Three Ways to Celebrate World Water Day
World Water Day is a United Nations observance day celebrated each year on March 22 to highlight the importance of fresh water and advocate for sustainably managing our water resources. Did you know that one in three people in the world live without safe drinking water? A core focus of World Water Day is to support the achievement of Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 6: Clean Water and Sanitation for all by 2030. Below are three ways you can start celebrating World Water Day in your classroom or encourage students to consider their water usage and conservation from home.
Create a baseline of knowledge.
Where does drinking water come from? How is our local water made safe for drinking, and where does it go after we use it? How do children in other parts of the world get their water? Ask questions that spark curiosity in your students and help them investigate to find answers. Begin by informing students of basic facts and figures based on their interest and grade level.
There are many lessons that can be tied in to your existing curriculum to teach about the ways people use water around the world. Encourage students to learn about their own local watershed, but also develop an understanding of how water shortages and climate change impact other communities around the world.
Encourage daily action and celebration.
Even though World Water Day is only once a year, you can still encourage students to be mindful of ways they can conserve water every day. Remind them that their actions make an impact! Help them set goals for how much water they can save by bringing reusable water containers to school instead of bottled water, turning off the faucet while brushing their teeth, or taking timed showers to conserve water.
Use videos to explain the big numbers, then send them home with ways they can take action with their families to reduce water use. At Participate Learning, we use the Fill-it-Forward app to track each time we refill our personal water bottles. For each refill, clean water is donated to someone in need. Encourage your students to find a water or sanitation project they care about so they can work together to have an impact.
Collaborate and create change agents.
In 2020, we created a month-long course for our ambassador teachers and partner schools to support each other while teaching students about World Water Day. The exchange of ideas within a supportive discussion space fostered creativity and growth and allowed for reflection during the experience. According to one teacher at Piney Creek School who completed the course, her students excitedly engaged in the project.
“My students are now really passionate not only about clean water, but so many of the SDGs because of the research we did about Guatemala. Many times when you open the door for students to learn and discover what life is like outside of your community, you will be amazed at how amazing they can be.”
What ways are you celebrating World Water Day today and every day with your students? Tell us about it on Twitter by mentioning us @ParticipateLrng.