Oh, No! A World Without Water


The teacher will introduce the concept of water as being essential for life. Students will then research five national sites. Students will take a virtual visit to the sites and then illustrate a "With and Without Water" scenario for a chosen national site.

Coin Type(s)

  • Quarter

Coin Program(s)

  • America the Beautiful Quarters


Students will demonstrate an understanding of water as being essential for life.

Major Subject Area Connections

  • Science

Minor/supporting Subject Area Connections

  • Language Arts
  • Technology


  • K
  • 1st

Class Time

  • Sessions: Two
  • Session Length: 20-30 minutes
  • Total Length: 46-90 minutes


  • Whole group
  • Individual work

Terms and Concepts

  • Conservation
  • Uses of water
  • National sites
  • Essential for life


  • "Life Without Water" worksheet (1 per student)
  • 1 class map of the United States
  • Images of five quarters showing national sites
  • 1 copy of an age-appropriate text that gives information about water, such as:
    • Why Should I Save Water by Jen Green
    • Water, Water Everywhere by Mark J. Rauzon and Cynthia Overbeck Bix
    • A Drop Around the World by Barbara Shaw Mckinney and Michael S. Maydak
  • Chart paper
  • Writing materials
  • Digital drawing software program
  • Computer access


  • Make copies of necessary materials.
  • Bookmark Web sites to guide students to exactly where you want them to research, such as:
  • Fill in a sample on the "Life Without Water" worksheet ahead of time.
  • Create a template on the software program you will be using to help students complete the "With and Without Water" illustration.
  • Make sure to model for the students how to create a "With and Without Water" picture.


Oh, No! A World Without Water Project Guide

Lesson Steps

  1. Read the chosen text on water to the students.  Create a class list based on the text of the importance of water and the forms of life that need water to survive.  Discuss with the students what their lives would be like if they did not have water and how it would be different from their lives with water.  Model completing the "With and Without Water" illustration based on the ideas discussed.
  2. Describe the America the Beautiful Quarters® Program for background information.  The program is described at www.usmint.gov/mint_programs/atb/.  Tell the students that the back of a coin is called the reverse, and "obverse" is another name for the front.
  3. Examine with the students five quarter designs.  Locate each of the sites on a class map.  Note their position in relation to your school's location.  Answer any student questions.  Demonstrate from the Web site how to explore the images of the national sites, using your own state as an example.
  4. Introduce the students to the "Life Without Water" worksheet.  Explain to them that they are to choose at least three things from a national site that would be affected if there were no water there.  Allow them time on the computer to research one of the featured sites.  Have the students record their findings on the worksheet.
  5. Have the students complete the "With and Without Water" project using their "Life Without Water" worksheets and the illustration (on a digital drawing software program if available).  Have them present the illustrations to the class.

Differentiated Learning Options

  • Allow students to work in pairs.
  • Allow students to use a scribe to label their worksheets.
  • Allow students to use a template to complete the project.


  • Take anecdotal notes about the students' participation in class discussions.
  • Use the students' worksheets and projects to evaluate whether they have met the lesson objectives.

Common Core Standards

This lesson plan is not associated with any Common Core Standards.

National Standards

Discipline: Science
Domain: K-4 Content Standards
Cluster: Science in Personal and Social Perspectives
Grade(s): Grades K–4

  • Personal health
  • Characteristics and changes in populations
  • Types of resources
  • Changes in environments
  • Science and technology in local challenges