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The Water Princess (Data Interpretation)

SUBJECTS Math, Science
GRADE LEVEL Senior (9-12)
PLEDGE 2 - Human Right to Water


  1. Note: Consider using The Water Princess Percentage Change lesson before this lesson.
  2. Read The Water Princess aloud to the class (or show the video reading).
  3. Ask students what percentage of the world they think has access to safely managed drinking water.
  4. Share the fact that “[w]hile the number of people lacking safely managed services has decreased significantly in recent years, 2 billion people still lacked access to safely managed drinking water services in 2020 (UN-Water, 2021)”. Ask students what percentage of the world population that is (~25%). Then ask whether they think this is better or worse than before.


  1. Using the slides, guide students in doing a first read of the graph (title, axes, legend) with the goal of simply understanding what information is being presented.
  2. Give students the student worksheet (either printed in hard copy or shared for digital completion). 
  3. Have students answer the data interpretation questions (individually, in pairs, or in groups).
  4. When students are done, check through the answers as a class and discuss surprises, challenges, further questions, etc.

Follow Up Activities:

  1. “If current trends persist, only 81% and 67% of the world’s population will have access to safely managed water and sanitation services, respectively, by 2030.” (WHO and UNICEF, 2021) Discuss whether this is good enough or not.
  2. Have students consider this reflection question: How can the way we choose to process data affect how it is interpreted by others? This could be a class discussion, a homework assignment, etc. (e.g. students must find data they have been exposed to through social media and think about it critically in terms of how it has been processed).