The DRY and About Drought projects have collaborated on creating resources that promote awareness of UK drought and awareness of positive water behaviours for children and teachers. These have been informed by research from the NERC Drought and Water Scarcity programme.
We have produced three sets of resources to support learning based on knowledge gained from the DRY project:
(1) The DRY Primary Book – DRY Diary of a Water Superhero – for Key Stage 2. Read how an ordinary schoolgirl in the UK transforms into a water superhero when a DRY summer is followed by a DRY winter. Join her as she shares her new found love of water with her family, school and community when the drought continues to progress into a second DRY summer.
The book, its concept and storyline were co-produced by Prof Lindsey McEwen, Luci Gorell Barnes, Dr Verity Jones, Sarah Whitehouse and Dr Sara Williams. Illustrations are by Luci Gorell Barnes.
The English version of the e-book is available here: https://issuu.com/uwebristol/docs/dry_the_diary_of_a_water_superhero
The Welsh version of the e-book is available here: https://issuu.com/uwebristol/docs/sych_dyddiadur_arwres_ddwr
In order to continue developing these resources, we would appreciate it if you could take a look at the resources and feedback your views on its impact in the class room through our online survey: https://tinyurl.com/tg3uoe2. It will only take 15 minutes to complete and will have a great impact on our future work. If you tweet, please share a photograph of the book being used in your school, using the #DRYPrimarybook.
(2) Teachers’ Notes which accompany the DRY Primary Book are available (in English) here. Natural Resources Wales have translated the Teachers’ notes and aligned them to the Welsh curriculum – available in Welsh here.
(3) The writing team is keen to promote the free online book: DRY: the diary of a water superhero. They have run a couple of webinars to introduce the DRY Primary book resource – one for ‘educators’ and another for ‘parents and carers’.
(4) The DRY and About Drought projects have involved collaboration with the Geographical Association to develop research-informed resources that promote awareness of UK drought among young people. This includes creative thinking about positive water behaviours at home and in school, and adaptation to future drought.
We have worked with educational developer, Gemma Mawdsley to develop six lesson plans and learning resources for Key Stages 3 and 4. The link to these resources will be posted shortly.
(5) Understanding ‘Hidden’ or ‘Embedded’ Water
When thinking about personal water use, it is important to differentiate between direct water use and use of ‘virtual’, hidden or ‘embedded’ water in the growing and processing of the food we eat, the clothes we wear, and the items we use in our daily lives. In the DRY project, we used this ‘hidden water’ quiz as a ‘conversation opener’ to engage children and adults about water behaviours – as a way in to talking about experiences of dryness and drought.
We found that this quiz was particularly popular with school teachers and those running scout and brownie groups.
Understanding the idea of ‘hidden water’ could be described as a ‘threshold concept’; when you ‘get it’, it enables different thinking and reflection about personal water use and its reduction. This can underpin personal decisions about what (and how much) to buy, eat, wear and use – and where these items are sourced.
The resources presented here are our adaptation of information on the ‘water footprints’ of different common products at: http://waterfootprint.org/en
See also Creative Collaborations