Activities and Lesson Plans

Every Drop Counts - Wildlife Needs Water, Too!

Texas Parks & Wildlife Magazine, July 2009

You may print Every Drop Counts children's pages from the Texas Parks & Wildlife Magazine. We hope you'll consider a subscription to our magazine. Be sure to check out the Texas Parks & Wildlife Magazine special offer for teachers. And please let us know your suggestions for future issues at:

Suggested Topics: systems, water cycles, watersheds, land use, sharing, decision making

Related 4th Grade TEKS:

Language Arts:
4.1 A, B, C: Listening, Speaking, Purposes: Listens Actively and Purposefully in a Variety of Settings
4.5 A,B,D,F: Listening, Speaking, Audiences : Speaks Clearly and Appropriately to Different Audiences for Different Purposes and Occasions 
4.9 E: Reading, Vocabulary Development : Acquires Extensive Vocabulary through Reading and Systematic Word Study
4.15 A, C: Writing, Purposes: Writes for Variety of Audiences and Purposes in Various Forms
Social Studies:
4.6 A: Geography : Uses Geographic Tools
4.9 A, C: Geography: Humans Adapt to and Modify their Environment
4.23 C, E: Social Studies Skills: Communicates in Written, Oral and Visual Forms
4.24 A: Social Studies Skills: Problem Solving and Decision Making
4.1 A, B: Scientific Processes: Conducts Field and Laboratory Investigations
4.2 A, B, C, D, E: Scientific Processes: Develops Abilities to do Scientific Inquiry in Field and Laboratory
4.3 C: Scientific Processes: Uses Critical Thinking and Scientific Problem Solving to Make Informed Decisions
4.5 A, B: Science Concepts: Parts Removed from Complex Systems
4.7 B: Science Concepts: Physical Properties of Matter
4.8 A: Science Concepts: Adaptations Increase Survival
4.10 B: Science Concepts: Past Events Affect Present and Future Events
4.11 C: Science Concepts: Natural World Includes Earth Materials and Objects in the Sky
4.3 A: Number, Operations and Quantitative Reasoning: Addition and Subtraction
4.13 C: Probability and Statistics: Solve Problems by Collecting, Organizing, Displaying and Interpreting Data
4.15 A: Underlying Processes and Mathematical Tools: Communicates about Math
4.16 A: Underlying Processes and Mathematical Tools: Uses Logical Reasoning

Discussion Questions

  • How do we depend on water:
    For food? For work? For play?
    At home? At school? At the park? At the store?
    How many ways do animals depend on water?
  • Discuss the meaning of the word "conserve" (wise use).
  • Of the examples in the magazine, what has the highest amount of water in it?
  • Which animal uses the sound of water to help defend itself?
  • Which animal can hold its breath for 30 minutes?
  • List three things you and your family would be willing to do to conserve water.
  • After reading the magazine, describe why you think the author titled it "Every Drop Counts"
  • How can we conserve water?


  • Look for water sources for wildlife around your neighborhood. How accessible is the water? How far from an animal's home would it be? Is it near a busy street? How clean or polluted is the water?
  • Try Bug Picking (a macroinvertebrate study) to get an idea of the water quality in a nearby stream.
  • Learn where your drinking water comes from. Learn about your watershed at Surf Your Watershed (EPA)
  • Act out Freddie the Fish.
  • Experiment with evaporation. Create a small puddle and time how long it takes to evaporate. Where did the water go? Discuss the water cycle.
  • Borrow a TPWD loaner trunk on wetlands or water. Visit a park or outdoor area for water experiments.
  • Advanced: Consider these water issues for discussions or special projects in your community.
  • Consider a service project to mark storm drains. What goes down storm drains goes right into streams and rivers. Have students remind adults that they should never pour oil or chemicals down storm drains.

Project WILD

Interesting Links for Further Research

Try the water games at the Texas Water Development Board's web site Water for Kids

Find out how much water does it take to grow a hamburger and more at the USGS Water Science for Schools web site.