1.2 How can I be affected?

Lesson Overview

Guiding question:

How can I be affected?

45 minutes


Water is a vulnerable source that must be valued and protected, including our local water sources.


Students will watch a short video about how water is taken from surface water, treated, stored, and eventually becomes tap water. Students will then use an EPA website to explore their local water sources, possible impairments to their local sources, and how to protect them from contamination.

Design Principles:

Contextualizing the issue locally

Background Knowledge:


Common Misconceptions:




Unit Connections:



  • Teacher PowerPoint titled:
    1.2 Where Does My Water Come From? (optional)


  • Device to access the internet. 
  • Student worksheet: 1.2 Where Does My Water Come From?

Instructional Sequence

Teacher Slides: Where does my water come from?

Where does my tap water come from?

The teacher will introduce the topic by reminding students that we looked at the water crisis from a global scale in the previous lesson. In this lesson, students will look at what the water crisis means for us here at home. 

Use the Teacher slides to guide students on where to look for answers on the website. 

Notes in blue are recommendations for timing. The recommendations offer additional activities or point out areas that can be cut if time is limited.

1.2 Where does my water come from?

Independent or small group work:

The lesson is designed for students to be independent as they learn about their local water sources. If internet devices are limited, the teacher can use the teacher slides to guide students through the worksheet, or students can work in groups.

Use the student worksheet 1.2 Where does my tap water come from? as a formative assessment tool.

What to look for?

Access to water requires infrastructure.

Even valued water sources are in danger of impairment, so protecting out water sources is important.

Information for Planning & Teaching

  • Background Knowledge
  • Lesson Timing
  • Student ideas & Experiences
  • Science Practices
  • Teaching Cases

Background Knowledge:


Lesson Timing

This lesson provides students will an opportunity to explore local, real-world data about their water sources and the potential impairments to those sources. However, if time is short, this lesson can be replaced with a discussion about how everyone can be affected by water quality and availability. It is both a global and a local issue.

Student ideas & Experiences

Students might have experienced a boil notice before, which is a public health announcement issued by local authorities or water utilities to inform residents that the tap water may be contaminated and should be boiled before use. Water contamination is common after a water main breaks, flooding from severe weather, and power outages. The boil notice advises individuals to bring the water to a rolling boil for at least one minute before using it for drinking, cooking, making ice, brushing teeth, or washing dishes. Boiling water kills most types of bacteria and pathogens, making it safer for consumption and other uses.

Science Practices

Teaching Cases