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The Story of Bottled Water (Math)

GRADE LEVEL Junior (4-6) / Intermediate (7-8)
PLEDGE 3 - Plastic Harm to Water

Resources Needed:

  1. Video: The Story of Bottled Water by The Story of Stuff
  2. Calculators
  3. Paper or computers


  1. Ask students:
    • Where do you think the idea of bottled water came from and why?
    • Do you have any idea of how much bottled water Canadians and Americans drink in a year?
  2. Tell students, We are now going to explore the math behind how much bottled water has been and will be consumed, 2010 -2021 and beyond. Have students make estimates of how many bottles of water they think have been (and will be) consumed by an average Canadian and/or American in a year.
  3. Take up as a class, recording estimates of bottled water usage on board to contrast with data presented in the video The Story of Bottled Water and Canadian statistics.


  1. Show the video, The Story of Bottled Water and then review the statistics with students.
  2. Show 2010 and most recent information on Canadian usage of bottled water, e.g., Disposable Water Bottles/, Conserving Water
  3. Have the students create a ‘Tabling Bottled Water’ chart that shows Canadian statistics from 2010, 2020 and projects future usage. (Suggested 4 columns: Canadian consumption 2010   2020    % increase/decrease rate   Prediction of consumption by 2030)

Follow Up Activities:

1. Using information from their own ‘Tabling Bottled Water’ charts and/or a collective class chart, challenge students to curate more quantitative statistics based on bottled water usage, or make qualitative estimates of the impact of bottled water usage, (e.g., increase of plastic in landfill).