The majority of Earth's surface is covered by water, but only a small percentage of this water is freshwater. In this lesson, students will learn where saltwater and freshwater are found. Then they will use models to show the distribution of different types of water in different reservoirs and depict this information using bar graphs and pie charts. Finally, they will use their data as evidence to support the idea that freshwater should be conserved.
This lesson was created as part of the 2016 NASA STEM Standards of Practice Project, a collaboration between the Alabama State Department of Education and NASA Marshall Space Flight Center.
If water covers 70-75% of our planet, then why should we be concerned about water quality and conservation? This lesson helps students understand that 97% of our water is present on Earth in the form of salt water, and therefore, unavailable for helping support life on Earth. Another 2% of Earth's water is frozen, which leaves us approximately 1% in groundwater, lakes, streams, and water vapor.
This lesson was adapted from a lesson series from 4-H SET (California).
This lesson results from a collaboration between the Alabama State Department of Education and ASTA.
Although over 70% of Earth's surface is covered with water, only a small portion of this water is available for human consumption. Students can use this interactive tool to view sources of fresh water.
This learning activity was created as a result of the Girls Engaged in Math and Science University, GEMS-U Project.
Oceans contain 97% of the water on the Earth and are home to a huge number of living creatures. Most of these creatures, about 90% of them, live near the water’s surface, where the pressure is not so great and they can get some light.
The classroom resource provides a slide show that will explain why the ocean is salty and describe different organisms that live in the ocean. There is also a short test that can be used to assess students' understanding.
Most people have heard Earth referred to as "the water planet." With that name comes the rightful image of a world with plentiful water. In photographs taken from space, we can see that our planet has more water than land. However, of all the water on Earth, more than 99 percent of Earth's water is unusable by humans and many other living things - only about 0.3 percent of our freshwater is found in the surface water of lakes, rivers, and swamps. The teacher guide describes our current understanding of water cycling and freshwater issues that affect natural and human communities.
The teacher will present an informational text from the website, ReadWorks. Students will interact with this non-fiction text by annotating the text digitally. The students will answer the questions associated with the article as an assessment. This learning activity will describe the freshwater distribution on the Earth's surface and provide a graphical representation of freshwater reservoirs. This activity can serve as reinforcement after students have already learned this concept or be used as an assessment at the conclusion of a lesson.