water cycle exhibit water on wheels

Connecting the Classroom to the WOW

Lesson plans connecting the WOW mobile exhibits to current learning standards are available HERE.  These lesson plans connect the exhibits with Common Core and Next Generation Science Standards and were created by classroom teachers. The lesson plans are designed for students in grades 4 through 6. The lesson plans were created under the guidance of the science curriculum specialists from the Shelby County Schools system. 

Lesson plans


Students will create an aquifer in a cup and use representations of pollutants to determine how contaminants can affect the quality of the Memphis aquifer's drinking water.

The Water Cycle

The lesson focuses on identifying and explaining the different parts of the water cycle. The lesson also dives into why water is essential to plants and animals.

The Journey of Water

During this lesson, students will discover how water travels on Earth. They will also identify and describe the steps of the water cycle.

Water Distribution on Earth and Its Forms

This lesson is designed to help students understand the distribution of water and its forms on Earth.

Water Usage

This lesson informs students the different uses of water and the importance of conserving water.

Down the Drain

This lesson explores how the sewer and storm drains are related and integrated into the water cycle.

Water Awareness

This lesson will give students an opportunity to showcase what they learn regarding water on a global scale.

Testing the Water

This lesson explores acids and bases using the pH scale and how water provides a neutral basis for comparison. Students will have the opportunity to test and analyze unidentified substances using litmus strips or an electronic pH sensor. Extension activities include a close reading of a non-fiction text, writing prompt, and a standards based math problem solving activity.

Favorite learning Activities

To help students understand groundwater and water in general, here are a few learning activities that are effective and fun.  These can be done before the WOW visits your school or on their own.

A movement activity.  With this activity, students take turns being water, gravel, sand and clay. This kinesthetic activity is a great way for students to understand how water moves easily around large rocks, moves more slowly around sand grains, and cannot move through clay easily. No supplies needed, just space to spread out! Find the activity HERE.

A hands-on activity.  With this activity, students build a model of an aquifer.  While building it, students observe how water moves around the grains of sand more slowly than it moves around rock. They will also observe that it's difficult for water to move through clay. The model also allows for a visual demonstration of groundwater contamination.  Find the activity HERE.

An activity booklet.  This booklet has a variety of activities in it, so there's something for young learners as well as middle school.  Pick and choose what's best for your students.  Find the activity booklet HERE.

All of these activities may be downloaded for FREE.  

Other Resources

Water Fact Sheets from the United Nations

These thematic fact sheets present a series of quick facts on a range of issues including water scarcity, climate change, sanitation, water and urbanization, water quality, transboundary waters, water and food, water and disasters, water and biodiversity. Click HERE.

Water Resources from the Environmental Protection Agency

The EPA provides a variety of educational materials on water for teachers and the public, HERE.