World Water Day Lesson Plan

Share with your students the importance of safeguarding water supplies and advocating for sustainable management of freshwater resources .

Credit: Public Domain [NASA/JPL-Caltech]


Connects to the UN Sustainable Development Goals # 6 and #14.


Students watch the following films about communities coming together to protect water and their leaders before considering the discussion questions.

This can be a whole class activity or assign small groups of students a film to watch and use one of the suggested class activities for students to share what they learned.


Films About Heroes Who Worked to Protect Water Sources Within Their Own Communities

Mni Wikoni ~ Water is Life

Produced by:Charles McMahon

Shot over 5 days as 300 tribes from around the world came to support the the Standing Rock Sioux in their resistance to the Dakota Access Pipeline.

Deep Bonds: People of The Mattaponi

Producer: Jason Harwell, Jesse Bogue, Ben Franz

The remaining Mattaponi Native American tribe live as a village of sustainable fisherman, fight a proposed reservoir that could threaten their way of life, bringing salt water into their river and destroying their fish population.


Troubled Water

Producer: Will Parrinello

Farmers come together to fight against mineral mining companies who are threatening their water sources.

Water Song

Producer: Mill Valley Film Group/Will Parrinello

Máxima Acuña, a subsistence farmer in Peru’s northern highlands, stood up to Newmont Mining Corporation!

Short film demonstrating how these students in Sierra Leone get water. 

Water Crisis in our community

By: Abdulai Bangura

Films About Heroes Who Work to Protect the Oceans and Marine Life Living There

Looking After Our Environment: James Price Point

Produced by:Mark Pearce
Mark Jones speaks out against a gas development complex that spells doomsday for some species living around James Price Point.

Water Is Sacred

Produced by:Mentors: Tiana and Wakinyan LaPointe
2020 MHIFF Ocean Conservation Award student winner: When we pray with water, it helps our bodies and the earth, and we say Wopila Tanka (Immeasurable Thanks) for its medicine.


Avery Bazan
A collaboration between Oceans Unmanned and DJI utilizing drones to help entangled humpback whales.

Examples of Young People Making a Postitive Difference in Their Own Communities


Students are encouraged to watch the following film, The Last Straw, to learn about one boy's efforts to lessen pollution and decrease the use of fossil fuels in order to protect waterways. 

Call to Action: What can you do to decrease the use of straws in your home, school and community?


The Last Straw

Lynne Cherry

Nine-year-old Milo Cress is concerned about the millions of straws that pollute waterways, waste fossil-fuel resource and harm ocean creatures. With the help of some friends, he convinces restaurants to “go straw-free”.


Students read the following story about Trash Heroes, an international volunteer organization of youth who work to clean and prevent plastic waste in their communities. 

Call to Action: Students are encouraged to work together to clean areas of their community and prevent plastic waste.


Trash Heroes

By: Elias Amador
Trash Heroes is an international, volunteer-led organization that mobilizes youth in over 12 countries to clean and prevent plastic waste in their communities.


Students Read these Stories of Present-Day Water Conservation Heroes, and One from the Past and Consider the Discussion Questions and Activity.


Robert F. Kennedy Jr.

By: Wendy Jewell

Robert F. Kennedy Jr. is an eco-warrior defending the earth for future generations.

J.N. (Ding) Darling

By: Lauren from Charlotte

J.N. (Ding) Darling was a conservationist and cartoonist who used his art to raise awareness about the environment.

Alexandra Cousteau

By: Mina Al Saddawi
Alexandra Cousteau is a visionary and trailblazer who pushes the boundaries of discovery, adventure, and global problem solving.

Sylvia Earle

By: Edward Ortiz
"The key is to see ourselves as a part of the natural systems that support us."

Stories With Text and Audio Allowing Students to Listen and Read Along

Jon Rose

By: David Kelly
Jon Rose founded Waves for Water, which works on the front-line to provide clean water.

Fin Donnelly

By: Jenny Kim

Fin Donnelly swims to raise awareness of water pollution and is now a member of Canada's House of Commons.


Discussion Questions

1. How has each of the people featured in the films and stories raised awareness about the environment, especially the need to conserve and protect Earth's water?

2. Why is it so important to protect and conserve Earth's water? 

3. How does pollution affect climate change and sustainable water sources? 

4. What can you do? Create an action plan, get others involved and share your story with MY HERO. 



Water is Life

By: The Art Miles Mural Project

Environment - Life in the Clean Water and Air

By: Yasutomikita Elementary School in Japan and W.H. Day Elementary School in Ca...


By: David Basasira of Uganda


By: Anu Monisha

Learning Outcomes

Students will develop an understanding of the importance of safeguarding the earth's water. By learning about the efforts of activists working to protect the water in their communities, students are encouraged to come up with an action plan that will have a positive impact on protecting sustainable water sources. The film, The Last Straw, demonstrates that young people can make a difference.



Background About World Water Day

The UN General Assembly designated March 22, 1993 as the first World Water Day to focus attention on the importance of freshwater and advocating for the sustainable management of freshwater resources.

The theme for 2021 is "Valuing Water" - water has enormous and complex value for our households, food, culture, health, education, economics and the integrity of our natural environment.

SDG 6 is to ensure water and sanitation for all.  

SDG 14 is to conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources.



Laura Nietzer

The World Water Day lesson plan was curated by MY HERO Education Outreach Director Laura Nietzer.

Students can share their Hero Essays, Films and Art through our Create Program

Outstanding essays submitted to MY HERO will be considered for a certificate/t-shirt prize or be featured on the Story Homepage.

Submit your artwork to be entered in the MY HERO art contest or to be exhibited on our Gallery Homepage.

Students can submit their films for free with a waiver to the MY HERO International Film Festival.

MY HERO Multimedia Related Content

SDG #6: Clean Water and Sanitation Multimedia Resources
Credit: UN
SDG #14: Life Below Water Multimedia Resources
Credit: UN

MY HERO Calendars for use in the Classroom

MY HERO's Teachers Calendar Features Lesson Plans and Multimedia Resources

Teachers Calendar
Credit: MY HERO

Learn about a New Hero Every Day of the Year: Use the MY HERO Calendar in the Classroom


World Water Day Website
Credit: World Water Day
International Decade for Action on Water for Sustainable Development
Credit: UN

Global Women's Water Initiative
Credit: Global Women's Water Initiative
Credit: water.org

Organizer created on 2/13/2020 11:51:11 AM by Laura Nietzer

Last edited 1/2/2024 4:42:25 PM by Laura Nietzer