Teaching Lesson 1

In this lesson students will engage in discussion about water resources and group decision making, stimulated by a video and a participatory simulation that serve to highlight group decision-making dynamics. The video will serve to get students thinking about water resources and the difficulties some people their age face in obtaining safe drinking water. The two activities will provide background on how communities make decisions, especially when dealing with a shared resource like water.

Review the activities from Lesson 1 as well as the material below. Reflect on how you would teach this in your class. Post your reflection to your portfolio in "Pedagogy->Module 2" under the heading Lesson 1.

Lesson Objectives
The student will:
  • Learn of limitations of and threats to fresh water supplies [LO1]
  • Be able to describe how a community of water users can be studied as a complex system [LO2]
  • Consider the importance of water for our survival [LO3]
  • Learn that models can be used to investigate water sharing scenarios and or policies [LO4]

Teaching Summary
Getting Started 5 minutes
     1. Water as a Shared Resource Overview

Activity #1: Water for Life 15 minutes
     2. Watch and discuss “Water for Life: Diary of Jay-Z in Africa” video
     3. Sources of fresh water: ground water vs. surface water

Activity #2: Water Sharing 25 minutes
     4. Participatory Simulation: “Some for All or All for One”
     5. Debrief the participatory simulation

Wrap-Up 5 minutes
     6. How can computer modeling help us understand resource management?

Assessment questions (suggested):
  • List two threats to fresh water supplies [LO1].
  • List two characteristics of water resources that show it is a complex system [LO2].
  • List three ways humans are dependent on water for survival [LO3].
  • Describe how modeling and simulation can be used in water resource management? [LO4]

NGSS Performance Expectations
Earth and Human Activity
MS-ESS3-4. Construct an argument supported by evidence for how increases in human population and per-capita consumption of natural resources impact Earth’s systems.

NRC Disciplinary Core Ideas
ESS3.A: Natural Resources
Humans depend on Earth’s land, ocean, atmosphere, and biosphere for many different resources. Minerals, fresh water, and biosphere resources are limited, and many are not renewable or replaceable over human lifetimes. These resources are distributed unevenly around the planet as a result of past geologic processes.

ESS3.C. Human Impacts on Earth Systems
Human activities have significantly altered the biosphere, sometimes damaging or destroying natural habitats and causing the extinction of other species. But changes to Earth’s environments can have different impacts (negative and positive) for different living things. Typically as human populations and per-capita consumption of natural resources increase, so do the negative impacts on Earth unless the activities and technologies involved are engineered otherwise.

ESS2.C: The Roles of Water in Earth’s Surface Processes
Water is found in the ocean, rivers, lakes, and ponds. Water exists as solid ice and in liquid form. Nearly all of Earth’s available water is in the ocean. Most fresh water is in glaciers or underground; only a tiny fraction is in streams, lakes, wetlands, and the atmosphere. Water’s movements—both on the land and underground—cause weathering and erosion, which change the land’s surface features and form underground formations. Water continually cycles among land, ocean, and atmosphere via transpiration, evaporation, condensation and crystallization, and precipitation, as well as downhill flows on land. Global movements of water and its changes in form are propelled by sunlight and gravity.

NRC Scientific and Engineering Practices
Practice 1. Asking questions and defining problems
1A: Ask questions to identify and clarify evidence of an argument.
1B: Ask question to identify and/or clarify evidence and/or the premise(s) of an argument

Practice 4. Analyzing and interpreting data
4A: Construct, analyze, and/or interpret graphical displays of data and/or large data sets to identify linear and nonlinear relationships.
4B: Use graphical displays (e.g., maps, charts, graphs, and/or tables) of large data sets to identify temporal and spatial relationships.
4D: Analyze and interpret data to provide evidence for phenomena.
4G: Analyze and interpret data to determine similarities and differences in findings.

Practice 6: Constructing explanations and designing solutions
6A: Construct an explanation that includes qualitative or quantitative relationships between variables that predict(s) and/or describe(s) phenomena.

Practice 7. Engaging in argument from evidence
7C: Construct an oral and written argument supported by empirical evidence and scientific reasoning to support or refute an explanation or a model for a phenomenon or a solution to a problem.

NRC Crosscutting Concepts
1B: Patterns in rates of change and other numerical relationships can provide information about natural and human designed systems.
1C: Patterns can be used to identify cause and effect relationships.
1D: Graphs, charts, and images can be used to identify patterns in data.

Cause and Effect
2B: Cause and effect relationships may be used to predict phenomena in natural or designed systems.
2C: Phenomena may have more than one cause, and some cause and effect relationships in systems can only be described using probability.

Scale, Proportion, and Quantity
3A: Time, space, and energy phenomena can be observed at various scales using models to study systems that are too large or too small.

Systems and Systems Models
4A: Systems may interact with other systems; they may have sub-systems and be a part of larger complex systems.

Stability and Change
7B: Small changes in one part of a system might cause large changes in another part.
7C: Stability might be disturbed either by sudden events or gradual changes that accumulate over time.
7D: Systems in dynamic equilibrium are stable due to a balance of feedback mechanisms

CSTA K-12 Computer Science Standards
CT Modeling & simulation 2-9 Interact with content-specific models and simulations to support learning and research.
CT Modeling & simulation 2-10 Evaluate the kinds of problems that can be solved using modeling and simulation.
CT Modeling & simulation 2-11 Analyze the degree to which a computer model accurately represents the real world.
CT Modeling & simulation 3A-8 Use modeling and simulation to represent and understand natural phenomena.