Objective: Students will be able to identify the structure of their home water system.
Materials: Water in Your Home student sheet; graph paper (1 sheet per student)
Background: Most water delivery systems in the home are very similar. There is a
water source complete with a shut-of valve for emergencies. Water will go to a heating
source (water heater). The water system then becomes parallel hot and cold water
supply pipes which should be evident by touch and pipe materials. The water system
must be vented to prevent air locks. The cold water supply will enter certain fixtures
such as a toilet and perhaps outside faucets. Most implements will have a parallel hot
and cold system to sinks, washers, showers, tubs, etc. These fixtures will have shut-off
The wastewater system or drainage system (sewer) collects unused water or
wastewater from the plumbing fixtures and floor drains. The wastewater exits the house
through waste lines into the sewer system or septic system. Waste lines will have
clean-out vents and air vents.
Send a letter home with the students to seek a cooperative family effort to this home
activity. This should be done one week in advance of the activity.
Prepare a display area in the classroom for students to share their diagrams.
Lead a pre-activity discussion to determine what students know about water in their
Ask the students to tell and predict how much water their family uses in a day. You may
want to record their guesses.
Encourage the students to be a family leader in the home activity.
When students return with their activity sheet complete, review the questions under each
After completing the activity, have students share their experiences with finding water
leaks in their home and how each solved the "leaky" problem.
Have your class make a list of suggestions on how to conserve water in the classroom
and water in your school. Create posters for the school hallways using ideas from the
list of suggestions.
Brainstorm with the class ways pioneers had to conserve water. Have them compare the
past to the present and devise ways to be water conversationalists for the future. Have
students list five things they could each do, starting today, to conserve water or to keep
water unpolluted. Collect the lists and place in a "time capsule". Share the lists with them
at a later date.
Cut 8.5 x 11" sheets of paper into three pieces. Give each student one piece and have
them design a bumper sticker with the theme of water conservation.
Have students write various short poems that express one of their feelings about water
and the importance of water conservation.
Home Water System: The series of pipes, valves and objects that deliver water
throughout a home
Roof Vent: An area on the roof of a home that allows steam and other gases to escape
Shut-off Valve: Valves that allow water to be shut-off during an emergency
Water Meter: A device that measures water usage in the home
Water Trap: The part of a water pipe that "traps" objects, sediment, etc. and also aids in
keeping gasses from backing up into the home
Water Source: The location where the water system enters the home.
Water Valves: Valves in the home that allows water to flow through the water system
Activity source: CCWCD's Water Wise Colorado
Science, Math, Visual Arts
SD Standards for 4th grade:
Nature of Science, Indicator 2; 4.S.1.1
4.A.3.1; 4.G.1.1; 4.G.1.2; 4.M.1.4;
4.N.3.1; 4.S.1.1; 4.S.2.1
Classroom & Home
Observing, Calculating, Formulating,
Prior Preparation: Stress to students
that this is a family activity. It is
designed to bring cooperative
awareness and commitment to
maintaining a conservation-based
water system in their home.
home water system, water valves,
water source, shut-off valve, water
meter, water trap, roof vent