Activity Introduction

Activity details: This is an activity in two parts: in the first part students observe a simple demonstration about water contamination, then in the second part of the activity students look at a drawing of a house and identify sources of water contamination.

Key lessons and understandings of activity: The aim of this activity is for students to begin to appreciate the role that we all can play in water contamination and the simple acts we can take to prevent it.

Australian Curriculum link:

Year 3 Science:

  • A change of state between solid and liquid can be caused by adding or removing heat (ACSSU046)
  • Heat can be produced in many ways and can move from one object to another (ACSSU049)

Year 4 Science:

  • Earth’s surface changes over time as a result of natural processes and human activity (ACSSU075)
  • Living things have life cycles (ACSSU072)

Syllabus OutcomesST2-12MW, ST2-6PW, ST2-10LW, ST2-8ES

Module: Water

Year levels: 3 & 4

Indoor or outdoor activity: Indoor

Duration of activity: 45 mins

Learning areas addressed: Science

Resources needed: Printed worksheets, water, glasses, various susbstances. 

Homework and extension opportunities: None.

Keywords: Water, contamination, households.


Cool Australia’s curriculum team continually reviews and refines our resources to be in line with changes to the Australian Curriculum.


Teacher Worksheet

Activity outline

In the first part of this activity students will observe a classroom demonstration around water pollution. In the second part they are provided with a cross-section of a house that highlights all the plumbing and entry points for water contamination and students must show how contaminants get into the household plumbing.

Tuning in activity

This activity requires the following:

  • 5 water glasses ¾ filled with clean water
  • 5 contaminants e.g. oil, paint, detergents, old medicines, dog poo, garden fertilizer

Drop one contaminant into each glass of water while explaining to students that this type of water pollution usually occurs in the home and can have a serious effect on our freshwater supplies, not to mention wildlife.

Leave the glasses of contaminated water in front of the class. Ask students to record their thoughts and responses to the demonstration.

Main activity

The aim of the next part of the activity is to encourage students to think about where water

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Student Worksheet

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