World Water Day
Water is essential to life. It constitutes up to 65% of the human body and 90% of the structure of plants. No living being can survive without it.
Despite this, many people’s access to clean water is threatened by pollution of rivers, bad economics, poor infrastructure and costly management in cities. Millions of people including children die every year from diseases associated with inadequate water supply, sanitation and hygiene.
Fortunately, there has been great progress made in the past decade regarding drinking sources and sanitation, whereby over 90% of the world’s population now has access to improved sources of drinking water. However, there is still much work to be done.
This infographic comes directly from the UN and portrays just how far there is to go before the world’ water crisis can be solved for good.
Teach a lesson on clean water and sanitation
It’s important for students to understand the current state of clean water around the world and how many families live without water. To do this, you could base a whole lesson around this issue using infographics, posters and activity booklets.
Many of these can be downloaded for free from the UNESCO website – however be sure to also check out the resources below.
Watch a water documentary
BBC’ Blue Planet – Let David Attenborough take you on a journey of the world’s oceans, food chains, and the underwater life of aquatic creatures.
Create a water diary
Help students understand the importance of water by developing awareness of their own daily consumption. For one day, have students write down all the water or fluids they consume and, if possible, all of their water their family use during the day.
Ask them to think about their entries in detail, e.g. do they leave the tap on whilst brushing their teeth? How long do they spend in the shower; how many glasses of water do they drink?
Though they may not be able to calculate exact measurements, thinking about all of the activities they use water for and for how long will really open students’ eyes about how much we depend on water and how fortunate they are to have access. Afterwards, teachers can have an activity where students share and discuss their water usage in groups or as a class, and talk about ways they can reduce it.
Create a water campaign
Working in groups, students should create their own campaign advocating for less water consumption in their school or local community. This might be a social media campaign or it could be distributing posters and leaflets around school or in local neighbourhoods.
Students can create their posters digitally on the computer, or with arts and crafts materials.
Some resources which may be helpful for the posters can be found over on the World Water Day website.
- ‘Clean Water For All’ Lesson Plan – World’s Largest Lesson
- ‘Clean Water & Sanitation: Why It Matters’ PDF – UN.org
- Clean Water & Sanitation Infographic
- Water Challenge Badge – Explore, play, discover and come up with clever ways to help preserve water in our homes
- ‘Clean Water & Sanitation’ PDF – Global Project Ideas
- Teacher’s Notes: Why Is Clean Water Important – This Worldvision resource encourages students to explore the differences between clean and dirty water, before developing a list of personal hygiene behaviours that rely on using clean water.
Have a great day!
We hope these ideas have given you some inspiration for teaching about World Water Day.
If you have any great teaching ideas for this topic, feel free to comment below (they might even get added into the topic calendar!)