Water Around the Planet

Developed by Shannon McLaughlin​, PCM Play Practicum 2023, Verizon Tech Enhanced 2023
(FOCUS: Grade 5, Invention Literacy, Design Thinking)

In this lesson, students will begin to think about Earth’s water. They will discover how much of Earth is made of water and that there are different types of water. They will then explore the deep ocean using Aurelia, the AR app which educators and parents can access for free via Verizon Innovative Learning HQ.

Materials to gather

  • Inflatable globe
  • Copy of article “Where is Water” from Elevate Science or a comparable article explaining the Hydrosphere and how it can be divided into 2 main sections (salt water/fresh water)
  • Youtube video “Water-water everywhere” by Crash Course science
  • 100 chart grid
  • two different colored pencils
  • Access to Aurelia AR app and tablets/chromebooks

Set Up

  • Students are grouped at tables of 4 or 5
  • Tablets should be checked for technology.

Student’s Job

Where is water located on Earth and how much of Earth is water?

  1. Introduce the inflatable globe and ask students to identify water on the globe.
  2. Explain to the students that we will be tossing the globe to each other and recording where our left thumb lands (land or water)
  3. As students pass the globe, the teacher will tally where the student’s finger has landed. Repeat 100 times (or 50 and double).
  4. Have students anaylze the data with their group and report findings (approximately 75% will be water). Ask students if that was surprising and why or why not.
  5. Watch youtube video Water Water Everywhere: Crash Course Kids #14.2 from Crash course science explaining water on Earth. Optional ~ read “Where is Water” from Elevate Science or another article.
  6. Discuss the video or article asking students to discuss fresh water/salt water.
  7. Pass out 100 grid and ask students to shade in 97.5 squares in one color to represent salt water and 2.5 squares in another color to represent fresh water. Discuss where fresh water might be hiding (glaciers, rocks, underground)
  8. Ask groups to answer “If Earth has so much water, why do people in some areas have none to drink?” Share out group ideas.
  9. Finish the lesson by asking students to think like a fish since they take up so much of our Earth!! Introduce Aurelia and allow students to explore the deep blue ocean.

Teacher’s Job

Standards Alignment

RICCSS – Rhode Island Common Core State Standards

5-ESS2-2: Describe and Graph the amounts and percentages of water and fresh water in various reservoirs to provide evidence about the distribution of water on Earth

Prepare/ Background Info

Students should be aware that the Earth has four sphere’s and be familiar with the water cycle.

Effective Facilitation Strategies

Allow students think time to process the data they have collected during throwing and coloring.

Play to Notice (Learning Framework)
  • Tossing the “Earth” and discussing where we land.
  • Coloring the grids and using the technology
Content Matter to Notice

Make note of ratio (land to water), note that fresh water cannot always be seen.


This lesson plan was created with support from Verizon Innovative Learning and NYU Tandon School of Engineering. For more learning standards-aligned lesson plans and access to free AR and VR edtech apps, visit Verizon Innovative Learning HQ

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