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The Water Princess (Math)

SUBJECTS Math, Social Studies
GRADE LEVEL Primary (K-3) / Junior (4-6) / Intermediate (7-8)
PLEDGE 1 - Protection of Water, 2 - Human Right to Water

Resources Needed:

  1. The Water Princess by Susan Verde or Video: The Water Princess Read by Georgie Badiel
  2. Water Usage Info sheet of #of  litres a Canadian uses in one day.
  3. Counters for Primary students
  4. Bucket(s) to show approximately 8-10L
  5. For Junior/Intermediate students try Daily Water Use Lesson from River Rangers Water and Rivers Unit


  1. Read, The Water Princess aloud to the class (or show the video reading).
  2. Tell students, “Let’s think about how much water we each use everyday.”  Show the class a 1L container and ask, “If we were to measure how much water we use, using one of these containers, about how many of these containers do you estimate you would use in one normal day?” Collect the students’ estimates.


  1. On chart paper, brainstorm (as a class or in pairs) the different ways we use water in our everyday lives.
  2. Distribute the handout, “Water Usage Log” to each student, having them fill out the different ways they use water each day at school and at home (for Primary students, you may want to prefill these boxes and stick to only flushing, brushing and washing hands as the math will become too complicated).
  3. Tell students that over the next day, they must collect data on how they use water and how often by tallying their water usage. Begin collecting data at school.
  4. The next day, share the Water Usage Information Sheet and have students calculate how many litres of water they used for each activity (i.e., if a student flushed a toilet 5 times, they would put 30 in the final column – for early Primary students they can count out 6 counters for each flush, count the total, and write that in the last column.) For Primary students, you may want to tackle only one row/example a day.
  5. Have students reflect on the story, “The Water Princess,” asking them to compare how much water they use in one day and about how much water Gigi might carry each day for her whole family to use. If possible, show students the bucket(s) and compare with how many containers of water the students used for the activities on their log.
  6. Possible discussion questions:
    1. “Were you surprised at how much water is used when you ____ (flush, brush, etc.)? Think about how much water is used each day doing __ by your whole family?” Have students consider water usage that wasn’t even measured such as, laundry, food preparation, dish washing, etc. “Were you surprised at how little water Gigi’s family uses each day compared to yours? Do you think we need to use as much water as we do? Can you think of ways we could use less water?”
    2. Discuss the human right to water as well as our need to use water more responsibly.

Follow Up Activities:

  1. Brainstorm ways that students could use less water in their everyday lives.
  2. Try some of the other lessons for, “The Water Princess”:

Lesson: The Water Princess (Language)
Lesson: The Water Princess (Drama),
Lesson: The Water Princess (Phys. Ed.)