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Project Name: SIS (Seneca Intermediate School) Water Festival

Facilitator Names: Holli Sears

Grade: 5th

Subject(s): Science, Reading, Writing

Course Name: 5th Grade

Project Description & Content Topics Addressed: SIS 5th graders explore how current water events, including local flooding and national hurricanes, will affect our local water source. Students will use this knowledge to host the SIS 5th Grade Water Festival and teach our community how to protect and conserve water.

A. Learning Goals: Content Knowledge & Skills Addressed (Standards)

Student Environmentalists are presenting their research about water quality to an audience of fourth graders.

Student Environmentalists are presenting their research about water quality to an audience of fourth graders.


  • I can list sources of freshwater available for human use and why these sources are important.

  • I can know the difference between freshwater and saltwater, where they are found on Earth, and the percentages of each.



  • I can understand and comprehend what any text is mainly about when reading any genre of text.

  • I can recognize and relate to similarities and differences of any two things. (Text to world or text to self)

  • I can use or express meaning that is different from the literal interpretation of the words in their reading, writing, or language.

  • I can understand what the meaning of the information given is when the meaning is not directly stated.

  • I can understand the how the life lessons can be applied to their own lives.I can use and understand science vocabulary words when reading and writing about water.


  • I can present information I have have learned in order to educate others about a topic without bias.

  • I can find relevant and reliable resources with correct information through proper note taking.

B. Driving Question: How can we, as environmentalists, do research and investigate so we can understand how current events affect our water?

C. Entry Event: 

  • Students will attend the Eastern Shawnee Water Festival with booths addressing different water topics.

  • Hurricane Harvey Activity:

    • Students will be introduced to Water Unit and PBL Project by rotating through stations with examples of different types of water pollution caused by Hurricane Harvey and facts from EPA.

  • Students will also receive a letter from the Eastern Shawnee EPA asking our students to teach our community about ways to protect and conserve water.

  • Water Festival Entry Event

D. Benchmarks & Scaffolding

E. End Products

Individually, each student will:

  • conduct research on their chosen topic

  • write an informational paper about their chosen topic

As a team, the students will:

  • develop a booth for the water festival including an informational display

  • plan and present to an audience, including a learning activity

F. Rubric(s)

Water Festival Proficiency Scales

Student Environmentalists discuss pollution in a watershed with a community partner and fourth grade students.

Student Environmentalists discuss pollution in a watershed with a community partner and fourth grade students.

G. Community Partnerships

  • Eastern Shawnee EPA

    • Contact Information:

    • Community Partner’s Role: Co-planning project, project launch, check in throughout project and provide feedback, resources, and ideas to groups.

  • Oklahoma Conservation Commission

    • Contact Information:

    • Community Partner’s Role: Provide information and activities about local wildlife and streams


Students will:

  • use Need to Knows to drive their investigation and experiments

  • research a water topic of their choosing to write an informative paper

  • create a water display for their presentation, could include a water table, different types of bridges, runoff, pollution, etc.

Student Voice & Choice: 

Students will have voice and choice in:

  • choosing their own water topic to research

  • create a booth for the water festival and an activity for their audience

Authenticity & Relevance (Real-World Connections, Applied Learning, Active Exploration): Our local stream, Lost Creek, has recently flooded and students have seen the effects on our community. There are have been hurricanes in the news lately and students are interested in how these recent water events will affect us.

Employability (21st Century) Skills Addressed:

  • Collaboration

  • Communication

  • Creativity

  • Critical Thinking

  • Community Involvement

Formative & Summative Assessment Activities: Our district uses standards-based grading, so our students are assessed on all standards using a proficiency scale.

Required Materials and/or Tools:

  • Access to technology and other research materials

  • Informational display materials (science boards, colorful paper, pictures, etc.)

  • Activity and model display materials (STEM building materials)

Examples of Student Work

This is a student created informative writing piece about how to conserve water. This student also used the information from their informational piece in their presentation.