J2_Welcome_LogoBlue Fresh Water on Earth Activity

Use the following demonstration to help students visualize the amount of freshwater available on earth:

Supplies: Rain jacket, hat, 5-gallon (18L) bucket of water, tablespoon


1. Prior to class, fill a five-gallon (18L) bucket with water.

2. Ask for one volunteer. Dress the volunteer in rain gear, including a rain hat, and have the student sit or stand in front of the class.

3. Once your volunteer student is in place, bring the bucket of water in front of the class as well. Explain that this bucket represents all the water on the entire earth.

· Ask your class what portion of this water they think is usable. As they offer their ideas, help them understand that to be usable, the water cannot be salt water, it can’t be frozen (glaciers), and it can’t be so deep in the ground that we can’t access it.

4. Tell your class that you are going to show them the answer by dumping how much of our earth’s water is freshwater in a usable form on the student’s head. Pick up the bucket of water and pretend to dump…stop…set it down and grab a tablespoon. Proceed to drop three tablespoons of water on the student’s head.i

i http://www.miseagrant.umich.edu/flow/pdf/U2/FLOW-U2-L3-MICHU-08-402.pdf