This is a World Water Day guest post from Viktoria Curbelo, a member of UNICEF USA’s Global Citizenship Fellowship Program.

Every year, the United Nations recognizes March 22 as World Water Day. Recognizing that globally 2.1 billion people lack access to safe, affordable, and clean drinking water, the day is a great way to raise awareness about this issue.

UNICEF is working in over 100 countries to ensure that every child can have that access, and as educators you also play an active role by working with your students to learn more about world water! Here are some ideas about how you can integrate the theme of world water into your classroom:

 

1. Educate students about the issue 

Students create posters to celebrate World Water Day

The first step to activating around World Water Day is to learn about it. Create a trivia or jeopardy game for your students to encourage learning around the theme world water. Feel free to go to UNICEF USA’s page about WASH here to pull some statistics. Have them apply their learnings in a fun way. For example, if your students conduct some research, they may also be interested in designing posters about what they’ve learned to post around your school.

2. Organize a World Water Day Walk!

© Norry Niven | Celebrating after successfully completing the water walk!

Water Walks are great activities for simulating the challenges that children face when collecting water. Typically, participants will carry jugs of water from a designated location to another space. Some organizers choose to do the activity in a school yard, whereas others will do it on a hiking trail. Feel free to modify the activity for your own school. Invite other classes, parents, staff, and other schools as well! And, you can do a Water Walk any day of the year — not just on World Water Day. You can use our Water Walk guide as a resource.

3. Conduct a Water Filtration Activity

Right in front of their eyes students can see how dirty water can pour clean with a filter.

You don’t have to be a science teacher to conduct this experiment with your students! Students can build a simplified version of a water filtration system. Although every water filter system varies it is usually constructed using the following: plastic water bottles, activated charcoal, pebbles,
sand, rocks, and cotton. Try googling “DIY Water Filter” to find one that will work to experiment in your classroom.

 

4. Do a Water Relay

All you need for a Water Relay is an open space and containers for carrying water.

Similar to the water walk, a water relay is a faster-paced activity that also simulates the journey experience. In its most simple form, participants go from one point to another, racing, carrying jugs/cartons of water. You can modify this activity so that the participants are not just walking. You may want to develop a narration of different obstacles that children may have to face. For example, perhaps they have to climb under weeds, so they have to duck walk from one point to another. Or, maybe they are pulling a camel and must walk backwards.

 

By no means is this an exhaustive list of water activities. Do you have additional ideas on how to get students excited about world water? We always love hearing from you. Feel free to share your ideas and pictures with us at schools@unicefkidpower.org.