Thursday, August 25, 2016

Water/Ways Educator Resources

Are you an educator in need of lesson plans related to one of our most vital natural resources—water—or, perhaps, just a citizen who would like to explore the subject in more depth? If your home is Minnesota, you should plan to visit one of the six host sites of the Smithsonian’s Water/Ways exhibit touring the state in partnership with the Minnesota Humanities Center. We encourage all Minnesotans, including educators and their students, to explore this national look at water as well as the local, companion exhibits created by each host site – We Are Water MN. For a list of dates and host sites visit

If, however, you can’t make the trip to visit one of the exhibit host sites, you will be happy to know that the Humanities Center, in conjunction with its statewide Water/Ways partners, has created several free resources. These free resources not only provide additional background information, but also include lesson planning suggestions and teaching guides, which are designed specifically for upper elementary through middle school ages and relate to these unique water-focused exhibits and planned activities. There are four resources available on the Humanities Center’s website, as well as links to materials created by some of our partners:

One Drop:  This is designed to help participants/students learn about pollution through scientific method and better understand water as a finite resource.

Water Journeys:  This resource will help participants/students learn more about relationships with water through a Dakota creation story as well as their own personal stories.

We Are Water:  Participants/students will learn about point of view and about absent narratives – those water-related stories that have been left out of the usual, mainstream narratives.

Community Stewardship Activity:  This resource, aimed squarely at educators and their students, shows them how to put their learning into action by hosting a water fair.

For additional resources, you can explore our Absent Narratives Resource Collection. Using that search term "water," you will locate other resources related to the We Are Water MN tour—such as downloadable audio recordings of water stories shared by a variety of Minnesotans—and will have chance to explore other water-related documents and videos, including several episodes of tpt’s Minnesota Original series that showcase a specific artist’s perspectives on water.

We hope you enjoy your water journeys – wherever they take you – and let the stories and information brought to light by Water/Ways and its resources continue flowing into and through your life!

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