Victoria Rydberg-Nania, Sandy Benton, Ruth Ann Lee
Environmental Literacy and Sustainability, Environmental Science
Material Type:
Activity/Lab, Interactive
Upper Primary, Middle School
  • At Home
  • Backyard
  • Exploration
  • Hands-on
  • Self-directed
  • Water
  • Water Cycle
  • connect-explore-engage
  • earth day
  • earth-day
  • water
  • License:
    Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial Share Alike
    Media Formats:
    Interactive, Other

    Education Standards

    Investigating Water in My Backyard


    This inquiry is designed for supporting students' independent exploration of water outdoors as well as the use of computer interactives. 

    Invitation for Inquiry

    The student post with directions can be found here:

    Here are additional water resources from Project WET to support learning during the COVID-19 health emergency: 

    In Wisconsin, contact for training opportunities. 


    (View the complete activity here:

    Grab your Nature Notebook and head out the door.

    Take a walk around your home and yard. Here are some things to think about: 

    • What evidence of water do you see?
    • Where do you observe water interacting with things around your home or yard?
    • In what ways do land and water interact?
    • How have humans influenced the way water is moving?
    • What impact might these changes have on your immediate environment or surroundings?

    Examples of water you may find include: breath, clouds, puddles, snow, ice, condensation, etc. Look at your rain gutters, ditches, rain barrels, slope of lawn or patio, etc.

    Outdoor Exploration

    If appropriate, play with water outside. You’ll need access to a space where you can be creative and make a mess. Splash, make mud, pour water from above, experiment with floating objects, build with mud or wet sand, fill holes with water, etc. 

    Create a maze with natural items (twigs, mud, rocks, etc) and see how the water travels through the maze.  Create your maze on the ground or use a wash tub, dishes, etc. as your surface. Set it up on the lawn, patio, balcony, etc.

    Can you identify the different places water goes in nature and your neighborhood?  What causes the water to move? What can you do with your maze to change how the water moves?

    Record your water observations in your Nature Notebook along with the date, time, temperature, and weather. Now that you've become aware of water all around, notice as the forms of water change with the weather and seasons. 

    Reflection on Learning

    Describe to someone around you what is happening to the water.
    Make a phone call to someone and tell them what you learned.
    Guide a younger learner in a similar water exploration.
    Write a story about water.  Include a description of what conditions were necessary for water to move.
    Want to share your activity with a picture, drawing, story, or poem on the EEK! websiteEmail EEK