Finding Water

Scripture: Numbers 20

Learning Objectives:

  • Students will review how God took care of their needs by providing water from a rock.
  • Students will practice looking for signs to find water sources in the wilderness.
  • Students will learn which sources of water are healthier.

Guiding Question: How can we find a clean water source in the wilderness?

Materials: natural outdoor area OR clay and water to make a model

Procedure: Review how the Israelites became thirsty from traveling in the dessert. God had compassion and provided for their need even though Moses struck the rock rather than speaking to it. Discuss how to find good sources of water in the wilderness. Explain that running water is cleaner than still water because it prevents the growth of bacteria, fungus, and egg-laying bugs. Waterfalls and rivers are better sources than stagnant/ still water.

Discuss indicators of nearby water: moist soil (it can indicate nearby source or you can possibly keep digging to reveal more water), downhill near valley because water goes downhill, vegetation, and other living things that require water such as insects, animals. Look for animal tracks.

Take students on a short hike and look for signs of water. Have students identify if the water source is a more or less healthy source (ponds, puddles, soil are less healthy than springs and rivers.) If a natural outdoor area is not available, use a clay model. Create land with mountains and valleys pockets for water to settle. Pour water over the landscape. Let students describe how the water flows and settles. Students indicate what areas provide the best water. (Running downhill streams rather than settled ponds, valleys, etc.)

Additional Questions:

  • What are the symptoms of dehydration? Dry skin, mouth and lips, muscle weakness, dizziness, headache, brain fog.
  • What water sources are closest to you? How healthy are they?

Supplemental Activity: If a good water source is not available, teach students how to make a solar still. It will draw water from the soil using the sun. Dig a hole in the soil and place a cup (or other material for collecting water) in it. Use two rocks as anchors and stretch thin clear plastic over them so that it covers the hole and cup. Place a small rock in the middle of the plastic. It should be above the cup so that the water that condenses can drip down into it. The water that evaporates is pure because it works like rain water. In desperate situations, this can even be done with urine. Moisture evaporates and condenses on the plastic, then drips into the cup to drink.