How much water is in the world?
How much water is in the world?
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DISCUSS (1 of 2):

Imagine you were floating alone in a boat on the ocean with nothing. What problems would you face? What would you need to survive?

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DISCUSS (2 of 2):

Iâ€™m sure you thought of many problems youâ€™d face, like needing food to survive. What about needing water to survive? Would that be a problem? Why or why not?

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DISCUSS (1 of 2):

List all the ways that you and your family use water. Imagine what your life would be like if this water disappeared. How would things change?

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DISCUSS (2 of 2):

How much water do you think your family uses in a day?

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DISCUSS (1 of 2): Make a Guess

Do you think there's the same amount of fresh water and salt water on Earth? Or do you think there's more of one than the other? If so, how much more do you think there is? Twice as much? Five times as much? Or some other amount?

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DISCUSS (2 of 2):

Can you think of a way to figure out how much of the earth is covered by salt water and how much by fresh water?

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# If you need a natural stopping point!

Teachers: If you are short on time, this is a good stopping point. Your students can make their graph in a future session.

If youâ€™re continuing right now, advance to the next slide.

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# Extensions

###### Below are ideas for extending this topic beyond the activity and exploration you just completed.
• Activity extension: This hands-on activity demonstrates how little fresh water is available on Earth.
• Videos: Explore oceans and icebergs with two engaging videos from TED Ed.
• Class discussion: Use a map and a few questions to get your students thinking (and talking) about the many ways people use water.
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# Activity: â€śCan You Spare a Drop?â€ť

Give students a hands-on feel for how little fresh water is available on Earth with this activity from the University of Michigan.

All you need are:

• a bucket of water
• a few measuring cups
• an eyedropper

This activity includes supporting information and teacher tools. It's fully aligned with the Next Generation Science Standards.

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These readings are free with registration at Newsela. Articles can be adjusted for reading level. Writing prompts and quiz questions are also available.

• In this reading, students discover what air bubbles trapped in ice can tell us about the earthâ€™s atmosphere hundreds of thousands of years ago. (Grade 4, also in Spanish)

• Can toilet water be turned into tap water? Hereâ€™s a reading that will REALLY get your studentsâ€™ thinking about conserving water. (Grade 6)

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# Videos on Icebergs and Oceans

Click the link below each video for lesson ideas based on the subject. A free subscription to TED Ed gives you access to additional resources, discussion questions, and more. These videos can build your studentsâ€™ vocabulary. (There are a few advanced words.)

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# Discuss â€” Why do some places use more fresh water than others?

Look at this map from the U.S. Geological Survey. It shows how much fresh water different states in the USA used in 2005. Dark-blue states used more water than light-blue ones.

• Can you think of some reasons that some states use more water than others?
• Could climate have anything to do with water use?
• Do more people live in one place than another?
• Do people do different types of work in different parts of the country?
• Can you find your own state? Why do you think it uses the amount of water shown here?
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# Image & Video Credits

Mystery Science respects the intellectual property rights of the owners of visual assets. We make every effort to use images and videos under appropriate licenses from the owner or by reaching out to the owner to get explicit permission. If you are the owner of a visual and believe we are using it without permission, please contact usâ€”we will reply promptly and make things right.

Other
seawater blue by Pexels , used under Public Domain
groceries by Pixabay , used under Public Domain
planet earth by NASA , used under Public Domain
scuba diver under water by Pixabay , used under Public Domain
boat in ocean by Pexels , used under Public Domain
video of vast ocean by OG Pyro
crystal geiser bottle by Webstaurant Store , used under Public Domain
 Exploration 25 min Hands-On Activity 25 min Wrap-Up 5 min
Print Prep
Activity Prep

In this lesson, students use estimation and graphing to discover the surprising difference in the amounts of fresh and salt water on Earth. In the activity, Map the World's Water, students count squares on maps and record the amount of fresh, frozen, and salt water found in their assigned area of the world. Then students calculate and graph how much of each type of water is present on the planet.

Students can work solo
Digital worksheets available

Students at home
Each student needs a page of the World Map worksheet (printed or digital). If you can meet with your class virtually, students can work together with you to create a class bar graph (with you putting the stickers on the graph).
Students at school
Give each student one page of the World Map worksheet. Instead of having students add stickers to the graph, we suggest you add the stickers to the class bar graph.
Number of students:
 Bar Graph Labels printout 1 per class Map Checklist & Answer Key teacher-only resource 1 per class Where In The World Is My Map? worksheet 1 per class World Maps worksheet We recommend having a few extra pages of the map on hand for students whose first tries donâ€™t work out. 1 per 16 students Recycled is fine. Details 1 sheet per student You can also use crayons or colored pencils. Details 1 marker per student 1 roll per class Used to make a bar graph. You can also use dot stickers. Details 3 pads per class

We suggest students work in pairs. Each student will work on a separate portion of the World Map, but students in pairs can help check each otherâ€™s work. Homeschool students can work on their own, completing a few pieces of the map if theyâ€™d like. But we provide a key so solo students donâ€™t need to complete all 18 maps.

You will need enough space on a wall or door to accommodate a graph thatâ€™s 76 stickers high and 3 bars wide. See below for details.

If you have limited time, you can divide this lesson into two sessions.

Part 1 (counting and recording squares on a map) takes 10 to 15 minutes.

Part 2 (making the graph) takes another 15-20 minutes. Part 2 begins at Step 6.

# Prepare the Bar Graph

Find a good spot for your graph. Cut out the â€śBar Graph Labelsâ€ť and place them on the wall or door. See the photo for the way we did our graph. If you use 1/2â€ť strips for your stickers, as we did, your graph will be 56â€ť high and 30â€ť wide.

# Organize the World Maps

Post the â€śWhere In The World Is My Map?â€ť printout so students can see the map sections theyâ€™ll be working with during the activity.

Each student will need at least 1 of the 18 different maps weâ€™ve provided. If you have a large class, itâ€™s fine for more than one student to have the same map. If you have a small class, distribute at least one map to each student and use the â€śMap Checklist & Answer Keyâ€ť to find the rest of the information youâ€™ll need. Weâ€™d also suggest printing out an extra of each map used, if possible, in case a student has trouble counting and needs an extra copy.

# Teacher Tip

Be aware that counting lots of little squares can be tricky, and counts may vary, even among students working on the same maps. We suggest you remind students that their work should be as accurate as possible, but a few squares off here or there wonâ€™t change the graph. Any answer thatâ€™s close to the count on the â€śMap Checklist & Answer Keyâ€ť will work out fine.

Extensions