“Lessons for Understanding Our Water Footprint” are middle-school science lesson plans that teach student about direct and indirect (also known as virtual) water use . Three free, downloadable lessons encourage students to learn about water resources and explore how their food choices and shopping habits have a larger impact on their daily water consumption and their school campus than they may realize. Designed for lower secondary level – ages 11 to 14 – these interactive lessons can easily be adapted to the elementary level.
Middle-School Science Lesson Plans About Water Resources
These free, interactive, middle-school science lesson plans help students learn about their water footprint and understand why conserving water resources is so important.
Lesson 1: Water Footprints and the Value of Water Resources
In the first middle-school lesson plan, students gain an in-depth understanding of key water issues by viewing a presentation about water resources and water footprints. Then they use the water calculator to analyze their direct and virtual water use. They get a foundation of knowledge and learn why they should care about protecting water resources at home and on their school campus. This makes it easier for them to shift their attitudes about their own water use.
Lesson Plan 1
Lesson 1 Supplements
Session 1: How Do We Use Water?
- Water Resources and Water Footprints Presentation (PDF)
- Water Resources and Water Footprints Teacher’s Notes (PDF)
Session 2: How Do I Use Water?
- My Water Footprint Stats Student Worksheet (PDF)
- My Water Footprint Stats Sample Answers [For Teachers] (PDF)
- Basic Rubric (PDF)
- Participation Checklist (PDF)
Lesson 2: The Impact of Food Consumption Habits on Water Footprints
In the next middle-school lesson plan, students learn to talk about and share the concept of a water footprint. Then they investigate the impact of their own food consumption habits on their virtual water use and think about how their diet is influenced by social groups, advertising, home and their school campus. This lesson is effective at helping students understand the value of water and food.
Lesson Plan 2
Lesson 2 Supplements
- Food’s Water Footprint Research Cards (PDF)
- Food’s Water Footprint: Mini-Lesson Team Rubric (PDF)
- Food’s Water Footprint: Mini-Lesson Group Evaluation (PDF)
Lesson 3: The Value of a Water Footprint – Water Use in the School Campus
In the final middle-school lesson plan, students take action. First, they look into how the products they buy impact water resources and their own virtual water use. Then they come up with a plan to reduce their personal water footprint. Next, they work together in groups to figure out how much water their school campus uses. They create a Strategic Action Plan to reduce school campus water use and to get the necessary permissions to enact a water-saving plan for the school.
Lesson Plan 3
Lesson 3 Supplements
Session 1: Saving Water at Home
- Direct and Virtual Water Use Game Cards (PDF)
- How to Save Water Infographic Poster (PDF)
- How to Save Water Education Campaign Worksheet (PDF)
- My Saving Water Game Plan (PDF)
Session 2: Saving Water on the School Campus
- School Water Audit: Direct Water Use (PDF)
- School Water Audit: Virtual Water Use (PDF)
- Water Footprint School Project Rubric (PDF)
- Water Footprint School Project Group Evaluation (PDF)
- Participation Checklist (PDF)
We also have high-school science lesson plans about water use and other educational material about water resources for teachers and students. You can also find our lesson plans on Teachers pay Teachers.