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Why Is Water Important? (pre-assessment)

Why Is Water Important? (pre-assessment)
  • Grades:
  • Length: 60 Minutes


Students take a pre-assessment to gauge their knowledge of the role and importance of water in their daily lives. Can be revisited as part of the post-assessment. Student sheets are provided in English and in Spanish.

This activity is from The Science of Water Teacher's Guide. Although it is most appropriate for use with students in grades 3-5, the lessons are easily adaptable for other grade levels. The guide also is available in print format.

Teacher Background

Human beings are about 67% water. In fact, every living organism, whether composed of one cell or many millions of cells, contains water. Water is needed to transport nutrients and oxygen throughout living organisms and to carry out waste. Water also is vital for cooking, cleaning, growing crops, raising animals, transportation, production of electricity and manufacturing. Without water we would not only be unhealthy, we would not be alive.

Objectives and Standards


  • Allows teacher to estimate prior knowledge and misconceptions of students related to the role of water in their world. 

Science, Health and Math Skills

  • Asking questions

  • Communicating

Materials and Setup

Materials per Student

  • Colored markers, pencils or pens

  • Copy of the student page page


Have students work individually to complete the pre-assessment.

Procedure and Extensions

  1. Ask students, Why is water important? Have students devise and write down reasons why water is important in their science lab journals/notebooks. Tell students they may add to their lists as they complete the unit.

  2. Explain to students that they will complete a pre-assessment to see what they already know about water.

  3. Have students complete the pre-assessments individually; then collect and save the sheets. You should have students refer back to their pre-assessment answers at the conclusion of this unit to make any corrections based on the knowledge gained in the unit. This can be used as one component of the post-assessment activity (see Extension, below).


Refer to the post-assessment instructions and have students prepare drawings and write about (depending on grade level) four of the most important aspects of water for health. Then, revisit the drawings at the end of the unit and have students expand their previous drawings or make new drawings to express what they have learned.

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National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, NIH

National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, NIH

My Health My World: National Dissemination
Grant Number: 5R25ES009259
The Environment as a Context for Opportunities in Schools
Grant Number: 5R25ES010698, R25ES06932