School Curriculum

Check out these other ways for youth to get involved:





Using our Water Day curriculum below – a video and presentation, classroom discussion, and various writing, arts, and science activities – young people learn about the global water crisis and the work of Water1st in holistic, creative ways. With their newfound knowledge, we find that kids typically respond by asking, “What can I do to help?” They’re inspired to take action.

If you live in Seattle or Portland, it’s possible for Water1st to give a presentation to your classroom, religious youth group, or scout troop. Contact us for more information.

In addition, for Seattle-area students who want to be youth advocates for Water1st, we have active Middle School and High School Boards. We provide students with the support and resources they need to take action as well as the inspiration to become the next generation of global citizens.

Our Most Popular Classroom Videos:

Objectives – students will:
Understand the cycle of water
Identify the usages of water in their own country
Understand the issues of water in developing countries
Understand how diseases are spread through water, lack of sanitation, and poor hygiene practices
Examine the many effects water access has on women and girls
Understand the relatedness of life in their country with life in a developing country
Discuss ideas to promote global water equity

Key Issues/Concepts:
Water scarcity
Gender Equity
Leadership responsibilities
Long-lasting solutions

Subject Areas:
Social Studies
Environmental Science
Language Arts

You can download the Water1st Curriculum document (.PDF) as a single file or browse through individual sections below.

Suggested Teacher Presentation

1. Have an overhead of the water life cycle or draw the life cycle on a white board with the help of students. Supplement discussion with regional information about the water-treatment process in their local community (i.e Cedar River and Tolt Watersheds in the Seattle area, where Water1st is headquartered). Visit and click on the “Find Your Water Utility” link for information about your local drinking water.

2. Once they have gained an understanding of the water life cycle, pass out water usage survey for students to get a realistic understanding of the amount of water they use on a daily basis. This can be done as a pre-lesson activity, done on an individual basis during class time, or as a group to segue into how water is viewed in a more global manner.

3. Pass out water facts and quotes (printed and cut strips to be passed out – one to each student in class). Each student can read their fact. Discuss facts read to broaden their understanding about the impact the lack of clean water has on people around the world.

4. Watch one of our videos to illustrate the life of people without access to clean water. (View on our website, or email us to get a free DVD copy)

Have follow-up discussion on the film about:

Who did you see carrying the water?
What did the water look like?
Where do animals get water?
What are the results of unclean water?

Have a discussion about water and gender inequity, the impact of water collection on women and girls.

5. Now make the discussion closer to home. Review the fact that 1.1 billion people are without access to clean drinking water, (1 out of 6 people), and 2.6 billion (1 out of 3 people) are without access to sanitation/a basic toilet. Use a 5-gallon container or several 1-gallon containers to illustrate the difficulty entailed in carrying water for many miles.

Where would your students go to get water if they did not have access to clean water at school or at home? How far a walk would that be?
Where would students go to the bathroom if they had no toilet?
What does this do to the water supply?
How does this affect the health of their community?
What is given up in their lives by time spent getting water? (school, work, play time)

6. Have students do follow-on activity:

Writing assignment – grades 5-12
Art activity – grades k-12
Science activity – grades 4-12

7. Have students come up with a plan on how they can help make a difference on this issue by raising awareness and money for clean water.

Send us your stories! We’d love to put your experiences on the Water1st website. Let us know how you, your friends, or your school helped raise money and awareness for people in need of clean water — and we’ll share your ideas with others!