Lessons for Understanding Our Water Footprint

Lessons for Understanding Our Water Footprint

“Lessons for Understanding Our Water Footprint” are standards-based, earth science lesson plans about water use for middle- and high-school students.

In these earth science lesson plans, students learn how their water use is impacted by their food choices and shopping habits which can cause them to use more water than they may realize.

Rated “On the Cutting Edge Exemplary Teaching Activity” by the 2020 National Association of Geoscience Teachers

Standards-based Earth Science Lesson Plans About Water Use

These middle- and high-school lesson plans help students learn about their water footprints and why it’s important to conserve water resources. These engaging lessons provide a range of teaching strategies and real-world exercises that are aligned to numerous standards that help teachers meet curriculum requirements. Some of the activities are Interactive and get kids thinking about the steps they can take to reduce their impacts on the environment and save water.

Lessons for Understanding Our Water Footprint include:

Six earth science lesson plans that help educators teach kids about their own water use and why it’s important to save water

Three high-school and three middle-school standards-based earth science lesson plans provide students with an in-depth understanding of key water issues that can be adapted up to the undergraduate level or down to elementary-school level.

  • In Lesson 1, students learn about water resources and water footprints, then use GRACE’s Water Footprint Calculator to analyze their direct and virtual water use. They learn why they should care about protecting water resources, which makes it easier for them to shift their attitudes about their water use.
  • In Lesson 2, students learn how to talk about and share the concept of a water footprint. Then they explore the impact their food consumption habits have on their virtual water use and think about how their diet is influenced by systems like social groups, advertising, home and school.
  • In Lesson 3, students take action as they investigate how the products they buy impact their virtual water footprint and they create a plan to reduce their personal water footprint. Next, they work together to evaluate their school campus’ water footprint and create a Strategic Action Plan to reduce their school’s water footprint. They work in groups to get the necessary permissions to enact a water-saving plan for the campus.
A range of teaching strategies that give teachers flexible approaches to teaching students about water conservation

Presentations, videos, activities, assessments, portfolio assignments, technology integration and community extensions give teachers flexible approaches to teaching kids about water footprints.

Real-world exercises that demonstrate to students how their own habits and behaviors impact their water use

Opportunities to engage students in real-world learning exercises help them understand their water use and bring water footprint concepts to life.

Promotional materials to promote the Water Footprint Calculator site and concept

Downloadable materials can be used to promote the water use lesson plans.

Standards alignment to TEKS, CCSS, NGSS and EFS to help teachers meet their earth science curriculum requirements

Standards alignments include: the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS); Common Core State Standards (CCSS) for ELA/Literacy and Mathematics; Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS); and the Cloud Education for Sustainability (EFS) Standards & Performance Indicators.

Lesson plans produced for GRACE by EcoRise.