Teacher Area

Introduction: Human Need for Water


This lesson will be used to establish the need for clean water. This content is important for students to know so that the students' responding level of the affective domain can be reached. Once students receive this information, they will be able to respond to the actions that need to take place and find value in the activity. If the information is internalized properly, students will have a higher respect for the need for clean water and perhaps think twice before polluting water unnecessarily.


  • Provide students with the opportunity to experience working on a team using the systems engineering approach.
  • Provide insight to the human need for water.
  • Students will learn what the body needs to function properly.
  • Students will learn at what point a person is in danger of dying from lack of water.
  • Students will apply mathematical logic to determining affects of being without water.
  • Students will be able to answer questions with 100% accuracy on a post test.
  • Students actively seek answers to water related questions while learning meaningful content for future activities.
  • Students will create a study guide or fact sheet for the team so that everyone can study for the post test. Students will also start to understand how to work within a system of people.

Materials and Resources


New Jersey Core Curriculum Content Standards

  • Standard 5.1: Scientific Processes
  • Standard 5.2: Science and Society
  • Standard 5.4: Nature and Process of Technology
  • Standard 5.5: Characteristics of Life
  • Standard 5.10: Environmental Studies
  • Standard 8.2: Technological Literacy

ITEA Standards for Technological Literacy

  • Standards: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6

National Science Content Standards

  • Unifying Concepts and Processes in Science
  • Science as Inquiry
  • Life Science
  • Science and Technology
  • Science in Personal and Social Perspective


"International Decade for Action: Water for life 2005-2015."

The United Nations has declared 2008 to be the International Year of Sanitation. They produced a document to explain the push for humanitarian work needed "to reduce by half the proportion of people without access to safe drinking water by 2015 and to stop unsustainable exploitation of water resources. At the World Summit in Johannesburg in 2002, two other goals were adopted: to aim to develop integrated water resource management and water efficiency plans by 2005 and to halve, by 2015, the proportion of people who do not have access to basic sanitation." (UN-Water)

Water for Kids is a program started by David Clapham, Natasha Franklin and Stewart Petrie in 1996. They focused on children because they knew if the kids had water, so would everyone else in the villages. Poor water sources in underdeveloped countries pose many layers of health issues to the people. When water sources do not drain properly, they attract mosquitoes. The female mosquitoes carry malaria (mala aria - bad air). When the bugs feed on the people they can pass the malaria to them. Malaria is an infectious disease caused by parasites that multiply in the red blood cells.

Drainage is important and so is clean water for the over health of all people. Water sources are not always nearby. Sources have been known to dry up and even become contaminated. When this happens, the people must find other sources. New sources may not be close.

The basic fact that villagers and mostly women spend most of their day carrying water on their head from resources far away is a huge issue. Some walk up to ten miles a day just for water for their families. This area is rich with design opportunities beyond the most obvious one that people need clean water. Transporting water can be just as much of a hassle as finding the source.

This module has been designed to expose students to the need for clean water and the issues related to contaminated water. Another goal of the module is to affect the students in such a way that they care more than they did before about not wasting water and contaminating it unnecessarily.

Each role-playing activity would probably work best if the teacher took the time to assign roles according to student ability. You don't want extremely capable students doing some easy task and getting bored and causing trouble. You don't want a lesser capable student taking on too much and experiencing failure or getting overwhelmed and ridiculed by their peers.

  • The pre test and post test can be given to students for assessment and feedback
  • The rubric can be used to access student participation during the activity
  • The instructions can be used to explain the activity
  • The slide show can be used to run the activity with the questions needed and follow up facts

Time Frame: 2-3 days, depending if students are made to play until they get a correct answer

Students will be split into two or more teams and put into a role-playing situation to learn knowledge related to the human need for water. The activity will be played in class like a game of jeopardy. One question at a time will be given to one participant from each team at the same time. The participants may use their other team members only under certain circumstances but must minimally get the approval of the project manager/systems engineer before giving the answer to the question. The winning team will be the one that answers the most questions correctly.

This game will provide the students with an opportunity to experience how to work within a system of people and learn content needed to continue the unit of study on water filtration and treatment.

  • Deliver pre test
  • Split class into two or more teams depending on number of students
  • Share instructions for activity
  • Share participation rubric with students and explain assessment
  • Use Human Need for Water PowerPoint Slides to run game
  • Deliver post test


  • Use the Water Needs Participation Rubric to assess Game Play Participation
  • Use the Water Needs pre test and post test.