To show the importance of water in our daily lives
by Jan Edmunds
Suitable for Key Stage 1
To show the importance of water in our daily lives.
Preparation and materials
- Find a shoebox and put into it a clear plastic bottle filled with water.
- You will need a blackboard or flip-chart. An OHP would be useful for the poem; this could be learned beforehand or simply read out by a group or individual. Alternatively it could be sung to the tune of 'Baa baa black sheep'.
- After point 7 you may wish to develop further discussion. There is another assembly on Water (see www.assemblies.org.uk/2002/sep02_water.html) or a search in our archive (www.assemblies.org.uk/search.php) will bring up several assemblies with a water theme.
- Hold up the shoebox. Tell the children that you have something very precious inside it. Invite one of them to come and open it. Ask them to hold up the bottle and ask the children to guess what is inside. Once established, ask them why the contents are so precious to us.
- Ask: how many times do we use water in our homes throughout the day from breakfast to bedtime? If time permits this could take the form of a brainstorm and the words suggested written down. These could be counted to emphasize the many uses of water. Ask the child helping to sit down.
- Emphasize the importance of water. All living things need it. Life could not exist without water. We have all looked out of the window at the pouring rain and grumbled because we couldn't go outside, especially if we were going out for a picnic or somewhere special and the weather prevented us from going. On such occasions we should try to remember that the rain is needed to fill the streams, rivers and reservoirs so that the precious water can be pumped to our homes. Think of the beauty of the rain as it sparkles on the trees after a shower and the fresh clean smell it brings as it cleans the earth.
- Listen to this poem/song. It can be sung to the tune of 'Baa baa black sheep':
Water to splash in, water for play
Water for washing things every day
Water to grow things to keep us alive
Water to drink so that we can survive.
- The first line says, 'Water to splash in, water for play'. Babies love to splash in their bath. We can have great fun in water when we paddle or swim. We can ride on the water in boats. Lots of games can be played in water. Everyone enjoys the seaside or a pool on a warm sunny day.
The second line says, 'Water for washing things every day'. We need water to keep our homes and ourselves clean. Water washes away dirt and germs and helps to prevent infection. It is important to wash our hands after we have been to the toilet and before we eat our food.
The third line says, 'Water to grow things to keep us alive'. Plants need water and sunshine in order to grow. The farmer needs the rain to help to water the crops. We need plants such as cereals, fruit and vegetables for food.
The fourth and last line says, 'Water to drink so that we can survive'. All forms of life - human beings, animals, birds, fish, insects, plants, trees and flowers - need water to stay alive. Nearly everything we drink starts as water and then different flavours are put into it. We can go without food much longer than we can manage without water.
- Point out that we also need to remember that water can be dangerous. We need to take care and behave sensibly when we go near rivers, ponds, swimming pools or the sea. That is why it is important for us to learn how to swim. Water can be dangerous when rivers flood, when it causes mudslides or when huge tidal waves are whipped up by the wind at sea. Then it can cause a great deal of damage.
- We are very fortunate that all we need to do is turn on the taps in our homes and we have a constant supply of water. This is not the same everywhere. In many countries people still have to fetch and carry their water from the river or a well. You may wish to develop this - see the note in Preparation and materials above.
- If time permits you could use the tune of 'A cold and frosty morning' to make up a song. This is very easy for the children to follow and they enjoy helping to suggest verses and actions, e.g.:
This is the way we wash our face, wash our face, wash our face.
This is the way we wash our face, when we're using water.
This is the way we clean our teeth, etc.
This is the way we water the plants, etc.
This is the way we row a boat … when we're riding on water.
This is the way we splash and swim … when we're playing in water.
This is the way we turn on the tap … when we want some water.
Time for reflection
God made a promise: 'I will give the rain in season that thou mayest gather in thy food' (Deuteronomy 11.14).
We thank you for the precious gift of water.
Teach us to use it wisely and not be wasteful with it.
Help us to be aware of its importance in our daily lives,
and know that without it we could not survive.
Think about all we have heard today about water.
Why is water so important for life on earth? (pause)
Why is water so important in my life? (pause)
Why should we be careful with our precious water? (pause)
'Water of life' (Come and Praise, 2)