Objective: Students will use their problem-solving skills to design a home where water
is conserved through the use of their "invented" ideas/concepts.
Materials: Pencils, markers, crayons, colored pencils (drawing materials), Tag board
Background: Water is a natural resource that we all share. Many people do not realize
how much water is used in the home each day. Although most people understand that
conserving water will save money and make clean water supplies last longer, they do
not have a lot of ideas on how to implement water conservation concepts in their own
Either in teams or individually, the students are to design the interior of the Conservation
The chateau will have two bedrooms, one living room, one bathroom, one kitchen, and a
laundry and cleaning area.
The students have to address the use of water in these areas:
Kitchen (where 15% of the water is used)
Bathroom (where 25% of the water is used)
Laundry and cleaning area (where 12% of the water is used)
Students need to design all the water-saving features that go into each room (an
example would be installing a faucet that automatically shuts off after using 2.5 gallons
The following is a list of common items found in today's homes:
An average toilet uses 5-7 gallons per flush
A shower can use 5-15 gallons of water per minute
A dishwasher uses 15 gallons per load
A leaky faucet can waste over 3,000 gallons of water in a year
A leaky toilet can waste over 10,000 gallons of water in a year
An average automatic clothes washer uses 35 gallons of water per load
Drawings can be as detailed or as simplistic as needed to elaborate the water saving
concepts the groups are trying to distinguish.
Go to the Big Sioux Water Festival web site: www.bigsiouxwaterfestival.org and print out
several copies of the game Waterspout. Divide class into small groups and play the
game. This is a water conservation game that emphasizes mathematics as a way to
understand water conservation.
Invite a representative from the local water utility to talk to students about water
conservation and consumption.
Have students research and discuss improvements in plumbing that can be used in
water conservation, such as water-saving showerheads, water-saving toilets, sprinkler
systems, and dry-land landscapes.
Conservation: A careful preservation and protection of a natural resource to prevent
exploitation, destruction or neglect.
Gravity: The quality of having weight.
Water Pressure: The amount of force it takes to move water along or through a pipe or
Math, Social Studies, Visual Arts
SD Standards for 4th grade:
Problem solving, Creative thinking,
Prior Preparation: Students should
have a basic understanding of the
water cycle. Explain that water used
now was used in the prehistoric times
and that it is important to conserve our
clean water resources for future
generations. The "Waste Not, Want
Not" activity in The Watersource Book
is a good introduction to water
water pressure, gravity, conservation