Science 8: Local Drinking Water

Science 8: Local Drinking Water (Lesson 3)

This lesson meets cross-curricular outcomes for Science 8 and Mathematics 8. Students will administer a survey and analyze the results to investigate the ways that water is used in their community, the quality of the water, and the perceived threats to the water.

 

Purpose:

Many First Nations across Canada face challenges in ensuring the drinking water they have from the land and in their communities is safe to drink. Various industries, such as oil and gas and pulp mills, affect local drinking water. In this lesson, students will come to understand the significance of water supply and quality to the needs of humans and other living things in their local community. To do so, they will administer a survey and analyze the results to investigate the ways that water is used in their community, the quality of the water, and the perceived threats to the water.

 

Introduction:

Many Indigenous communities in Canada do not have access to clean drinking water. Lack of infrastructure (e.g. water treatment plants, type of piping in buildings) and pollution are two of the reasons why some communities face long-term boil water advisories. For this reason, some communities rely on a truck to deliver water to homes or may drink bottled water. This lesson introduces students to the importance of clean water and allows them to investigate the quality and perceptions of drinking water in their own community.

 

Key questions for student inquiry: 

Do people in our community feel the water they drink in their homes is safe? What about the water they drink from the land (lakes, rivers, streams)?

 

Location:

In classroom and in the school/community (survey)

 

Length of activity:

90-120 minutes / 2-3 class periods

Teacher Resources

 

Materials Needed:

Note:  Handouts and worksheets are provided in the downloadable Lesson Plan Package

  • Copies of water quality reports for Katl’odeeche First Nation and/or Dene Tha’ First Nation. 
  • Drinking Water Survey 
  • Drinking Water Survey Summary 
  • Youth Making a Difference: Speaking Up at Meetings (optional case study and video)
  • Optional: Computer and projector to watch video (4:57) of Autumn Peltier speaking at the UN
Connections to Curriculum

SCIENCE 7

Unit A: Interactions and Ecosystems (Social and Environmental Emphasis)
Unit E: Freshwater and Saltwater Systems (Social and Environmental Emphasis)

Focusing Questions: How do water, land and climate interact? What are the characteristics of freshwater and saltwater systems, and how do they affect living things, including humans?

  • 1 –  Describe the distribution and characteristics of water in local and global environments, and identify the significance of water supply and quality to the needs of humans and other living things
    • identify major factors used in determining if water is potable, and describe and demonstrate tests of water quality (e.g., investigate and describe the physical characteristics of a sample of water, such as clarity, salinity and hardness; investigate biological tests).

 

MATHEMATICS 8

General Outcome – Number – Develop Number Sense

  • 3 – Demonstrate an understanding of percents greater than or equal to 0%, including greater than 100%.

General Outcome – Statistics and Probability (Data Analysis). Collect, display and analyze data to solve problems.

  • 1 – Critique ways in which data is presented in circle graphs, line graphs, bar graphs and pictographs.