How much water is in the world?

# How much water is in the world?

Lesson narration:
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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):

I’m sure you thought of many problems you’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?

Remember your guess for later.

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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 you’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.
• Readings: Expand your students' understanding of fresh water with readings.
• 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: “Can You Spare a Drop?”

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 earth’s atmosphere hundreds of thousands of years ago. (Grade 4, also in Spanish)

• Can toilet water be turned into tap water? Here’s a reading that will REALLY get your students’ thinking about conserving water. (Grade 6)

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# Videos on Icebergs and Oceans

• “What’s Below the Tip of the Iceberg?” (4:51) — Learn how icebergs form and move and create floating islands of fresh water where unexpected life can flourish.
• “How Big Is the Ocean?” (5:25) How much water is in the ocean? A lot. Hiding under all that water are the world’s longest mountain chain, largest waterfall (yes, it’s underwater), tallest mountain, and deepest canyon.

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 students’ vocabulary. (There are a few advanced words.)

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# Discuss — 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 us—we will reply promptly and make things right.

Other
goldfish in fishbowl by Image used under license from Shutterstock.com: r.classen
seawater blue by Pexels , used under Public Domain
washing hands in sink by Image used under license from Shutterstock.com: Thanakorn Hongphan
girl drinking water by Image used under license from Shutterstock.com: picturepartners
groceries by Pixabay , used under Public Domain
planet earth by NASA , used under Public Domain
pouring orange juice into bottle by Image used under license from Shutterstock.com: somsak suwanput
caught fish in wooden crates by Image used under license from Shutterstock.com: dzorikto
cup of tea by Image used under license from Shutterstock.com: Africa Studio
fisherman by Image used under license from Shutterstock.com: somsak suwanput
jellyfish held in hand by Image used under license from Shutterstock.com: Valeriia Serykh
sprite can by Image used under license from Shutterstock.com: Abramova Elena
coffee in paper cup by Image used under license from Shutterstock.com: Africa Studio
scuba diver under water by Pixabay , used under Public Domain
boat in ocean by Pexels , used under Public Domain
great white shark by Image used under license from Shutterstock.com: Elsa Hoffmann
interior blue bathroom by Image used under license from Shutterstock.com: Artazum
great white shark fin above water by Image used under license from Shutterstock.com: Sergey Uryadnikov
hand scooping water by Image used under license from Shutterstock.com: Janis Smits
toothbrush under running water by Image used under license from Shutterstock.com: rodimov
flushing toilet by Image used under license from Shutterstock.com: Timin
video of vast ocean by OG Pyro
salt and salt shaker by Image used under license from Shutterstock.com: Yulia Furman
small boat in the ocean by Image used under license from Shutterstock.com: Pushish Images
irrigation of farmland by Image used under license from Shutterstock.com: Rudy Umans
gray map of the united states by Image used under license from Shutterstock.com: Miceking
hand scooping water by Image used under license from Shutterstock.com: hidesy
salt shaker by Image used under license from Shutterstock.com: Nature Art
buckets of water by Image used under license from Shutterstock.com: Sutichak
crystal geiser bottle by Webstaurant Store , used under Public Domain
rain cloud by Image used under license from Shutterstock.com: Sergey Nivens
faucet by Image used under license from Shutterstock.com: ILYA AKINSHIN
water bottle by Image used under license from Shutterstock.com: Bluskystudio
running faucet by Image used under license from Shutterstock.com: Saran Jantraurai
blurry man holding umbrella by Image used under license from Shutterstock.com: CHOKCHAI POOMICHAIYA
grand teton national park by Image used under license from Shutterstock.com: Pung
Lesson narration:

# Activity Prep

Print 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.

Preview activity
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.
Exploration

#### 25 mins

Hands-On Activity

Wrap-Up

## Extend this lesson

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