Teacher Resources for Water Science

Lesson plans about water science are available to download for free on Dropbox. This page provides resources that can be used in preparation for a visit from the Water on Wheels (WOW) mobile museum or for any other group looking to learn more about water resources, both generally and specific to the Mid-South region. 

Parents, teachers, scout leaders, and informal educators will find the following resources helpful to learn about water science. Even the lesson plans contain fun, effective activities that can be adapted for many groups! Enjoy these free water science downloads:

  • Water Science Lesson Plans (geared towards grades 4-6)

  • Aquifer in a Cup Activity

  • Environmental Protection Agency Resources

Water Science Lesson Plans 

These lesson plans connect the WOW's exhibits with Tennessee learning standards and were created by classroom teachers and science curriculum specialists from the Shelby County Schools system. The lesson plans are designed for students in grades 4 through 6 and contain a variety of activities that many other groups may find useful. 

To prepare students for a WOW visit, teachers are strongly encouraged to use at least one of these lesson plans. When students have some familiarity about water, they are more likely to comprehend and retain the water science information from a WOW visit.

Please note: We are in the process of updating our lesson plans to correlate with current Tennessee learning standards.


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 water.

The Water Cycle

Students will identify and explain the different parts of the water cycle. The lesson also covers why water is essential to plants and animals.

The Journey of Water

Students will identify and describe the steps of the water cycle.

Global Water Distribution

Students will identify the distribution of water and the natural forms it takes on Earth. 

How Much Water Do You Use?

Students will discuss the different types of water on earth and summarize why some water is not drinkable.  Students will also examine and calculate personal water usage as a way of understanding the importance of water conservation.

Down the Drain

Students will explore how the sewer and storm drains are different and the impacts of each on the environment, as well as how they are connected to the water cycle.

Water Awareness

Students will demonstrate an understanding of water issues on a national and global scale and provide solutions to solving water problems.

Water Testing

Students will explore acids and bases using the pH scale and learn 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, a writing prompt, and a standards-based math activity.


Aquifer in a Cup Activity

These two activities are favorites of CAESER staff, teachers, camp counselors, and other environmental educators!

Students build a model aquifer to help them understand groundwater. There are a two effective and fun learning activities that can be used independently or together. You choose!

A movement 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 are needed, only space to spread out.  

A hands-on activity.  Students build a model aquifer to observe where our drinking water is naturally stored underground. They will observer how water moves around the grains of sand and how difficult it is for water to move through clay. The model also allows for a visual demonstration of groundwater contamination. 

Would you rather have someone from CAESER teach these lessons? Request programming here!  


EPA Resources 

Resources for K-12 students and the general public. The EPA provides a variety of educational materials on water science for teachers and the public that provide a basic understanding of drinking water terms and where water comes from.

An activity booklet. This 13-page booklet has activities appropriate for students in elementary and middle school. Pick and choose what is best for your students.