Nature's water filter/background

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This lesson plan will demonstrate how the limited quantity of fresh water on earth is purified by the environment.


We will be creating a lesson plan for 6th and 7th graders explaining how water naturally filtered by the environment. We will have the children construct a water filter to purify pond water using a 2-liter soda® bottle, and different materials such as pebbles, kitty litter, clay, moss, cheese cloth, charcoal, potting soil, marbles, sand, and gravel. This experiment will be a contest to see which student receives the purest water. Students will also be asked to form a clear hypothesis about the materials they used for their filter and the order they used to layer these materials in the filter. They will also be asked to measure out a certain volume of water to pour into their filter and use a stop watch to record the amount of time it took for the water to filter through.

Initial Citations

Basic Ground Water Hydrology [Internet]. GWAC [cited 2009 Jan. 21] 7 p. Available from

Byron, N. 2007. Water Resources: An Introduction. Issues. 79: 4-8.

Ecosystem Services-Water Purification [Internet] Science Net Links; 2002 June [cited 2009 Jan. 21]. 4 p. Available from

Linden, K.G., Hazen, R. Water Treatment [Internet]. Access Science @ McGraw-Hill; 2008 [cited 2009 Jan. 22]. 5 p. Available from

Neisat, M., Vilar, M. 2000. How Water Runs. Science World. 14: 18-21.

Pons, L. 2006. Clean Waters and Agriculture: We Can Have It Both Ways. Agricultural Research. 54:12-15.

Water Filter Experiment [Internet] Aqua Ducks Water World [cited 2009 Jan. 21] 1 p. Available from