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Michigan Environmental Education Curriculum Support (MEECS)
Water Quality Unit for Science & Social Studies (Gr. 6-8)

Lesson 1: Where Is All The Water in the World?

Duration One or two 50 minute periods – Classroom setting

Michigan Curriculum Framework - Benchmarks

  • Generate scientific questions about the world based on observation. (SCI.I.1.MS.1)
  • Use maps of the Earth to locate water in its various forms. (SCI.V.2.MS.1)
  • Describe how surface water in Michigan reaches the ocean and returns. (SCI.V.2.MS.2)
  • Explain how water exists below the Earth’s surface and how it’s replenished. (SCI.V.2.MS.3)
  • Explain the behavior of water in the atmosphere. (SCI.V.3.MS.3)

Lesson Overview

Students review basic terms and processes of water cycle, play game of Globe Toss to determine the % of Earth’s surface covered by water, and work in groups to estimate distribution of water among various locations on Earth to determine the availability of freshwater on Earth.

Essential Questions

  • Where is water found on Earth?
  • How does water move on Earth?
  • Is there enough water on Earth for everyone?
  • Why are the Great Lakes unique?


Students will be able to:

  1. Define basic terms and processes related to hydrologic cycle.
  2. Describe distribution and availability of freshwater on Earth.
  3. Discuss why Great Lakes are unique and our responsibility.

Enhancement & Extension Activities

Lesson 1: Where Is All The Water In The World?

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Water Quality Unit Overview