Water detectives | Grade 2 | BCHydro Power Smart for Schools

Water detectives

Search for clues about how we use water at school and at home.

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20 mins


Put on your detective hats and think about all the ways we use water in our daily lives. After watching a slideshow, student detectives make observations at home to uncover clues about water use.


What you'll need

  • “Ways we use water” slideshow
  • “Water detectives” worksheet

  1. Start the activity with a drink of water. More than half our body is made up of water, we need it to survive and use it day daily in many ways. On their own, have students think of different ways they use water every day.
    • Share ideas as a class and make a list on the board.
  2. Show the “Ways we use water” slideshow to explore some ways we use water in our daily lives.
    • For each slide, show students the blurred picture and have them guess how water is being used. The following slide will reveal the answer.
  3. What do detectives and scientists have in common? They make observations and find answers in order to solve a question. Have students take the “Water detectives” worksheet home and observe and record ways they use water by writing or drawing a picture in each circle.  
  4. The next day, have the class share the results of their detective work. 
    • What surprised them? 
    • How do they use water at home and is it different from how they use it at school?

Modify or extend this activity

  • Go for a walk and have students make observations about ways we use in both in the school and in the community.

Curriculum Fit

Grade 2 Science 


  • Water conservation

Curricular competencies

Questioning and predicting
  • Observe objects and events in familiar contexts
Planning and conducting
  • Make and record observations
Processing and analyzing data and information
  • Identify simple patterns and connections
  • Compare observations with those of others
Applying and innovating
  • Transfer and apply learning to new situations

Teaching Notes

Water in our lives 

In British Columbia, we use about 300 litres of water per person per day (Statistics Canada, 2013). We use water every day to drink, flush our toilets, brush our teeth, run our baths, grow and cook our food, wash our dishes and clothes, and make our electricity. Our province has a lot of surface water in lakes and rivers, but despite this, only one per cent of water on Earth is readily accessible. When students understand how they use water, they can explore ways to reduce their water use. 

Ways we use water slideshow notes

  • Humans and all living things need water to live.
  • We use water in many ways in the bathroom including brushing teeth, washing hands, flushing the toilet, taking a bath or having a shower.
  • We use water to wash our dishes either in the sink or in a dishwasher.
  • We use water to cook pasta and vegetables, make rice and boil eggs.
  • We use water to wash our clothes.
  • We use water to wash the car.
  • Have you ever been to a swimming pool?
  • We use water to grow the food we eat.
  • We use water to generate most of the electricity in B.C.

When you think about it, it’s amazing how many different ways we depend on water in our daily lives.


  • Assess student participation and ability to compare observations in small group and class discussions.
  • Assess “Water detectives” worksheet for ability to make and record observations.


Select the materials you require for this activity or download all

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