Water Conservation Lesson Plan

Lesson Plan

Morgan Pestorius

Photo from Flickr

Title or Topic of the Lesson: Water Conservation

Grade Level: 3-5

Lesson Essential Question(s): How do our choices affect the environment and other people?


Describe and graph the amounts and percentages of water and fresh water in various reservoirs to provide evidence about the distribution of water on Earth. 5-ESS2-2

Obtain and combine information about ways individual communities use science ideas to protect the Earth’s resources and environment. 5-ESS3-1

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.SL.4.1 Engage effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grade 4 topics and texts, building on others’ ideas and expressing their own clearly.

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RI.4.8 Explain how an author uses reasons and evidence to support particular points in a text.

Learning Objectives and Assessments:

Objectives Assessments
Students will be able to explain why it is important to conserve water. The students will make posters to hang around the school in order to educate their classmates of the importance of water conservation.
Students will be able to understand how the choice we make now will affect the future of the environment. The teacher will lead a class discussion and listen to student responses.
Students will be able to understand how fresh water distribution is unequal between countries. The teacher will lead a class discussion and listen to student responses.


  • One Well: The Story of Water on Earth by Rochelle Strauss
  • Construction paper
  • Markers
  • Crayons
  • Scissors
  • Glue
  • 1,000 ml graduated cylinder
  • 100 ml graduated cylinder
  • Petri dish
  • Eyedropper
  • Water

Pre-lesson assignments and/or prior knowledge: Your students will probably have some knowledge about water conservation from other learning experiences.

Lesson Beginning: Begin the lesson by gathering the students on a rug or a comfortable reading area.

Instructional Plan:

  • Introduce One Well: The Story of Water on Earth by Rochelle Strauss and read aloud to the class.
  • After reading, perform a simulation with the students to show them the amount of clean water on the planet:
    • Fill the 1,000 ml graduated cylinder with water. Tell the students that this represents all of the water on Earth.
    • Pour 30 ml of this water into the 100 ml graduated cylinder. Tell the students that this represents Earth’s fresh water. (You may need to clarify that the remaining 970 ml represents the salt water in the ocean. We cannot drink salt water!)
    • Pour 6 ml of the “fresh” water into the petri dish. Tell the students that this represents the fresh water that is not frozen in ice caps or glaciers.
    • Tell the students that of the water in the dish, less than 1/3 represents water that is available above the ground.
    • Take an eyedropper and remove 1 drop of water from the dish. Tell the students that this represents the water that is clean, fresh, not polluted and otherwise available to use.
  • After reading the book and performing the simulation, facilitate a class discussion. Ask the students how this information makes them feel. Encourage the students to ask any questions that they may have. You may let the students guide this discussion themselves, or you can lead the discussion with questions from the questions section below.
  • Allow the students to work individually or in partners to create a poster that they can use to educate their classmates about water conservation. Encourage the students to be creative with their posters and use information that they learned during the read aloud.

Differentiation: The students may present their information in whatever way they choose: through drawing, writing, etc. This is an opportunity for all of them to showcase their talents; if a student has a different format that they would like to present their PSA in, encourage it!


  • What are some ways that we can conserve water?
  • How do the choices we make affect the water that we use?

Classroom Management: Remind the students of good listening behaviors before reading One Well. If student participation is unbalanced during the class discussion, ensure that everyone gets a chance to speak by drawing names written on Popsicle sticks out of a cup or passing a ball around the room. Remind the students to use inside voices when they are working on their posters.

Transitions: Lay out all of the lesson materials beforehand to make transitions smoother. Send the students back to their seats in small groups to avoid noisy transitions.

Closure: Allow the students to present their posters to the class. Encourage the students to pick one change that they plan to make in order to conserve water. Hang the posters around your school and encourage other teachers to point them out to their students when walking through the hallway.




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