Objective: Students will work together to learn interesting water facts.
Materials: 1 set of 32 question cards, paper and pencils
Background: Water is the second most abundant substance on Earth, but the amount
of fresh water available for use if very limited. No other substance occurs as a solid,
liquid and gas at normal temperatures. Water has the ability to flow upwards, is the most
common solvent in nature, and is a part of every living thing on this planet.
Prepare the question cards ahead of time by copying, cutting apart, and gluing onto
index cards. Note: these cards are designed to stimulate thinking and discussion. The
logic used in discussing an answer may be more important than the answer itself.
Divide the class into 8 groups. If possible, try to keep the students in each group as
close as possible to equal numbers. Each group will need a passer and a recorder. The
recorder should be made aware that each card has a number on it. The groups answer
needs to be written on the correct number line. The recorder is responsible for writing
down the group's answer.
Set up a system to pass the cards from group to group.
Explain to the students that they may not know the correct answer to the question on
each card. Emphasize that although the answer may not be obvious, the group is to
share ideas and come up with a consensus.
Have recorder number his/her paper from 1 to 32. Each numbered card's answer will be
written on the corresponding number on the recorder's paper.
Each group will begin with 4 question cards. The group will have a few minutes to finish
each set of 4 cards. Let each group know when time is up and that they will pass their
set of cards to the next group. Keep the rotation the same each time. The groups will
pass the cards 8 times, until each group has had all 32 questions. Have each recorder
write down a short explanation about each "False" answer. Encourage the groups to be
original in their answers.
Refer to the key and read the answers and the explanatory statements. Discuss the
answers with the students. Some groups may have come up with a different response
than what is on the answer key. Encourage the group to explain the logic of their answer
and if it makes sense, accept the answer.
Choose one of the question cards and have each group make a water conservation
poster. Display the posters in hallways during Clean Water week in the spring.
To emphasize some of the water concepts your class has learned, have students take
buckets of water and paint brushes outside. Paint the outside of the building, the
sidewalks, or even the playground equipment. Watch the water evaporate. Discuss with
the students the properties of water and what is happening, right before their eyes (this
activity will work great in the winter too, as the water will freeze, going from a liquid to a
Give each student a question card. Have him/her write a story, based on the fact shown
on the card, even if the question on the card has a false answer (an example may be the
card that says there is less water on Earth now than when the dinosaurs lived here. A
good story may involve the dinosaurs drinking too much water, because of their size,
thus offering an explanation on how the dinosaurs all disappeared). The story doesn't
have to offer a "truth". Encourage each student to be as creative in their storytelling as
possible. If time permits, have him/her illustrate key points of their story. Have a
storytelling hour where each student gets an opportunity to share his/her story and
illustrations with the rest of the class.
Activity adapted from Aims Activities, Water Precious Water
SD Standards for 4th grade:
4.P.1.1; 4.P.1.3; 4.E.1.1
Observation, Prediction, Analyzing
Prior Preparation: Educator will need
to do some simple activities
demonstrating water properties and
it's behavior. Project WET's first
section of activities, starting with
"Adventures in Density" and ending
with "What's the Solution" are good,
basic introductory water activities.