The Tuesday 12: 12 Wonderful Resources for Teaching Students about the World’s Water Systems

In this week’s edition of The Tuesday 12, we’ll be looking at resources focusing on the world’s water systems.  I love to teach this unit to my grade 8 students because there are so many interesting and vital aspects to consider; for example, students learn about personal water conservation, the global water crisis, weather and extreme weather events, climate change, pollution, the chemistry of water, and the role water plays in economic, societal, political, and health issues. Just click on the title to be brought to each resource!

1. Operation WellFound. “Water: A Precious Resource.”

The activities in this lesson plan help students to understand how much water they use on a regular basis and how that compares to other people in the world.  I’ve done this activity with my students and it is an eye-opening experience for them.  It really helps to put into perspective how lucky we are.

2. The United Nations. The Global Water Crisis.

This site has excellent resources both for teachers and students.  In addition to the teacher lessons plans, there are many interesting links for students; for instance, there is a water alert game, a quiz, various people tell their stories of water related issues (e.g. there’s a video clip of Jay-Z exploring the water crisis in Africa), and ways to help people around the world gain access to clean and safe drinking water.

3. Strauss, Rochelle. One Well: The Story of Water on Earth. Toronto: Kids Can Press Ltd, 2007.

This is an absolutely gorgeous book and the content is just as good.  One Well: The Story of Water on Earth incorporates information of water statistics, conservation, our reliance on water, and the vital role water plays in our lives; however, the information is conveyed in a captivating manner.  Throughout the book, the theme of how all the water on Earth is connected and how we are all connected to that same water is emphasized.  Excellently written and beautifully illustrated!

4. The Story of Stuff. “The Story of Bottled Water.”

Bottled water is all around us.  Unfortunately, not many people know the implications of drinking bottled water.  After watching this movie, challenge your students to ban the bottle!

5. And of course, our resource to go along with “The Story of Bottled Water”!

A great way to integrate media literacy and science!

6. Water 1st International. Water 1st Curriculum.

During this lesson, students learn about the water cycle, their water usage, water facts, how lack of access to clean water affects people, and how they can make a difference.  It also includes writing assignments, art activities, and science activities to make this lesson cross-curricular.

7. The Water Project. The Water Crisis- Lesson Plans for All Grades.

A great way to bring social justice and activism into your classroom.  After learning about how the global water crisis has a severe impact on many people in the world, students can work together to raise funds and awareness for various water projects.

8. Learn About the Water Crisis.

This website provides complete units on the water crisis and they are divided by grade levels: elementary, middle school, and high school level curriculum.  There is an extensive amount of resources on this site and the activities are great!

9. WWF. Grade 8 Water. Schools for a Living Planet.

You need to sign in to access the units on this site, but I suggest you do so, since signing up is free and the WWF has great science unit plans! This is an excellent unit plan that takes you through the chemical makeup of water, to the difference between salt water and fresh water, climate change, water conservation, and the need to protect water resources.

10. Water Systems Information.

I’ve used this site as an introduction to my water systems unit.  Not only does it provide a good review of concept students have already learned, but it also gives students a great repository of information about oceans, lakes, rivers, currents, the water cycle, climate, and the chemistry of water.

11. 22nd Annual International Children’s Painting Competition on the Environment. This year’s theme is “Water: Where Does it Come From?”

The contest is open to students aged 6 – 14 years old from the United States and Canada.  Submissions are due March 1, 2013. I definitely want to do this with my students!

12. Alaska K-12 Science Curricular Initiative. “Hands-On Lessons”

This site has some great hands-on science lessons on a variety of water topics, including the water cycle, glaciers, water scarcity, streams, and evaporation!

Don’t forget to check back next week for another edition of The Tuesday 12!


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The Tuesday 12: 12 Remarkable Remembrance Day Resources (November 11)

remembrance day

In this week’s edition of The Tuesday 12, we are providing you with 12 resources (crafts, poems, displays, activities) that can be used to teach your students about the importance of Remembrance Day.  On November 11, we are provided with the opportunity to pay tribute to the brave men and women who sacrificed everything in order for us to enjoy the freedom that we often take for granted.

1. “In Flanders Fields” on YouTube from AdPaylor (includes excerpt from “For the Fallen” by Laurence Binyon)

2. Remembrance Day Toolkit from the Canadian War Museum

3. Remembrance Day Huichol Yarn Painting from (click on image for instructions)

4. Special Education Language Program—Remembrance Day Unit (free download on TPT by Matthew Hackney)

5. Beautiful for the Canadian flag (I’ve linked this to the Pinterest source, but I can’t find the proper attribution…if you know where this is from, please leave the info in the comments section. Thanks! Thanks to Patrick who left us a comment informing us that this beautiful piece of work was created by Brian Espiritu)

6. Remembrance Day Canada (“Soldiers Cry” by Roland Majeau) video on YouTube

7. Poppy Mixed Media from (for instructions, click on the image)

8. Teachers’ Resources on Veterans Affairs Canada

9. A worksheet to accompany the story “What Does Peace Feel Like” by Vladimir Radunsky (free download on TPT by Vanessa Steunenberg)

10. Tons of Teacher Resources from Saskatoon Public Schools! Interactive sites, multimedia, poems, and links to tons of sites.

11. Beautiful Bulletin Boards

12. Veterans’ Week and Remembrance Day (tons of resources from the Government of Alberta)

On November 11, please take a moment to show your gratitude for those who paid the ultimate price for our freedom and way of life.

Poppy - ''Lest we forget''

Click on poppy for information regarding Remembrance Day services in Toronto.

Halloween activities on Bitstrips!

In one of our previous posts, we discussed Bitstrips – one of many great programs that you can engage in online with your students. This site allows you and your students to create fun, personalized characters which you can then further create a comic strip for. I was just recently updated that Bitstrips now has some cool, fun and interesting activities for halloween that you may definitely be able to introduce to and engage in with your students. Anywhere from creating a scene from your favorite halloween movie or story, to making greeting cards, sharing safety rules and fun ‘trick or treat’ stories – you can find it all on Bitstrips! Yet another fun thing to do with your students during this years Halloween! While you are there, I am sure you will find many other great uses for this program, especially once you see just how much your students enjoy it!

Gr 4 Science Unit ~ Habitats and Communities

We have done it again!

We have now compiled a complete unit for Habitats and Communities to help you in your Gr. 4 Understanding Life Science Strand.   This unit, just like our Combined Gr. 4/5 Science Unit for (Habitats and Organ Systems), integrates curriculum in order to create cross-curricular lessons. Once again you will not only be covering curriculum expectations, but cross-curricular activities which tend to be more engaging and creative.

Here is what is included:
* Learning centres: students work in small groups or individually to rotate   between three centres over the course of the activity (five types of centre activities: iPad integration, technology, reading/writing activity, creative response, and a fun or hands-on activity);
* Whole class lesson/discussions followed by either small group activities or whole class activity
* Cross-curricular integration with other subject areas, including Language Arts (Reading, Writing, Oral Communication, Media Literacy), Drama, Physical Education, Art, and Health
* A focus on Assessment For and As Learning through student self-assessments and group assessments, KWL charts, exit slips, anticipation guides, and project planning sheets
* Reading strategies addressed include making connections, inferring, determining important ideas, drawing conclusions, and cause-and-effect
* Differentiated Instruction is achieved through Learning Centres, choice board for the end of unit project, RAFTS assignment, and a variety of hands-on activities and labs

The entire unit, including lessons, assignments, assessments, printables, and centre activities comes to over 160 pages!

Need more?  Preview the unit!

To be taken to the complete unit just click on the picture below!



Stay tuned as we are working on our Gr. 5 Science Unit for Organ Systems!

The Tuesday 12: 12 Spooktastic Halloween Crafts Your Students Will Love!

12 spooktacular crafts

In this week’s edition of The Tuesday 12, we’re looking at Halloween activities that your students will love! It may seem a bit early for Halloween, but if you’re anything like me, you’ll want to plan ahead and get everything ready to create a spooky and cool classroom! Click on each image to be brought to the original source (many of these sites have great tutorials!).

1. “Name” Skeletons…I love the personalized touch!



2. Characters made from toilet paper or paper towel rolls…I love how this is an upcycled craft activity! Just use any leftover materials that you have handy!

toilet paper monsters

3. Colourful bats! These bats are so cute and the supplies are probably already in your classroom!

Plastic-Plate Ghoulies

4. Painted paper rolls…another upcycled craft! Instead of using felt, fold and paint toilet paper and paper towel rolls to create these cute characters.  This could also be a great way to make characters for reader’s theatre or puppet shows.

5. Beautiful pumpkins! Can you believe these pumpkins are just strips of patterned paper? So simple, yet so creative!

6. A great collaborative project for the class! I can see students each taking on a different scene from a Halloween story or poem! They look stunning together!

7. Monster can heads…another upcycled craft! Have students bring in an empty, clean can and transform that can into a cool Halloween character with just a few supplies! Students can each make different characters…vampires, mummies, witches, goblins, ghosts…

Halloween Craft - Recycling Craft - Frankie the Friendly Frankenstein Can

8. Craft stick mummies! So cute!



9. Such an awesome ghost! I especially love how it can stand on its own! Step-by-step directions are included:


ghost by love and laundry

10. Paper pumpkin ornaments! These would be beautiful to hang all over your class..if your fire code permits, mine doesn’t allow this 🙁

DIY Craft: Paper Pumpkin Ornaments

11. Glass jar Jack O’Lanterns! Another great upcycled craft! Instead of cutting open a messy pumpkin, students use tissue paper, glue, construction paper, and paint to make their very own Jack O’Lantern!

glass jack o lantern


12.  And, of course, some hand and foot print crafts for the little ones!

Create these easy halloween crafts using your children's handprints and footprints.

I didn’t realize how many of these crafts recycle and reuse materials! An easy way to remind students to be more environmentally conscious when making crafts!

Don’t forget to visit next week for another edition of The Tuesday 12!

The Tuesday 12: 12 Amazing Art Projects Your Students Will Love!

In this week’s edition of The Tuesday 12, we’ve rounded up 12 art projects that are not only beautiful, but students will absolutely love working on them! Click on each image to be brought to the source.

1. Collage Self Portrait: This is such an interesting idea and Rachel Moani’s site had so many great art ideas with step-by-step directions. [update: Rachel’s site seems to be down for now, so here’s a link to the image from her pinterest board: Collage Self-Portrait]


2. Colourful Christmas Trees: Watercolour paint is used for the background; however, colour transfer from tissue paper is used to create the beautiful trees in the foreground.  The link has the complete instructions.  I can’t wait to try this because the student artwork looks so beautiful grouped together!

3. Colourful Silhouettes: This art project combines both silhouette and mosaic art, as students are traced onto cardboard, painted black, and then covered in circles cut out of marbled paper to create a beautiful mosaic.

4. Sculptural Paper Relief: Students created these beautiful, three-dimensional works of art by cutting, bending, rolling, folding, and then gluing paper onto the backgrounds.

5. Personality through Fingerprints:  This would be a great activity for the beginning of the school year for students to learn more about one another and discover what makes each person unique.  Student fingerprints are photocopied and enlarged.  Students then follow the swirls of their prints and add in their interests, thoughts, ambitions, goals, and personality traits.

6. Versatile Trees:  I’ve done this type of activity with crosses for Lent, but I like the idea of using a bare tree as well.  The tree is cut out of darker paper and different art media can be used to colour the inner areas (e.g. oil pastels, chalk pastels, water colours). Students can focus on warm colours, cool colours, monochromatic colours, or any combination of their choice.

silhouette trees patterns art lesson project autumn elementary fall

7. Draw Me a Song: I love this idea! It reminds me of an art project I had in high school where we chose a song (mine was also a Beatles’ song!) and had to design it using a different font for each letter of the alphabet.  This image is from the lesson I did with my class, but the original inspiration can be found here

closeups lyrics





8. Paper Dart Collage:  I’m always looking for ideas to make three-dimensional art projects.  I find that many 3-D art is very time consuming and requires quite a bit of skill.  I like these types of art assignments where the materials are easy to obtain (paper) and uses a simple, repetitive technique, so that students have time to focus on the composition and colour scheme.

paper darts


9. Chalk Cityscape: You really can’t go wrong with bright, blended chalk pastel on black construction paper. I love how the buildings and moon glow. Cut out the buildings on separate paper, place it on the black construction paper, and use the chalk pastels to shade around the buildings. Once you remove the buildings, you’ll be left with this glowing outline.

Cityscape- Chalk on black paper (cut out city stencil from tagboard/posterboard) Grades 3-6

10. A Study in Line: Students trace their hands and then use a variety of lines to fill in the background, and then coloured patterns to fill in their hands.

11. Positive/Negative Art: This is such a great idea…students create a scene (I like the winter scene, but this could be done with almost anything really!), and then recreate it in the bottom half using just the shadows.

12. Pinwheels:  Are these pinwheels just amazing? Click the image for more art project ideas and step-by-step instructions! (update: the image can’t link to the actual post for some reason, just the blog homepage.  Once there, search for “pinwheels” in the search box to be taken to the post with directions.)


Don’t forget to check in next week for another edition of The Tuesday 12!