TEACHER TOOLKIT

The Virginia Beach Department of Public Utilities and NTC invite you to use these e-learning resources to teach your students about water conservation and using drains properly. The digital materials below are designed to get your students excited about understanding these important subjects.

Want to know the best way to use the related videos, e-books, games and other lessons to educate your class? Watch this short video and learn how to add The Water Pirates of Neverland to your curriculum!


EDUCATOR VIDEO


Educational Standards  

We know your class time is extremely valuable. That’s why we ensure that all of our digital e-learning materials are aligned with state and national educational standards. It’s important that the The Water Pirates of Neverland digital program adds to your existing curriculum and keeps students on track with their ongoing learning.

See below for details about how each digital activity aligns with educational standards and corresponds with your state’s curricula.

Educational Standards

PROGRAM OVERVIEW  

Our livestream offers teachers a convenient, online-accessible option for experiencing educational theatre.

This 35-minute show presents a virtual lesson in energy efficiency for grades K-5. Through an interactive web platform, a live host will introduce entertaining sketches featuring a variety of characters in professionally filmed scenes from educational theatrical productions.

The sketches focus on the following educational points:

  • The uses of water
  • The importance of water
  • Ways to conserve water
  • How to use drains properly

Whether watching in the classroom or at home, your students will experience important lessons about water conservation.

HANDS-ON LESSONS  

Your students can enhance what they learn from the program with these fun, hands-on lessons and experiments. These lessons can be done in the classroom or easily adapted for students to do at home with their families.

They’re a fun and educational way for students to learn with family members. The materials needed for these lessons are basic supplies that most people have at home. Follow up with your students to make sure they enjoyed and learned from these activities.

Lesson 1:

Plankton in the Air

Objective
Students will identify places that animals live. Students will identify that some animals can live in more than one habitat.

Purpose of Activity
Apply Skills

21st Century Skills
Critical Thinking, Collaboration, Creativity

Cognitive Level
Strategic Thinking, Skills and Concepts

Class Time
15 minutes

Materials

  • Bubble liquid or dishwashing liquid
  • Bubble blower (suggested)
  • Photos representing filter-feeding organisms

Procedure

Gather students together, and explain how energy moves through the food chain. Plants make energy and grow from the sun. Herbivores (plant-eating animals) eat the plants. Carnivores (meat-eating animals) eat the plant-eating animals. Other carnivores may eat them.

Describe plankton, and its role in the environment. Explain how plankton creates the base of many marine food chains. You can ask a student for a favorite sea creature, and describe a food chain from the sun to that animal. For example, if a student says ‘shark,’ you can create the following food chain: sun-plankton-shrimp-little fish-big fish-shark. Describe how whales use great gulps of sea water and their special teeth (baleen) to gather up the plankton. Explain how clams and oysters draw water into a siphon to do the same. Explain how jellyfish use tiny tentacles to sting and capture plankton, etc.

Once the students have a basic understanding of the role of plankton in the marine environment, introduce the rules of the game. There is no running, no pushing, etc. Explain that the students will become the filter-feeders. They will mimic the filter-feeders as follows:

  • Whales – cross your arms over your face and open and close them like a giant mouth
  • Jellyfish – put both hands on your chin and wiggle your fingers like tentacles
  • Clams – sit on the floor, cupping hands together like two shells (sitting on the floor represents the fact that most bivalves cannot chase prey)

Use these motions to “become” these filter-feeders. Once the bubbles (plankton) arrive, we can “eat.” Practice the motions with the students until they can change from one to another with ease.

Have the students pretend to start to float or swim in the sea.

Once the students are adrift, start blowing bubbles. The children should continue drifting. Tell the students that the bubbles represent plankton, drifting on the currents. Once there are a good number of bubbles, tell the students that they can now be whales, and “feed” on the plankton. Remind them that they should pop the bubbles with their arms and hands, not their mouths. After a short time, tell the students to become jellyfish, then clams. Go back to whales, jumping from one motion to another.

After 10-15 minutes, bring the students back to the starting point, and analyze which strategies were best or worst.

Critical Thinking Questions

Did all of the plankton get eaten?

  • No. Some plankton always escapes.

Could the filter-feeders eat without moving?

  • Yes, but they were dependent upon eating whatever plankton happened to float their way.

Adapted from: https://www.dec.ny.gov/docs/administration_pdf/lpplankton.pdf

Lesson 2:

Pond Ecology

Objective
Students will learn about the smaller lifeforms that live in ponds.

Purpose of Activity
Read or listen, Identify Details, Apply Skills

21st Century Skills
Critical Thinking, Collaboration, Creativity

Cognitive Level
Strategic Thinking, Extended Thinking, Skills and Concepts

Class Time
60 minutes

Materials

  • Petri dishes
  • Plastic spoons
  • Hand lenses
  • Plastic pipettes
  • Pond invertebrate guides
  • Pond water
  • Live pond invertebrates
  • Low flat basin
  • Pencils (colored pencils optional)

Procedure

Divide students into teams of three. Each of the students has a vital role in the exploration:

Reader: This student scientist will read each question to the group, and any guides or scientific keys used.

Recorder: This student scientist will write down the answers that the group comes up with for each question.

  1. How many legs does it have?
  2. How many tails does it have?
  3. How does it move? Does it swim, crawl, walk, climb…
  4. Is it a predator? Why do you think that?
  5. What defenses does it have?
  6. What is it?

Artist: This student scientist will sketch the organism.

Introduce students to the equipment that they will be using. This will consist of a Petri dish lid or base (to hold the organism being studied), a plastic spoon (to collect organism from water), a pipette (to collect really small organism from water) and a hand lens. Each team of “researchers” will have one of each item.

Select one student from each group to collect the organism from the pond water basin. Demonstrate the proper technique to catch and not hurt the animals. Explain that though the organisms are small, they are still living specimens and should be respected. Once an animal is caught in the Petri dish basin, the students can now do their research. The collector can carefully carry the Petri dish with the organism back to the other students in the study area.

The recorder and the reader should sit adjacent to one another. The animal in the basin should be available for all of the students to make observations, and the hand lens can be shared. If the desks are dark, placing white paper under the dish can help the students to see small details. The reader should read each question to the group. The group can then discuss and observe, and the recorder can write down the answer the group decides on.

When all of the questions are answered, a student should render a sketch of the organism. The picture should be much larger than the organism. All of the students can suggest details to the artist. The style of the sketch is entirely up to the artist.

The final observation is to identify the organism. Students can match their artist’s drawing to scientific illustrations.

Once the identification is confirmed by the teacher, the animals can be returned to the pond.

Critical Thinking Questions

How do you think organisms living in the pond survive?

  • They eat other plants and animals in the pond. They also need to stay away from predators.

What would happen if the organisms living in the pond disappeared?

  • It would disrupt the ecology of the pond and possibly cause other plants and animals to die or migrate away from the pond in order to survive.

Lesson 3:

Role of Plants in Water Filtration

Turbine
Objective

This experiment is a very simplified way to show whether plants will take up certain kinds of materials from water moving relatively quickly through their root systems.

Purpose of Activity

Review, Identify Details, Communicate, Create

21st Century Skills

Critical Thinking

Cognitive Level

Strategic and Extended Thinking

Class Time

45 minutes

Materials
  • Six potted plants in 6-8" diameter pots with holes in the bottom; soil needs to be moderately dry
  • Six clear containers, such as cups, which will support the plants and allow drainage to be viewed
  • Soil
  • Unsweetened powdered drink mix, grape or cherry for color
  • Vegetable oil
  • Two different household cleaners; one should be liquid and the other powder
Preparation

Set up the potted plants, each in its own cup. Slowly pour 6-8 ounces of clean water through the pot. Adjust the soil so that water percolates through at about one ounce per minute.

Procedure

Divide the class into teams. Teams of three or four work best.

  1. Place the potted plants into the top of their cups. Pour clean water slowly through one of the pots and watch it percolate through the bottom of the pot. The water should look as clean as what was poured.
  2. Add a gram or so of soil to 6-8 ounces of water and stir. Pour slowly into the second flower pot. The “dirty” water should look much cleaner once poured.
  3. Add about one ounce of vegetable oil to 6-8 ounces of water, stir (they won’t mix completely) and pour into a third pot. See if the vegetable oil percolates through.
  4. Add some powdered drink mix to 6-8 ounces of water and pour through a fourth pot. See if the water retains the color.
  5. Add some powdered cleanser to 6-8 ounces of water and pour through a fifth pot. Is the cleanser retained in the soil?
  6. Add some liquid soap to 6-8 ounces water. Does the soap percolate through the soil?
  7. Using the “contaminated” plants, pour some clean water at the same rate through each one. Is more of the “pollutant” rinsed away from the soil by the clean water?

In what ways can plants and soil help improve drinking water quality?

  • They filter out some pollutants.

Can plants and soil remove any type of impurity from water?

  • No.

What is the role of rainwater moving through contaminated soil?

  • It washes the pollutants through the root system as well as deep underground.

EDUCATOR ASSESSMENTS  

Follow-up, formative assessments for you to gauge the learning of your students are especially important with e-learning. Below are some suggestions for how you can assess your students’ performance quickly and effectively.

These assessments are easy for you and your students to complete and help ensure your class is getting the maximum educational value, retention and engagement from the related digital activities.

Elementary Educational Assessments
Livestream
Hands-on lessons
Digital games
E-book
Graphic novel
Interactive activities
PDFs & Print materials
Ask students to reflect on the topic and draw their thoughts on paper
X
   
X
X
   
Write one or two sentences identifying the main point
X
X
 
X
X
   
Think-pair-share
X
   
X
X
   
One-question quiz    
X
   
X
 
Journal reflection
X
   
X
X
   
Have students discuss three things they learned, two things they still want to learn, and one question they still have
X
   
X
X
   
Hand in completed activity  
X
       
X
Submit screenshot of completed activity    
X
   
X
 

STUDENT ACTIVITIES  

The Water Pirates of Neverland student activities page features games, videos, e-books, educational lessons, a smart speaker app and more. Access in the classroom or at home to learn more about how to conserve water and protect the environment in your community.

Access Student Activities

E-book

Dive into this colorful, illustrated e-book in the classroom or at home with friends and family. Students can read to themselves or with others, and younger students can use the read-along option.

Access the E-book

Graphic Novel

Flip through this colorful graphic novel for a new and engaging story. With fun artwork, entertaining characters and expanded information, The Aqua League graphic novel offers a page-turning experience.

Access the Graphic Novel

EVALUATION

We take your feedback and suggestions very seriously. Hearing from educators with firsthand experience with our programs ensures that we continue to improve our digital resources, making them as beneficial as possible for you and your students.

Please complete this brief, two-minute evaluation to let us know what you thought.

Thank you for your time and valuable input.

EXPANDED INFORMATION & ADDITIONAL RESOURCES  

You’ve covered the basics of water conservation. If you really want to dig deep with your class, explore the expanded information and additional resources below.

These materials provide even more insight into the science, usage and importance of water. There are also helpful links and tips for how to conserve and be safe around water in your community.

Expanded Information 1:

Water Fun Facts

Ninety-seven percent of the Earth’s water is salt water in the ocean. Two percent is stored as fresh water in glaciers. This leaves only 1% of all the water on Earth as water for people to use. If all the world’s water were put into a gallon jug, the fresh water available for us to use would equal only about one tablespoon.

How Much Water Are You?

Students will calculate how many 8-ounce glasses of water they are made of.

  1. Have students write down their weight.
  2. Divide their weight by three.
  3. Multiply the new number by four.

That’s about how many 8-ounce glasses of water it would take to equal all the water in a person.

By the time a person feels thirsty, his or her body has lost over 1% of their total water amount. Drink water before you get thirsty.

Facts:

  • Each day the sun evaporates one trillion tons of water off of lakes, rivers and oceans.
  • Over 42,000 gallons of water are needed to grow and prepare the food for a typical Thanksgiving dinner for eight.
  • In 1969, the Cuyahoga River near Cleveland, OH was so polluted that it caught on fire.
  • There is exactly the same amount of water on Earth now as there was in prehistoric times.
  • Water is the only substance on Earth naturally found in the three true element forms: solid, liquid and gas.
  • Water expands by 9% when it freezes. Ice is lighter than water, which is why ice floats on water.

Expanded Information 2:

Underwater Food Chain

Plankton is defined as floating plants and animals that cannot move against the current under their own power. We usually refer to any floating, small or microscopic organism (plant or animal) as plankton.

Plankton is divided into phytoplankton (plant plankton) and zooplankton (animal plankton). Phytoplankton is made up of single-celled and multi-cellular green organisms that use photosynthesis to live and grow from solar energy, in much the same way plants do on land. Phytoplankton lives and dies floating around on the currents of the world’s oceans, bays and estuaries. Zooplankton includes a vast array of tiny animals that feeds on phytoplankton and one another. Zooplankton includes many animals that never get very large, as well as eggs of fish and marine invertebrates and many larval forms of familiar sea creatures (crabs, lobsters, jellyfish) that leave the plankton as they mature.

Many types of marine animals feed by forcing sea water through filters to remove edible particles from the water. This method of capturing food is known as filter-feeding. Bivalves, such as clams and mussels draw water into their body through a siphon, pass it through a series of filters and expel the water, digesting the microscopic organisms that were floating in the water. Baleen whales use their brush-like teeth to strain small shrimp, krill and fish from the sea water. Barnacles use a fan-like tail to scoop plankton from the water like a child might use a butterfly net on insects. All of these methods are types of filter-feeding.

Adapted from: https://www.dec.ny.gov/docs/administration_pdf/lpplankton.pdf

ADDITIONAL LINKS

Fun for Kids (Virginia Beach Department of Public Utilities)

The Virginia Beach Department of Public Utilities wants to help you become a water conservation expert!

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