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Investigating Clean Water

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Science +1 Age Levels Primary (5 to 8 years old), Elementary (9 to 12 years old)

In this collection, originally used with 4th graders, students investigate how people access clean water both globally and locally. Students will use Agency by Design thinking routines to explore watersheds as a system, focusing on the Anacostia Watershed & the larger Chesapeake Bay Watershed. They will then use observational drawings and make their own model watershed to deepen their understanding. 

Students will use Project Zero Thinking Routines to take the perspective of those who live in water scarce areas and be invited to conduct their own research of a region that faces physical or economic water scarcity. Students will be encouraged to take action by creating a public service announcement explaining an issue related to clean water or by designing their own solution.

This collection contains 10 images of showing the gathering, carrying, filtering of, and lack of clean water. It has maps that show water scarcity on a global scale, and maps and diagrams of local (to Washington, D.C.) watersheds. It contains several thinking routines that can be used to examine the works as well as guide students to notice complexity. It also contains links to several articles, videos and an interactive game that students can use to  conduct research on issues of water scarcity. 


Pyongyang: Drawing water

Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery Archives

Unit Overview

Marissa Werner

See/Think/Wonder: Project Zero Visible Thinking Routine

SI Center for Learning and Digital Access

Pyongyang: Hauling water

Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery Archives

Women at well, near Sanga, Mali, [slide]

Eliot Elisofon Photographic Archives

Desalination Kit

National Air and Space Museum

Water is a Human Right Photo

Bill Pugliano/Getty Images

Water Scarcity Map

World Water Development Report 4. World Water Assessment Programme

Map of the Chesapeake Bay Watershed

Chesapeake Bay Watershed Program

Watershed Diagram

Hawai'i Association of Watershed Partnerships

Imagine If…: Project Zero Agency by Design Thinking Routine

SI Center for Learning and Digital Access

Designing Humane Borders

Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum