We started our inquiry about water with the statement: Water impacts life on Earth.
We asked questions about the statement and defined the words “impact” and “life.” Questions we asked:
- Can “life” live without water?
- Do mountains need water?
- How does water keep plants/animals/people alive? Why do we need it?
- How does water get to houses?
- How does a flood happen?
- Where does rain come from?
- How/Why do we filter water?
- How do we get water from rain/snow?
- Where do rivers/lakes come from?
- Does water stay in the same place? How does it “move?”
- Whats the difference between fresh water and salt water?
- How can we stop wasting water?
We watched a couple of videos next – one on droughts, one on how to reduce/reuse/recycle. This made us wonder about the water cycle, too! For some of us, this is a review from last year. We learned that water never truly disappears – it only changes its form: liquid, gas, solid. We learned that the cycle has 4 stages: condensation, precipitation, collection, evaporation. (We also noticed that all 4 of those words include the suffix “tion,” and this makes us sing our TION song!)
To help us see water in action, we traveled to the South Platte/Carson Nature Center. We’re very fortunate that this special place is only a few miles from our school. We took sketchbooks and sketched different areas where we stopped to observe the water. In one special area, there were three different areas to observe the river and inlets. The kids sat in small groups and rotated around the three different areas to notice how the water moved differently in each area, what wildlife they noticed in each spot, what was the same/different in each spot.
We were able to see what we had been learning – the flow of the river, how the riverbanks show the changing river levels, evidence of erosion, and a lot of different river terminology. We also took time to think about the wildlife in a riparian ecosystem.