The following article from the website, Ducksters.com, has an ocean's worth of informative and interesting information that can be easily geared to a preschool audience. Please click on the following link in order to view: Water Pollution
I created the following experiment to teach my students about the seriousness of water pollution on our environment, our marine food supply, and our economy.
Subject: Science (Ecology): Understanding and identifying reasons why and how oceans and natural waterways are becoming polluted by both natural and man-made wastes.
Things You Will Need For The Ocean of Truth Ocean Water Pollution Experiment
Large, Unbreakable Rectangular Container
Small amount of unbrewed coffee (waste from construction sites and natural disasters (volcanoes etc.)
Yellow food coloring (Animal waste)
Green food coloring (Pesticides/Fertilizers)
Black acrylic paint (Oil spill)
Plastic bottles, paper, tin cans etc (Litter)
How to Teach Students With The Ocean of Truth Water Pollution Experiment
- Begin the lesson by showing the children a globe. Explain to them that water is very special and should not be wasted because we can drink only a small amount of the earth's water. Point to various oceans and explain that much of the water cannot be drunk because it is too salty. Continue the lesson, by asking the children if they know what the word water pollution means. Have the children voice their opinions over this new vocabulary word and then tell them what the word means. Water pollution is when we or animals make the water dirty by the things we use such as fertilizers to help make our plants grow, oil that spills into the ocean from ships, throwing garbage into the water and animals going to the bathroom in the water. Go on to explain that when we get our water dirty, the fish cannot get enough air to breath and die, we cannot drink or swim in the water, people and animals can get sick, etc. Also remember to tell the children that all water (including the water that we drink) can become polluted.
- Tell the children that you are going to show them what polluted water looks like.
- Start the experiment by showing the students fresh clean "ocean" water. Previously, you had filled a large, unbreakable rectangular container with water.
- First, show the children what happens when animals go to the bathroom in the water (Yellow food coloring).
- Next, put in the green food coloring which depicts the pesticides and fertilizers that we use to help our plants grow.
- Put in a small amount of unbrewed coffee. This shows the children that the silt from construction sites and natural disasters such as volcanoes also leaves its mark on the ocean.
- Lastly, scatter in plastic bottles, paper, tin cans and other items which humans use on a daily basis and carelessly throw in the water. Explain to students that when they throw things in the water they are littering. Due to the huge environmental issues we are facing, it is now against the law to litter and you will need to pay money (aka a fine) if you are caught doing this.
Extension Activities: Brainstorm ideas about ways that we can stop pollution. Some ways we can stop pollution is by throwing our garbage in garbage bins or recycling, not using pesticides or fertilizers, and making sure to properly dispose of hazardous wastes such as household chemicals.
Go on a class litter walk in your neighborhood. Use garbage bags and wear gloves when picking up litter. (Older students should perform this activity.)