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Should Canada Sell Freshwater?


Guiding Question: Should Canada sell its fresh water?

Initially, I had implemented this project into Science 8 as a new instructional strategy that
utilized skills from the humanities to inform decisions in science. In consultation with my
University Mentor, we talked about the further cross-curricular applications of this work. This
proposed activity can be utilized at the start of the Fresh and Saltwater Systems unit of Science
8. It will allow for cross-curricular learning between grade 8 Science, Social Studies, and
Language Arts.

Curricular Connections:

Science: Unit E: Fresh and Saltwater Systems

4. Analyze human impacts on aquatic systems; and identify the roles of science and technology
in addressing related questions, problems and issues

4.1: analyze human water uses, and identify the nature and scope of impacts resulting
from different uses

4.4: provide examples of problems that cannot be solved using scientific and
technological knowledge alone

Social Studies: Considering a Western Worldview

8.2.2 - demonstrate a willingness to consider differing beliefs, values and worldviews

Language Arts: Students will listen, speak, read, write, view and represent to
manage and information.
Potential Timeline:

Preparations Before starting this project, students will need an understanding of

distribution of global water supplies, fresh water limitations, and the
abundance of fresh water in Canada.
Day 1 & 2 Guided Research:

Create a bank of recent resources (newspaper articles, videos, editorials,

blog posts). Try to encompass a broad range of perspectives pertaining to
the guiding question. Give students time to significantly interact with this

Day 3 Independent Research:

Students will extend their research to find more information that supports
their opinions.
Day 4 Argument Consolidation:

Students will formulate a written argument based on their research. They

will be expected to acknowledge both sides of the issue in their writing
Day 5 Debate and Reflection:

Students will participate in a horseshoe debate with their peers. After

debating, students will adapt their written argument and provide an
adapted, finished copy. Any change in opinion should be represented here.
Day 6 Argument Consolidation 2:

Students will use this time to complete their final written argument.

The preparatory information can be delivered to students as an introduction to the unit.

One engaging way to break down water distribution around the world is through a quick demo.
All you will need is some water, food colouring (optional) and common laboratory glassware.
An overview of this demonstration is linked at the bottom of this document.

After introducing students to the guiding question, have them discuss their initial
perceptions. Encourage them to keep an open mind throughout the research process, so that
information will be awarded to opportunity to create an informed opinion. This introductory
research can be done in a jigsaw fashion. Split students into groups responsible for interpreting
one or two articles. Then have individuals from all the groups meet so that students are
exposed to all information but the amount of reading and the time necessary for such is

At this stage, have students once again identify their stance on the issue. Having them
physically star a few points from their notes that resonate most with their opinion can help to
guide them in the next step. In the third research period, students should work independently
to find sources that supplement their argument. While doing so, they may find contradictory
information reminding them to keep an open mind for other opinions or information they
may come across is critical. After completing all research, students should begin to create a
written draft that encompasses their argument. This should include facts, research, and
counter-arguments as the student addresses varying perspectives or viewpoints.

After students have articulated their ideas on the key issue, they will finally engage in a
debate with their peers. This should be done in a horseshoe style. Emphasize that students may
move around as their position on the issue changes. Their peers may present information that
makes them consider new variables, and if that causes a change in opinion, that is okay. Along
with any debate, it will be important to emphasize rules of respect before beginning. After
debating, have students reflect on the opportunity. This can be done individually and written
down or facilitated as a class discussion. In the final day of this project, have students use their
experiences from debate day to adapt their written argument.

Supporting Documents/Resources:

Water Distribution Demonstration:
Debate Preparation:
Should Canada sell its fresh water
to companies and other countries?

Your Task for Today:

- Get into your group.
- Each member has a number (1-5). Each of you will be responsible
for reading an article and summarizing the key points.
- Once everyone has finished, you will return to your original group
and TEACH your peers about what you have learnt. Record some
of the important information your group members present to you

Use the T-Chart below to record important information you find.

Yes we should because.. No we should not because..

Use the back of the page for more space to write.