The Wrath of Water Shortages
California State Science Standard:
5â€ESS3 Earth and Human Activity
One class of about 2 hours.
I will give all students cups with lemonade powder in it. I will give 20% of the students
free water to make their lemonade, but the other 80% has to pay on Tusi Token to have their cup
filled. A Tusi Token is the class money the students are able to earn in my class. I believe the
students that have to pay for the water will be frustrated and the students who get the free water
will feel special. After I would explain that I gave 20% of the students free water and that
represents how much water San Diego provides for itself. Then I would go on to explain the
other 80% of the class represents the imported water brought into San Diego. I think students
will realize what a small amount of water San Diego actually provides for itself and that will
show them the importance of the water. At the end of explaining I will give the other students
their Tusi Tokens back because I only wanted to use it as an example.
â€¢ Students will learn about San Diegoâ€™s dependence on imported drinking water.
â€¢ Students will learn how water shortages increases the likelihood of wildfires.
â€¢ Students will learn how San Diego is trying to be more water smart.
â€¢ Students will learn how to make a water smart garden.
â€¢ Students will learn how water shortages work against farmers.
â€¢ Students will learn new ways of conserving water.
Teaching students the importance of water teaches them not to waste water. Learning new
ways to conserve water will benefit students through them sharing their knowledge at home and
help their family conserve water. In the distant future students will be able to better understand
why it is important to conserve water. This will help them vote for water smart solutions or even
be the creators of water smart solutions for San Diego. Students will be able to connect science
to art through designing their own water smart garden.
To model the affects of water shortages I would lecture on the global issue and the local
issue using a power point implement visuals into my lesson.
1. I would show pictures of wildfires, dried out crops on farm land, dried out rivers, and a
Reservoir San Vicente at low levels. â€œThere is one thing all of these pictures have in common.
What do you think it is? Discuss with your tables for a minute.â€
A. They are all messed up.
B. They all need water.
C. They are all in the country side.
D. All the pictures have plants in them.
2. â€œRight, they all lack water. These are examples of events that occur because of water
shortages. What do farmers need to grow their plants or rivers need to flow or for reservoirs to
3. â€œYes, water. Water shortages are problems all around the world and in San Diego. There are
rivers in China that are disappearing because all of the water is being used. There are farms in
Southern Africa that canâ€™t grow the crops they have planted because of water shortages. In San
Diego our largest reservoir, San Vicente is less than half full because of the water shortage we
are in. Does anyone remember or heard their parents or older siblings talk about the wildfires
that happened in San Diego?â€
A. No, we had wildfires here?
B. My dad talks about how are house almost got burned down.
C. My older sister told me she got a whole week of school off because there were fires.
D. My mom has shown me pictures of a fire I think that may have been those fires.
4. â€œThere were fires in San Diego in 2003 and 2007, and one of the reasons they happened was
because we were in a water shortage and the vegetation in San Diego became very dry.
Because it was dry it made it much easier to catch on fire. These fires were the largest in
California history. Spain in 2005 just in between our fires had a similar fire. They had a water
shortage, which dried out the vegetation and a fire started that destroyed 30,000 acres of land.â€
5. After this I would lecture about how San Diego is in a water shortage and we import 80% of
our drinking water. Then I would lecture on solutions to the water shortage. I would explain
the cities plan on recycling water and how it will provide one third of San Diegoâ€™s drinking
water when they are around twenty. Then I would explain some of the rebates and how they
could make money making their yards more water smart. Lastly, I would give them a
worksheet with all the tips on how to conserve water from the San Diego City website.
Guided Practice 1:
To internalize the lesson the students would be guided in drawing a simple T Chart. The
left side showing things we can do to help conserve water. The right side would show the things
that are caused by water shortages.
1. Students would all receive a worksheet with a simple T Chart on it with the title Water
2. I would draw a simple T Chart on the board.
3. â€œClass please write Caused by Water Shortages (Bad) on the right side of the chart. â€œ
4. I would write Caused by Water Shortages (Bad) on the right side of the chart on the board and
ask the students to do the same on their paper.
5. â€œCan anyone tell me one thing they remember that are caused by water shortages from the
A. Um wild fires? I think.
B. Rivers run dry.
C. Farmers have a hard time growing plants.
D. Reservoirs arenâ€™t very full.
6. â€œThose are all correct.â€ After each answer I would write the answer on the right side of the
chart on the board and draw a picture to represent the answer. Then I would tell the students to
write the answer and draw the picture on their paper.
7. Next, I would write Conserving Water (Good) on the left side of my chart and have the class
do the same on their piece of paper.
8. â€œCan anyone tell me one thing they remember that we can do to conserve water from the
A. Make gardens that donâ€™t use a lot of water.
B. Recycle dirty water for drinking water.
C. The tips page said to wash your fruits and vegetables in a bowl and use the water to
10. â€œVery good all of those are right.â€
11. After each answer I would write the answer on the left side of the chart on the board and
draw a picture to represent the answer. Then I would tell the students to write the answer and
draw the picture on their paper.
12.Remediation: Any students who finish drawing will be allowed to add more ways to
conserve water on the back of their sheet.
Guided Practice 2:
To further internalize the lesson students will make a water smart garden in a pot from
succulents, wood chips, and rocks. This will give them a practical application of what they can
do to conserve water in a smart way. This will also apply to art because they will design their
1. I will pick people who are sitting quietly at their desk to come up and get their succulent.
2. After everyone had their succulent we would go outside.
3. Earlier in the day I would have put out hula hoops that would have their number on it. In each
hula hoop there would be a pile of wood chips and rocks.
4. â€œEveryone find your hula hoop and sit in it. Please, do not touch anything in the hula hoop
until I tell you to. Once everyone has found their number we will start.â€
A. I found mine first!
B. I canâ€™t find mine.
5. â€œJames yours is over here by June. Now that everyone is in their hula hoop I am going to
show you an example of what your garden will look like.â€
6. I would show the students an example I had made before the class.
7. â€œYou will place the wood chips and/or rocks in a pattern to decorate your water smart garden.
Make sure that the soil around the succulent is completely covered by your pattern of rocks
and/or wood chips. This will help the water not evaporate as fast because it wonâ€™t be sitting
directly in the sun it will be under the rocks and/or wood chips. The importance in that is you
use less water to keep your garden alive.â€
8. â€œEveryone may begin. Once you are done please raise your hand and I will come to you.â€
9. Remediation: Any students who are done early will be allowed to decorate the side of their
pot by painting it.
D)â€Wrap up/Check for Understanding:
I will erase the titles Conserving Water (Good) and Caused by Water Shortages (Bad) off
the board. I will ask the students to give me a thumbs up when I point at something that
conserves water. I will ask the students to give me a thumbs down for things caused by water
Students will be given a short answer quiz. There will be two questions on the test. The
first question would be, â€œWhat are some negative impacts of water shortages? List at least 3.â€
The second question would be, â€œName at least 3 things that help conserve water?â€ The students
can answer in bullet point or paragraph form, but they have to use complete sentences.
For the students independent practice they will be given homework. The students will be
given a worksheet, which they will need to create a water smart yard on. The worksheet will say,
â€œImagine you are landscaper and one of your customers is concerned that there grass is using too
much water. They have asked you to design a water smart yard for them. The customers yard is
the empty rectangle on the page. You must use three different materials in the yard. Each material
must be labeled and colored. The entire yard must be used.â€ This homework will help the
students have a practical application of what they learned in class. This may also lead them to
designing a new yard for their house, which uses much less water. The second part of their
independent practice is they have to tell two people three different ways they can conserve water.
I will have students write on a piece of paper the three water conservation tips they gave the
person and the names of the people. I believe students will enjoy this independent practice
because it will allow them to show what they learned to other people and how conserving water
can be a fun project.
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