How can we solve the water equity problem in Canada? (or BC, etc)
To hook students, the launch will involve a carefully chosen video on water equity in Canada. Students will then drink a pitcher of brown (coloured) water and discuss what emotions are evoked while they are drinking it. And why would we do this? Because too many Canadians have no access to fresh water. For the next week, we will embark on life under a ‘boil advisory’, asking students to drink, brush their teeth, and wash fruit/veggies all under water that has been boiled – try to live a day in the life. In class, students will spend the first week of research diving into the barriers, finances, and policies that are preventing a gross number of Canadians from living without fresh water. Through their research they will understand current and past situations, current and past solutions or aid, and which levels of government are involved in the tragic reality for many. Who is involved and why has this not been addressed when the rest of us have all that we need and more?
Lessons each week will touch on: water clarity and testing, provincial/national data research (interview with expert in the field); provincial and national policies that have caused the water equity issue, and the levels of government that are involved (interview with MLA); writing letters to our government representatives, form, editing, style, respect; analysis of the Calls to Action, and writing of their own group Plan of Action; peer editing of video/radio/skit scripts, with feedback and revision; possible visit from a Tsawwassen FN member; possible visit to Surrey Water Treatment Plant?
As groups, the students will collaborate to choose an area of BC under boil advisory to research. As ‘lobbyists’ for this remote area they will use their understanding to create a meaningful public service announcement which will be posted in the school newsletter and possibly to a class website on water equity (if time). These PSA’s will be designed to educate and bring awareness to Canadians who do not know what is possibly happening in their own backyard. To counter the ‘brown water’ beverage served during the Launch, groups will bring their newly created ‘yummy water beverage’ creation to share with the class, to enjoy as a celebration during the final class.
CONNECTIONS AND PERSPECTIVES:
This project teaches students to research properly, learn their voice as a citizen, and show compassion for all Canadians, which is a main goal of my classroom. It is my hope that this project will truly open the eyes of many to how ‘All things in Canada are NOT equal’ at this moment, and maybe how they can be part of major change in the near future.