- Describe why rain is important to food production
- Describe how depletion is affecting populations around the world
The importance of rain, or water in general, cannot be overstressed. Water is present in all metabolic processes in all living organisms. That’s why it’s considered the universal solvent. A solvent is a liquid capable of dissolving substances, and because water can dissolve more than any other solvent it is king of the hill as they say.
Acting as a solvent, rain water is able to dissolve and transport nutrients and minerals throughout the soil structure. It also performs a similar function inside plants.
Water also plays an active role in photosynthesis. It’s produced through respiration in a process vital to plant health. And it aids in the cooling of plants through transpiration. It really is a vital component to life at all levels.
But when you start to dig deeper into just how we’ve been using this precious resource it becomes abundantly clear that depletion is not only possible but has been playing out around the World. It’s important to regulate how we use water and once again give rain the respect it deserves.
Tools & Materials
- Flat screen or SMART Board with internet
- Rain-fed agriculture
Introduction (15 minutes)
Begin the lesson with an explanation of the flow of water, starting with rain and moving into the streams, rivers, and waterways of the region. Establish that rain that falls just outside the Lab will travel miles and miles before reaching a final destination. Then describe how it impacts life along the way by satisfying the thirst of people, plants, and animals. Describe the role that water plays in plant development. Ask the following question “What would happen if we got less rain than normal this year or if we used more water than we recaptured in rainfall?”
Activity (10 minutes)
Using a flat screen or SMART Board, present the three images in the Why Rain is Important article. Explain the circumstances for the three bodies of water: the Colorado River, Aral Sea, and Yellow River.
Discussion (10 minutes)
How does the absence of the Colorado River near the Sea of Cortez affect the people there? What about the Aral Sea? Without any fish, how do you think communities in that region are affected? What happens when a river like the Yellow River in China is completely drained? How could these situations be fixed or improved?
Assessment (10 minutes)
Use the following questions to assess the Students before and after the lesson. Tally the responses of the group in the Assessment Tracking Log for comparison:
- By a show of hands, do you think we could use all the water around us?
- Now that you know how important rain is to sustaining life for ourselves, our food production, and our animals, how many of you think we should take better care of our water sources?
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