Wednesday, March 21, 2012

And what about World Water Day at school?

r Day. 
"World Water Day" is observed on March 22 every year. A day to recognize the importance of earth's most precious natural resource was proposed 20 years ago (1992) at the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED). 

Diptendu Dutta/AFP/Getty Images (2011)

While we often take water for granted, many people cannot have it. Water plays a role in almost everything we do. We drink it, wash in it, play in it, generate power with it, irrigate crops with it, travel and transport goods on it, fight fires with it, and worship with it. 

World Water Day official ceremony Live from 9:30 GMT. 

"UNICEF's World Water Week, to be held from March 19 to March 25, is expected to create awareness and find donors and volunteers to identify and support the cause of providing water to the 780 million people who don't have safe drinking water."


Each year the UN focuses on an aspect of water and the forthcoming event clearly links in with agriculture and nutrition. 

"When a billion people in the world already live in chronic hunger and water resources are under pressure we cannot pretend the problem is ‘elsewhere’."

Coping with population growth and ensuring access to nutritious food to everyone call for a series of actions we can all help with:
  • follow a healthier, sustainable diet;
  • consume less water-intensive products;
  • reduce the scandalous food wastage: 30% of the food produced worldwide is never eaten and the water used to produce it is definitively lost!
  • produce more food, of better quality, with less water
So, we can discuss all these items at school. And bring some new habits to our students.

Levels: Primary to Secondary education;

Curriculum: Civics; Sciences; Languages; Arts.

Some resources:

  • Today, 9:30 GMT tune in to the Live Webcast of the Official UN-Water World Water Day 2012 ceremony from FAO Headquarters in Rome. Watch the webcast with your students (secondary education).

  • UNESCO has a DVD for Natural Sciences (a package of four CD-Rom produced for the International Decade for Action 'Water for Life', published in 2003).

  • UNICEF has also a video "Safe water safe lives" : in Pakistan access ro safe drinking water and sanitation is protecting children for deadly diarrhoea and malnutrion.

  • Watch "Water, The Drop of Life" here or "Safe Water Safe Lives" here.
Let your students use their smartphones and meanwhile ask them to take some notes or to search for countries where the water is a great gift.

It can be a good start to an open discussion in the classroom, after watching the ceremony or the videos by UNESCO or UNICEF. 

It will depend from the resource you chose for the level that you teach.

Or you can simply start your lesson with the video below:

After that, ask your students if they know how much water they consume every day and how can we change our diet and reduce our water footprint.

Some UN Water campaign materials can be download from here
  • brochures, 
  • logos, 
  • videos and animations
  • games

Download and print out these materials for your "World Water Day" event or lesson learning more about this year's topics of 'Water and Food Security'!

For example this game teaches the students how much water is needed to create one meal, while ensuring that we get the nutrition we need. 

The game can be played on students' computer or mobile device and is available in English, French and Spanish. 

Some extra activities: 

You come up with different suggestions that students can develop for a week:
  • Discussing (at home and in the classroom);
  • Writing (news, storytelling, drama, poetry);
  • Drawing;
  • Dramatizing;
  • Creating videos;
  • Sharing experiences with different schools in the world using Twitter or Facebook (school account) or just by emailing if some schools in  disadvantage countries have no access to social networks.

I am sure that World Water Day 2012 event in your school will be an interesting project.

The success of "World Water Day" depends on you!


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References for Teachers:

UN Water

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