Water is fascinating for the whole family to study, as a theme it seems to flow cross all subjects from Maths to Art. You can dive in deeply with older children as I have with Maya or just touch the surface lightly with younger children through water play and experiments. Either way, learning about water is very inspiring and rewarding and can be a lot of fun! Here are some ideas on how you can approach Water studies and some images of the book work Maya has done.
Excursions: Plan an excursion to your local reservoir, or water treatment plant so that your family have a sense of where your tap water comes from, and where your waste water goes. It can be tricky to get permission to do this in some places, but it is worth the effort. I have found being very dedicate, polite and sincere helps navigate the system. In order to get the phone number of our local reservoir, which was called the Newark Reservoir (but was located nowhere near Newark) I called the local library near the reservoir to find out the name and phone number. It was a process but worth it.
Geography: Earth’s surface is approximately 70% water! Water appears on earth in many diverse ways. Water shapes and informs the environmental landscape. The abundance or lack of water, is what creates earths greatest contrasts. (Besides human impact).
History: Water is seen as the mother of all things, water gives life, how human life and civilization has evolved, and formed as we know it revolves around water. How people use water through the ages and the cities that have been built around it is really interesting. What inventions and architecture have been developed because of water?
Science: The basic understanding of H2O = two hydrogen atoms and one oxygen atom bonded together. The water cycle is fascinating and something we all should know about. Did you know that water becomes less dense when frozen, which is why icebergs and ice-cubes can float!
Maths: Weight and volume… how to measure water in solid and liquid forms.
Body Studies: Water makes up approximately 70% of our bodies, we need water to survive. We can go a long time without food, but only days without water. Clean water is vital for physical health, and drinking plenty of clean water can help prevent illness, likewise drinking polluted water can be the cause of illness.
Art: Many artists use water in their process or as a medium.
Exercise: Swimming! Explore water activities and sports and see how good it makes you feel!
Above is Maya’s 2nd Grade studies on climate and the water cycle. There are two videos over at Study Jams about the water cycle you might like to watch. I don’t love them, but I appreciate that they are short, simple and informative.
Below are a variety of Maya’s 4th Grade Water Studies. I read information aloud to her and she writes it down ( dictation). I note some spelling mistakes, this happens when she is trying to quickly write and spell all at once. I do like this system though as it is an exercise to develop her skills.
A graph of Earth’s water distribution. ( Search google images, to find a graph that suits you.)
Brief studies about the ocean, which touch on the carbon cycle.
Learning about ground water and aquifers. So much of Earth’s fresh water is stored underground, it is really important to keep the soil clean.
Studying the physical benefits of drinking water, made us all drink more water! Learning that the color and smell of your urine can be an indication of your physical health is a really simple and valuable lesson. Teaching children to recognize the messages their body gives them through water and wee is invaluable.