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Power Students’ Brains with Water

Jul 31, 2020 2020-07-31

Get Students Excited About Water
Students are often fascinated to learn that Earth’s water today is the same water dinosaurs gulped down 65 million years ago. Dinosaurs are extinct but the water they drank and swam in is still here.

Earth is called the Blue Planet because its surface is covered with 71 percent water. As a kindergarten teacher, I wear green every day. When my students ask me, “Why do you wear green every day?” I use this to say we need to “Think Green” to be a Blue Planet because all animals depend on us to keep the Earth green and clean.

Why Should Students Drink Water?
Water is essential for “Brain Power” because it makes up 65 percent of our bodies. Our brains are composed of 73 percent water. It is helpful to give students a brain break to drink water and get their neurons connecting.

You can encourage students to drink more water by challenging them to keep track of how many cups of water they drink for one week. They can even create a graph of their water consumption and their family members’ in a log book.

Where Does Our Water Supply Come From?
A strategy I use to get students to be more conscious of their water use is to ask them where their communities water supply comes from. Does their family have a well, use a septic tank, use a water authority, or is their home tied into a sewage treatment plant? Does the local water authority get the water supply from ground aquifers, rivers, or rainwater collections? Where is a water treatment plant? Who is their local Water Management Authority?

You can also take your class on a tour (possibly virtually) of a watershed or water treatment plant or visit a local park with a lake, river, stream, or pond.

Teaching Children How to Conserve Water
Here are things you can do at home and school to conserve water:

  • Keep a pitcher of water in the refrigerator for drinking at home.
  • Use a reusable water bottle to drink from at school.
  • Take a 5- to 10-minute shower; set a cell phone or kitchen timer.
  • Use a cup of water for rinsing when you brush your teeth.
  • Make a log to track and reduce your water use. Make an online graph to share with your family and class.
  • Use the Cyberchase Measuring and Saving Water activity to calculate how much water is wasted from a leaky faucet over time and brainstorm different ways to save water.
  • Calculate how many gallons of water flow from every faucet by timing the amount of water you collect in a container in 30 seconds.
  • Create a family water conservation plan.
  • Do the PBS Learning shower estimation with your class.
  • Make a Padlet Online Sticky Note Board to share more ideas on how to save water with your class.
  • Learn more from www.discoverwater.org on how to share water.

Patti O’Brien graduated from the University of Central Florida in Orlando, Florida. She has lived in rural Osceola County and taught in the City of St. Cloud for more than 30 years. As an educator, Patti has a Bachelor’s in Elementary Education. She was a 2001 National Board Certified Early Childhood Generalist and a 2005 Lockheed Martin Scholar in K­–8 Math/Science Master’s Program. As a kindergarten teacher at Lakeview Elementary, her school worked with the City of St. Cloud tree arborist in planting Cypress trees at the St. Cloud Lakefront Park. Her school was number one for eight years in saving aluminum pop tabs for the Ronald McDonald’s House Program. She wears green to school every day to remind students to “Think Green” to save our planet.

STEM • STEAM • STREAM Environmental Education Science

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Melanie Cleveland
Jul 31, 2020 at 6:43:04 pm

As Patti’s Principal, I am consistently amazed at her drive and passion. She is an intelligent, compassionate educator. Great article! Take note not only of her intriguing tips but also of her approach to informing our littlest learners. We need more Pattis in our profession!

Melanie Cleveland
Jul 31, 2020 at 5:55:30 pm

As Patti’s Principal, I am consistently amazed at her drive and passion. She is an intelligent, compassionate educator. Great article! Take note not only of her intriguing tips but also of her approach to informing our littlest learners. We need more Pattis in our profession!

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