Lessons for Understanding Our Water Footprint

Water Footprint Calculator
Water Footprint Calculator

Lessons for Understanding Our Water Footprint

Through these 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. These engaging lessons provide a range of teaching strategies and real-world exercises, and include some interactive activities that help get kids thinking about the steps they can take to reduce their impacts on the environment and save water. 

Six earth science lesson plans that help educators teach kids about their water use

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

Lesson 1: Students learn about water resources and water footprints. Then they 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.

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.

Lesson 3: Students take action and investigate how the products they buy impact their virtual water footprint. Then they create a plan to reduce their personal water footprint. Next, they work together to evaluate their school campus’ water footprint. Finally, they create a Strategic Action Plan to reduce their school’s water footprint and 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

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

Real-world exercises help students understand their own habits and behaviors

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

TEKS, CCSS, NGSS and EFS Standards alignment

Standards alignments help teachers meet earth science curriculum requirements and 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.