Understanding Our Water Footprint: High School Lesson Plans

Understanding Our Water Footprint: High School Lesson Plans

“Lessons for Understanding Our Water Footprint” build students’ awareness of direct and indirect (also known as virtual) water use . Three free, downloadable lesson plans encourage students to explore how  their food choices and shopping habits have a larger impact on their daily water consumption than they may realize. Designed for high school – upper secondary level, ages 15 to 18 – these interactive lessons can be easily adapted to the undergraduate level.

Lesson 1: Water Resources and Water Footprints

This lesson gives students an in-depth understanding of key water issues. They learn about water resources and water footprints, then use the water calculator to analyze their direct and virtual water consumption. Students get a foundation of knowledge and learn why they should care about protecting water resources, which makes it easier for them to make a fundamental shift in attitude about their water use.
Lesson Plan 1

Session 1: How Do We Use Water?

Session 2: How Do I Use Water?

Lesson 2: My Water Footprint

This lesson encourages students to articulate and share the concept of a water footprint. Then they investigate the impact of their food consumption habits on their virtual water use and begin thinking about how their diet is influenced by systems outside of themselves, such as social groups, advertising, and the structures in place at home and at school.
Lesson Plan 2

Lesson 3: The Value of a Water Footprint

This lesson empowers students to take action. First, they investigate how the products they buy impact their virtual water footprint. Then they devise a plan to reduce their personal water footprint. Next, they work together to evaluate the water footprint of their school campus. Finally, they create a Strategic Action Plan to reduce the school’s water footprint and work in groups to get the necessary permissions to enact a water-saving plan for the campus.
Lesson Plan 3

Session 1: Saving Water at Home

Session 2: Saving Water on Campus