Tuesday, May 31 was the first day of the two week learning module of Downstream/Upstream. I constructed the giant map in the morning, next to the Pre-K room, and then the kids gathered around to hear about the project. I explained that "we're going on a treasure hunt!" The kids guessed what the treasure was, and figured out that the treasure was water. They were full of ideas as to why water is a treasure: "It makes the flowers grow," "It's good for trees," "the fish need it," "it's good to drink," "I like to swim in it," "without water we'd be dead..." were some of many answers.
I lifted the map flap of where their school is to reveal a closer aerial view of their building and then the next page showed the sink in the Pre-K room. I asked them where they think the water in that Pre-K sink comes from and they guessed, "the faucet, the lake, the ocean, the water tower." In a way, they are all right... I lifted the map flap upstream to reveal a closer aerial of the St.Paul Water intake and let them know we were going to go on a trip through the city to see the places where we get the water and how it gets to the sink.
I asked a similar question about where the water goes and got, "down the drain, into the tubes, into pipes, under the floor..." I lifted the map flap downstream at the Metropolitan Waste Water Treatment plant to show where the treated water returns to the Mississippi River.
The kids were eager to share their ideas about water and I am greatly looking forward to our time together.