Project WET Curriculum and Activity Guide Sampler
by Project WET Foundation

Price at time of review: $8.95
80 pp.
Project WET Foundation
Bozeman, MT
ISBN: 9781888631791

Grade Level: K-College

Reviewed by Jean Worsley
Retired Biology Teacher

Facilitators responsible for science education will discover a comprehensive collection of activities focusing on our most precious resource—WATER. This publication features new activities designed to educate and empower students to act in order to protect this vital natural resource.

Also included are activities adapted from Project WET (Water Education for Teachers) publications over the past 16 years. Its release will coincide with Project WET Portal, a dynamic internet based resource. A concise introduction provides an overview, rationale, methodology, and correlation to National Science Education and Common Core State Standards. It is of interest to note that Project WET is currently active in more than 50 countries and has been translated into several languages. Throughout, the prevalent theme is to insure that students and other participants understand that the quality and quantity of this finite natural resource need to be sustained.

Sixty–four Project WET activities are explored in seven topics: Water has unique physical and chemical properties, Water is essential for all life to exist, Water connects all Earth systems, Water is a natural resource, Water resources are managed, Water resources exist within social constructs, and Water resources exist within cultural constraints. The pedagogy involves hands–on activities that use materials that are inexpensive, easily accessible, and familiar to students. Each activity is clearly delineated and has the same format (grade level, subject area, duration, setting, skills. vocabulary, summary, objectives, materials, making connections, background information, warm up, wrap up, reading corner, assessment, extensions, and teacher resources). Colorful pictures, charts, graphs, clue cards, drawings, maps, and numerous worksheets that can be duplicated are included.

Real life scenarios, didactic grouping and cooperative teaching strategies are designed to foster creativity, critical thinking and higher level problem–solving skills (Bloom’s Taxonomy). Although a great deal of time is not required for preparation and the activity, facilitators may encounter caveats due to guidelines and benchmarks that have been established by local school systems. In addition to focusing on various scientific areas, other subject areas are integrated such as geography, math, history, art, and music. As they carry out these investigations, students will be fascinated as they learn how various cultures have expressed connections with water through music, art, and literature. In addition, they will be able to define their own “water footprint” and “water address”. Several careers related to water are described such as hydrologists, wetlands specialists, climatologists, and epidemiologists.

As students initiate water projects in their communities, they will begin to understand and appreciate how various agencies vigilantly monitor and manage this limited resource. The appendices are indeed noteworthy. First, a thorough list of acknowledgements is provided. Next, a detailed cross reference and planning chart consisting of topics in the earth sciences, natural resources, and management is provided. For each activity, a chart lists subject areas, time required, grade levels, setting, teaching methods, assessment strategies, environmental education framework, Metric and Standard measurements. The glossary includes page(s) on which each term is found.

This publication is an indispensable supplement to the science curriculum. Further, additional educational materials are available and facilitators have an opportunity to participate in workshops provided by the WET Foundation. This book is indeed relevant due to the fact that nationally and internationally water related issues will be major challenges facing generations today and throughout the 21st century. Finally, I believe that this material will impact students and facilitators in a positive manner and promote conservation, protection, and management of this matchless resource.

Review posted on 2/12/2014

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