Water Is Essential to Life

Water Is Essential to Life lesson plan

Make a board game demonstrating all the reasons why clean water resources are so important.

  • 1.

    Compile a chart to show ways that plants, animals, and people use water. Find out how much water is essential to sustain life for selected species. How much does a cow drink in a day? How much do humans use? Identify sources of water in various climates. What are some obstacles to obtaining water? (drought, low water tables, floods, lack of transport) Find out how water is moved and stored in various parts of the world (truck, pipes, irrigation canals, dams, aqueducts, ground water, lakes). Discuss the importance of clean water, and consider the possibilities of desalinization.

  • 2.

    Work in small groups to create original board games called "Water Is Essential to Life." Teams demonstrate their knowledge of water resources as they select a geographic setting (desert, Arctic, rainforest, farm, city, local community), identify obstacles to obtaining water (with spaces on the board or trouble cards), and offer solutions for getting enough water to where it is needed.

  • 3.

    Teams design a board game, and any cards needed to play it, on poster board or recycled cardboard using Crayola® Markers and Scissors. Make three-dimensional game props, such as markers, dice, playing pieces, and elements of the setting with Crayola Model Magic. Use Crayola Watercolors or Tempera Paint and Brushes to add details to the game, such as dots on dice or directions on cards. Use Crayola School Glue or Glue Sticks to attach pieces.

  • 4.

    Test play the games and write the rules on paper with Crayola Colored Pencils.

  • 5.

    Rotate playing games with less experienced children, so everyone gets to play all the versions. Together, discuss information gained about the world's water resources.


  • Students increase their knowledge of why clean water resources are essential to the survival of plants, animals, and people.
  • Older children demonstrate their understanding of the role of water for sustaining life by creating an original board game.
  • As less experienced children play the game with older students, they count, take turns, and gain additional information about water and its availability, as well as forge new friendships.


  • Study packaging graphics and text. What do they communicate about the contents of a package? Design packages for these games that promote what players learn and how much fun they have.
  • Visit a local drinking water and/or sewage processing facility. Find out how water is treated before and after its use. Survey parents and neighbors to find out what other water uses are common locally (car wash, food processing, cooling, recreation).
  • Measure and record how much water is used for daily tasks, such as tooth brushing, with the water running and turned off while brushing. Multiply this amount by the number of students, family members, school population. How many gallons could be saved with this simple act?