The Water Made Me Sick

Scripture: Genesis 5-9

Learning Objectives:

  • Students will review the story of Noah and the Ark
  • Students will learn about waterborne illnesses
  • Students will learn ways to prevent waterborne illnesses

Guiding Question: How can I avoid getting sick from drinking water?

Materials: containers, water, coca, soap, rubber/latex gloves, watering can, diapers, sun screen

Procedure: Review the story of Noah and the Ark. Discuss with students why it would be important for Noah and his family to quickly find clean drinking water after they left the Ark. Show students a container of clear water. Ask them if they think they can get sick from drinking clear water. Teach/review the concepts of germs, parasites and microbes which are invisible without a microscope but can still make us very ill. If resources allow, show students germs, parasites and microbes under a microscope or from images on the internet. Giardia, E.coli, salmonella, Hepatitis A, cryptosporidium parvum and cyclospora cayetonensis are ones often causing water borne illnesses. Ask students how they think these contaminants get into the water. (Note: In some places tap water is safe to drink and in others it is not. Also remind students they can get water borne illnesses from drinking lake, river or ocean water – even by accident.) Coat students hands in cocoa. Tell students although they can see the cocoa, it represents the germs that can be not heir hands that they cannot see. Create an artificial “lake” in a container. Have students try to take their hands “swimming” without contaminating the water. Ask students if someone drank this “lake” water would they drink the germs represented by the cocoa. Have students experiment with various ways of preventing the cocoa “germs” from getting into the “lake”. (gloves, hand washing, sunscreen, diapers, etc.) Discuss the best ways to prevent the spread of water borne illnesses: wash hands with soap and water before handling food, after using the rest room, etc., try not to drink water in lakes, rivers, etc., do not go to the bathroom in water where people will be swimming, bathing, etc., alert lifeguards if a child goes to the bathroom in swimming water, do not go swimming when you have a gastrointestinal or other highly contagious illness.

Additional Question: What diseases can be spread by mosquitoes? (Mosquitoes breed in standing water)

Supplemental Activity: Have students research and assemble water borne illness prevention kits and distribute them in areas with a high number of cases of water borne illnesses. These kits could include anything from soap to mosquito netting.