This lesson helps young people understand why drinking water is important. An Interactive whiteboard lesson teaches facts about the body’s need for water and offers tips to help the youth to drink more water. Using actual healthy and dehydrated plants reinforces the message that all living things need water!
Here are some facts to share with the youth about the importance of water.
- Every part of your body needs water. In fact, water makes up 60 percent of body weight.
- Dehydration happens when there is not enough water in your body.
- Mild dehydration can cause headaches, nausea and fatigue (tiredness). You may need more water in hot temperatures or if you sweat a lot.
- If you’re getting enough water you’ll rarely feel thirsty. Your urine will also be clear or slightly yellow. Dark yellow urine is a sign of dehydration.
- There has been a significant rise in the intake of beverages with added sugars and excess calories on the market. Most are geared to entice children to consume. These added calorie beverages are contributing to overweight and obesity in our children.
- Drinking more water is one of the simplest things you can do to be healthier.
- Ask the young people if they think it would be a good idea to give small children, animals, or plants pop or a sports/energy drink? What would happen to them if they did? Possible answers include:
- wouldn’t grow normally
- may even die.
- Show young people the healthy and unhealthy plant. Point out the differences between the healthy watered plant and the unhealthy plant. Healthy plants are full of color and stand tall and firm. Unhealthy plants sag, lack bright color, look wilted or limp.
- What do you think may happen to our bodies if we stopped drinking mostly water and drank pop, fruit drinks, sports/energy drinks instead? Or if we simply stopped drinking much at all? The answers are the same as for animals, babies and plants, but may include more diseases, injuries, our organs not working right, headaches, not thinking as clearly, or extra weight. Drinks other than water have added ingredients that can get in the way of the water’s ability to do what it’s supposed to do for us.
Water is what human beings, animals and plants were meant to drink! Drinking water actually helps you stay healthy!
Activity: Getting Enough Water
Use the interactive whiteboard, if available, to guide the youth through the following questions in the lesson (see What You Need).
- What percentage of our bodies are made up of water? Correct answer: 60%
- Why do you think we need to drink water when our bodies already have so much of it? The answers may include the information listed in the introduction above.
- So, we know that water is good for us, but do we know why? Ask the youth what they think water actually does in the body, and which things it doesn’t do.
- Keeps our body temperatures normal
- Lubricates and cushions joints
- Makes your hair grow faster (false)
- Helps your kidneys work correctly
- Makes you sleepy (false)
- Protects your spinal cord
- Helps digestion
- Helps your body get rid of waste
- Helps you float better when you are swimming (false)
Ask young people for ideas or tips they have for drinking more water each day. Possible ideas include:
fill a reusable water bottle and take it with you when you go places
drink water and milk with every meal
drink a glass of water when you wake up in the morning
keep cold water in a pitcher in the fridge.
Continuing the Conversation
Hand out the Healthy Families Newsletter in English or Spanish, which also includes these tips, so that families can continue discussing the importance of drinking enough water at home.
Additional Instructor Resources
There Are Sneaky Sugars! – (Russian) – (Somali) – (Spanish)
Water: Meeting Your Daily Fluid Needs
Don’t wait until you are thirsty