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 solid)!

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
Grade Level:

Subject Areas:

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.

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