The Vegetarian Resource Group Blog

Lesson Plan for Kids – Clean Water

Posted on October 21, 2009 by The VRG Blog Editor


Click here to view the entire version of VRG’s new lesson plan for kids about water usage.

Lesson Plan: Clean Water for Everyone Today and Tomorrow with Good Food Choices

by Jeanne Yacoubou, MS © The Vegetarian Resource Group.

Purpose: To visualize for young children how much water is used to do everyday tasks and how much water is needed to grow common food items. To graphically illustrate for children how some human activities and how food production causes water pollution. To instill in children that water is a precious resource and should not be wasted.

An integrated worksheet asks children to answer questions based on these adapted charts (numbers rounded for children):

Table 1. Water Consumed during Daily Activities (data taken from

Activity Water consumed (gallons)
Flush toilet 5-7
Run dishwasher 15-25
Wash dishes by hand 20
Water a small lawn 35
Take a shower 25-50
Take a bath 50
Wash a small load in a washing machine 35
Brush teeth with water running 2-5

Table 2. Water Used to Produce some Common Items (Data taken from Chapagain A, Hoekstra A (2004) Water Footprints of Nations Volume One: Main Report. Value of Water Research Report Series No.16. Delft (The Netherlands): UNESCO – IHE Institute for Water Education.; numbers are rounded off on table children use for activity.)

Product Water used (gallons)
1 glass of milk (200 ml) 50
1 glass of apple juice (200 ml) 48
1 glass of orange juice (200 ml) 43
1 bag of potato chips (200 g) 46
1 slice of bread (30 g) 10
1 egg (40 g) 34
1 slice of bread (30 g) with cheese (10 g) 23
1 hamburger (150 g) 600
1 potato (100 g) 6
1 tomato (70 g) 3
1 apple (100 g) 18
1 orange (100 g) 13
1 cotton T-shirt (medium sized, 500 g) 1,025
1 pair of shoes (bovine leather) 2,000
1 sheet of 8½ x 11 inch paper 3

Click here for the entire lesson plan.

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