class, make a model of the land and water on Earth.
- Record water location and use at school during the Great Water Hunt.
- Did students use new vocabulary?
- Were they able to discover and name water location?
- Did they use both visual and audible cues?
- Were they engaged and on task the entire time?
- How might you do this lesson differently next time?
Observe how children participate in the group discussion. Take note of how they illustrate or use letters and words to record water.