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Would You Drink The Water?

Water Investigation Lab

Level Grade 8 Science

Date April 16, 2018
Time 45 minutes
Materials 6 water samples, cups, water chemistry strips, jigsaw
readings, Google slides presentation, lab handouts,
paper towel/rags in case of spills
Before the lesson Print handouts, set up classroom in “pod” format with 4
desks per pod, label and pour water samples into cups
Students will:
1. Differentiate between the water qualities of various sources
2. Experience environmental water monitoring techniques and instruments
3. Evaluate water sources based on quality and sustainability

Students will examine unknown samples using provided water quality testing
techniques. Stations will be set up for students to test samples independently or
rotate as a group.
Students will maintain a record of their results in order to make a reasoned
judgement on the quality of their sample.
Students will compare their judgment with a list of known sources corresponding
to the unknown samples.
Introduction ~15 minutes
Students will be unsure of new pod seating arrangement. Have them choose
whatever seat they wish.
Entry activity will be posted on SMARTBoard. New Unit today! Fresh and
Saltwater Systems. Students will read and summarize their selected jigsaw
reading of water quality monitoring techniques.
Go through the jigsaw readings, picking out key points with students.
Demonstrate how to test at each water quality station. Ensure the instructions
are set up at each station for further clarity.
Hand out sampling recording sheets. Half of the class (3 pods) will be Group A and
the other half will be Group B. Each group will analyze different water samples.
Explain to students that they will be moving through 3 stations (label them A1,
A2, A3; B1, B2, B3) throughout the class and testing different samples. Each
member of your group is responsible for one sample. Make sure you are sharing
information among your group – by the end of the lab your entire recording sheet
should be full.

Body ~20 minutes

Students will have ~5 minutes at each station to test for pH, chlorides, and total
hardness. Assess when students have completed their tests, and announce that it
is time to move to the next station. Be available to answer questions as they arise.

Conclusion ~10 minutes

Post an empty recording sheet on the SMARTboard. Ask students to share their
results, and fill in the recording sheet. Keep this data for later use! Ask students to
vote on whether or not they would drink that water sample based on their
results. Students will be surprised by one of the mystery samples.
Questions to ask the students:
Why is it important to do each of these tests?
What does it mean to have perfect water quality? Is it possible to have a “perfect”
water quality?
How do you think each of these tests change with the quality of water being
What would you expect the pH of our drinking water to be?
Assessment of this activity is done formatively. Careful attention should be payed
to student engagement and completion of their sample recording sheets.
The purpose of this lab is to give students the hands on opportunity to real world
testing to evaluate water quality. This lab will allow students to see directly the
water quality of their local environment and what they are drinking. Students will
be able to apply these lab skills in future science careers and in real life
circumstances, because they interact with water every day. Hopefully, students
will also be able to understand the importance of water monitoring and testing in
their local community and other communities around the world from the lab and
introductory video. This lab activity is set at a grade 8 level, however students
could use this learning experiences in other science curriculums such as science 9
and 10, biology 20 and 30, and chemistry 20 and 30, to deepen their
understanding. Students will pull prior knowledge from curricula such as grade 2
(exploring liquids), grade 4 (waste in our world), grade 5 (wetland ecosystems),
and grade 7 (interactions in our ecosystems), to go through the learning activities.

Safety Considerations and materials

DO NOT DRINK THE LIQUIDS. Emphasize the unknown source of the samples and
encourage students to treat each as if it was hazardous. Aseptic technique
reminders are helpful. Enough sampling containers for each student and ample
paper towel/rags on hand should spills occur are also important material
considerations. The students will be using testing strips to avoid unnecessary use
of additional liquid chemicals.

TH Chlorine pH Turbidity
Sample A

Sample D

Sample L

Sample GI

Sample R

Sample X