Water Unit

Prepared by:  Rupa Kanakaraj                                             School/Location: Prosser Career Academy, Chicago IL

Subject: Chemistry                   Grade10                     Unit Title:Water                      Time Needed: Three weeks

Unit Summary:

In this unit students will study the atomic structure of water, the interactions between the atoms, the properties arising from these interactions and how these properties underlie the ability of earth to sustain life. Students will then examine two case studies (the Syrian migration and the California drought), to help them understand the local, national and international consequences of water availability and climate change.

Stage 1 Desired Results


Disciplinary Core Idea

PS1.A Structure and Properties of Matter

§  The structure and interactions of matter at the bulk scale are determined by electrical forces within and between atoms. (HS-PS1-3 and HS-PS2-6)

HS-PS1-3. Gather evidence to compare the structure of substances at the bulk scale to infer the strength of electrical forces between particles. [Clarification Statement: Emphasis is on understanding the strengths of forces between particles. Examples of particles could include ions, atoms, molecules, and networked materials (such as graphite). Examples of bulk properties of substances could include the melting point and boiling point, vapor pressure, and surface tension.]

HS-PS2-6. Communicate scientific and technical information about why the molecular-level structure is important in the functioning of materials.* [Clarification Statement: Emphasis is on the attractive and repulsive forces that determine the functioning of the material. Examples could include why electrically conductive materials are often made of metal, flexible but durable materials are made up of long chained molecules, and pharmaceuticals are designed to interact with specific receptors.]


Understand the atomic structure of water and how this affects the properties of water.

Understand how the properties of water allow for life on earth.

Understand how water affects life from the level of the personal to the global.


Investigating the World

Recognizing Perspectives

Communicating Ideas



-Relevant Worksheets

-Water Inquiry Lab

-Molecular Modeling Kits

-Field Trip to Chicago Wastewater Management Plant

List of Tech Tools :

For games: https://getkahoot.com/

List: http://www.schrockguide.net/online-tools.html

-For the short video performance task students are required to use ‘Storyboard That’, and at least one online animation tool.

-For the multimedia presentation, they are required to use one type of presentation software from the list, and at least two other tech tools of their choice

- All the investigative worksheets are required to be done and edited on Google docs and uploaded to the assignment on Google Classroom.

-Reflection papers are also required to be uploaded to Google Classroom.

- All citations are to be done using http://www.bibme.org

Case Study Websites: Syria














Case Study Websites: California













Students will be able to independently use their learning to…

Create a technology product to illustrate scientific concepts and global issues

Evaluate how climate change affects water resources in various parts of the world

Discuss and evaluate Illinois’ drought measures

Create and carry out a project to increase awareness of water issues



Students will understand that…

The electrical nature of water gives rise to its unique properties

The molecular structure of water underlies its biological significance and necessity for life

The water cycle connects the water resources of different countries

Climate change alters the availability of water which can alter geographies and cultures.

ESSENTIAL QUESTIONS                             

How does the molecular structure of water give rise to its electrical properties?

How do the properties that arise from the electrical nature of water allow for life on earth?

How does climate change affect the availability of water and subsequently affect people’s lives?


Students will know…

-The atomic structure of water

-The dipole of the water molecule

-That the structure and interactions of matter at the bulk scale are determined by electrical forces within and between atoms.

-Attraction and repulsion between electric charges at the atomic scale explain the structure, properties, and transformations of matter, as well as the contact forces between material objects.

-The five main properties arising from the molecular structure that allow for the presence of life on earth.

-Climate change and the availability of water are directly related to local and global issues.

 Students will be able to…

-Plan and conduct an investigation to gather evidence

-Develop models to illustrate changes

-Communicate scientific and technical information about how structure determines function

-Translate quantitative or technical information expressed in words in a text into visual form (e.g., a table or chart)

-Cite specific textual evidence to support analysis of science and technical texts,

-Write informative/explanatory texts

-Conduct short as well as more sustained research projects to answer a question

-Gather relevant information from multiple authoritative print and digital sources, using advanced searches effectively; assess the strengths and limitations of each source in terms of the specific task

-Draw evidence from informational texts to support analysis, reflection, and research

-Model with mathematics.                             

Stage 2 - Evidence


Evaluation Criteria (Learning Target or Student Will Be Able To)

Assessments FOR Learning:

1.      Water Inquiry Lab

2.      Water “Kahoot” game

3.      Investigative Research Worksheets (of the case study drought – Syria or California)

·         Normal precipitation patterns and water resources: 5 years preceding drought

·         Normal water usage for agriculture, industry and population

·         Drought precipitation patterns and water usage

·         Measures taken to minimize the effects of the drought

·         Effects of drought on geography, industry and agriculture

·         Effects of drought on people and culture (i.e. forced migrations/lifestyle changes, impact on families)

4.      Investigative Worksheet (after the fieldtrip to the Wastewater management facility in Chicago) to assess Illinois’ drought measures

Evaluation Criteria

1.      The water inquiry lab will be evaluated on the performance of the given lab tasks, the completion of the lab report according to the given rubric and thoughtful participation in the post-lab discussion

2.      The ‘kahoot’ game is assessed on the accuracy of student answers to the multiple choice questions given

3.      and 4.  Each investigative worksheet is assessed for both accuracy and completion and proper citation of at least three sources for each.

**The inquiry lab and the kahoot game are assessed individually and the investigative worksheets will be assessed as group work.

Assessment OF Learning:

1.      Short film (1 minute) illustrating the dipole of water and how it gives rise to one life sustaining property

2.      Multimedia presentation of case study drought and the effects (10-15 minutes)

3.      Group discussions of case study droughts

4.      Reflection/comparison paper of the two case study droughts

5.      Paper evaluating Illinois’ drought measures

 Evaluation Criteria

1.      The short film will be assessed on the accuracy of information. The rubric for short video presentations will be used.

2.      The multimedia presentation allows for a great deal of creativity since students are allowed to use any three technology tools to create their presentation. They are not allowed to use PowerPoint. Students are allowed to create scenarios or present formally. They have to present all the information in the investigative worksheets done for their case study drought. The presentation will be evaluated according to the multimedia rubric and for accuracy of information.

3.      Student groups will be paired up (Syria drought with California drought) to have a discussion comparing the two droughts. Students are required to do the discussion preparation and to have two questions to ask the group during discussion. There will be a ten minute whole class discussion in the end to reflect on major themes and difficulties. Students will be evaluated on preparation, participation and enthusiasm. The rubric for group discussion will be used.

4.      Each student is required to write a two page paper reflecting on the large ideas they learned from this project, what the two case studies had in common, and how it changed or reinforced what they believed and knew. Students will be evaluated on completion of all the required portions.

5.      After the field trip to the wastewater management facility in Chicago students will evaluate Illinois’s drought measures. Students will be evaluated using the rubric for the IB “evaluate” command term.

** 1, 2, and 3 will be evaluated as group work. 4 and 5 will be evaluated as individual work.

Stage 3 – Learning Plan

Prior Knowledge:

Students will have completed the unit on covalent bonding. They will know about single, double and triple bonds, be able to draw Lewis Dot diagrams for molecules and predict shapes based on the VSEPR model.

Lesson 1

Water Inquiry Lab: There will be four stations within the lab that students have to rotate through. They will be working in lab groups but are required to complete and turn in individual lab reports. Each station will only have the basic procedure to be followed and materials. After reading the procedure and prior to carrying out the procedure students are to make a prediction as to what will happen. They are to then carry out the procedure and write down their results and possible explanation of observed phenomena. At the end of the lesson there will be a post-lab discussion within groups and with the whole class to clarify knowledge, discuss the major understandings and observations of the lab and to rectify misconceptions.

Lesson 2

Discussion and Lecture: The main properties of the water dipole will be explained and any misconceptions clarified. There will be a class discussion about how the dipole of water explains the phenomena observed in the water inquiry lab.

Lesson 3

Research and Worksheet: Each group will be given one of the properties of water that makes life on earth possible. Students are required to do independent research and complete the worksheet given. Students will do a creative presentation (2 minutes) on the property of water they have selected.

Lesson 4

Presentations and Lecture:

Each group will explain the property they researched the day before to the class. They will present their creative projects. A very short lecture will be given to complete the information the students have given and fill in any gaps.

Lesson 5


Students will be given a short quiz using the tech tool “kahoot” to assess learning and comprehension. When they have completed the quiz they are to begin working on storyboarding their animation.

Lesson 6

Student Presentation of Short Animation:

Students will present the short video animations they have completed as homework to showcase the molecular structure and dipole of water and the life giving water property they researched. Students will assess each other’s group work using the short video assessment rubric.

Lesson 7

Student Multimedia Presentations:

After a few days of research and creating, students will present their multimedia presentation of their case study (California, Syria or Flint) to the class. Students will assess each other’s work using the multimedia rubric.

Lesson 8

Group Discussion:

Each student group will be paired up with a group that did a different case study. They are to complete their discussion worksheets and create questions in preparation for the discussion. Each group will have a discussion facilitator.

Lesson 9

Class Discussion:

As a class there will be a discussion of the necessity of water, the availability of water, the effect of climate change on water availability and how the case study areas were affected by the shortage of water. Students will also discuss how the lack of water can exacerbate already existing tensions and difficulties as a region. Students are to include what they have learned in their final paper.

Lesson 10

Field Trip to Chicago Wastewater Plant

Students will go on a field trip to see how Chicago deals with waste water issues. Students will gather information from the water department about Chicago and Illinois’ drought readiness plan. They will evaluate these plans with the knowledge they have gathered from their case studies of Syria and California.