Skip to main content
  • Lesson Plan
    • Subject: Environment 
    • Driving Question: What is the importance of rainwater harvesting? 
    • Pedagogical Method: Project-Based Learning/ 5Es
    • Grade Level: 7/8/9
    • Duration: 5/6 hours 
    • Delivery Method: Blended 
  • Not available unless: You are logged in and your Email address is not empty

    Worksheet 1
    Worksheet 1-
    Answer Sheet
    Worksheet 2
    Worksheet 2-
    Answer Sheet
    Article: Advantages
     & Disadvantages
    of Dams

  • ● Materials: laptops/tablets/Mobile phones
    Also find attached the necessary resources in the Files section
  • By the end of this unit, students will be able to: 

    •  identify rainwater as a valuable source of water
    •  identify ways to harvest rainwater 

  • In this phase, students will be engaged in activities that aim to activate their prior knowledge and inspire them to explore the world around them. Encourage them to be curious and ask meaningful questions!

    Project Introduction

    Rain, snow, and other forms of precipitation affect every part of life on Earth. Rain falls on the crops we eat and fills the reservoirs of water we drink. It is also an integral part of everyday weather and long- term climate trends.
    In many parts of the world, rain is the only source of water for both drinking water and agriculture. Rain also recharges ground water aquifers, and spring snowmelt replenishes rivers and streams for the summer. Having too much or too little water often results in natural disasters for populations around the world, where tropical cyclones, floods, droughts, and landslides can wreak havoc on local communities.
    Rainwater Harvesting, abbreviated as RWH, is defined as the process of concentrating, collecting and storing water for different uses at a later time in the same area or in another area. RWH is based on the premise that rainwater should be first used to meet the water needs of the local area where it falls, otherwise the rainwater leaving an area is regarded as wasted water.

    Water can also be made available by damming a natural rainwater catchment area, such as a valley, and storing the water in the reservoir formed by the dam, or diverting it to another reservoir.

    In this unit, students will be engaged in activities that will lead them to:
    o    identify the effect of evaporation on the reservoir water.
    o    determine the needs for and advantages of dams and reservoirs
    o    determine the disadvantages of dams and reservoirs.
    o    indicate the methods and importance of rainwater harvesting.
    o    design a rain harvesting system at their school.
    o    list the engineering solutions to decrease the environmental impacts of dams.

  • In this phase, students will explore their surroundings and collect data. They will engage in research-based learning and carry out personal investigations to develop a deeper understanding of the discussed topic.

    This phase consists of three parts: Observation, Research and Discussion.


    NASA stands for National Aeronautics and Space Administration. NASA is a U.S. government agency that is responsible for research in science and technology related to air and space.

    NASA’s Global Precipitation Measurement Mission (GPM) uses satellites to measure Earth rain and snowfall for the benefit of mankind.
    Specifically, GPM provides advanced, frequent precipitation measurements on regional and global scales, which allows for a better understanding of precipitation systems that affect water cycle and freshwater availability. GPM measures light rain to heavy rain and falling snow, producing a near-global view of precipitation every 30 minutes.

    Part One:

    Students access the following links to observe the measurement of the Earth Precipitation 

     and Cloud Fraction & Total Rainfall provided by NASA’s GPM.                                                      

    Part Two:

    The Global Precipitation Measurement (GPM) mission has several cross-cutting application areas. Students acess the following links to discover how these application areas contribute to and enhance their understanding of weather forecastingdisastersecologywater and agriculture and energy.

    • Have students working in five groups, each studying an area of application.
    • Ask students to fill in Exploration Worksheet 1 by answering the questions related to part one and part two.

     II.  Research-Based Learning

    Part One

    “A dam is a structure built across a river or a stream to hold back water. Man-made dams create artificial lakes called reservoirs that can be used to store water for farming, industry and household use. The ancient Mesopotamians may have been some of the first humans to build dams. The oldest known dam is the Jawa Dam, built in the fourth century B.C.E., located in present-day Jordan”.


    In order to expand their knowledge about reservoirs in general as well as reservoirs in Lebanon, it is assigned that students search the web to conduct a research which answers the following questions:
    1-What is the brief history of dams and reservoirs?
    2-Why do people build dams and reservoirs?
    3-What is the largest reservoir in the world?
    4-What are the advantages of dams and reservoirs?
    5- What are the disadvantages of dams and reservoirs?
    6-Why is evaporation important to engineers who are planning a dam and reservoir?
    7-How many water reservoirs are there in Lebanon? List their names, their location, uses, types and environmental benefits for the surrounding areas.

    Students may work in pairs. Following are suggested links providing some useful resources of information about litani riverwater infrastructure and dams. There is also an article about advantages and disadvantages of dams and reservoirs.

     Part Two

    Do dams always last forever?
    Do all dams have the same capacity of water storage?
    In this part students investigate the success or failure of some of the largest dams throughout the world.
    Ask students to complete Exploration Worksheet 2.


    o    Group discussion

    Ask students to discuss the results of their research in groups and organize their findings in the form of tables/graphs/circular diagrams on a copybook or a saved word document.

     o    Class discussion

    Involve the class in a lively discussion during which all the students can share their ideas, give their opinions and ask questions.
    Students are encouraged to discuss the following ideas:
    -facts about reservoirs in different countries.
    -facts about the water reservoirs in Lebanon.
    -environmental impact of water reservoirs.
    -effect of evaporation on the reservoir behind a dam and why engineers must consider evaporation in their designs of dams.
    -importance of precipitation data (rainfall in particular) for reservoir construction.

  • In this phase, students will identify more linkages among the discussed concepts as they engage in a set of interactive activities. These activities aim to help them sum up all the learning that they have constructed in the previous phases. E-learning is based on discovery, play and instant feedback.

    Interactive Digital Activities

    • Ask students to go to the E-learn section of the unit titled “Rainwater Harvesting” on Tabshoura Plus Platform.
    • Encourage students to be autonomous learners and have them e-learn autonomously on the platform.
    • At the end of the E-Learn phase, foster a whole-class discussion to ensure that all the students have well understood the concepts included in the interactive activities. You may resolve one of the exercises with the whole class to emphasize a particular concept or skill.

    After exploring the information about dams and reservoirs, students will tackle different activities in the E-Learn phase. This phase aims to educate students on the importance of dams and reservoirs as well as their impact on the environment. The E-Learn includes four learning objectives.

  • In this phase, students will perform hands-on activities. They will plan and apply their constructed knowledge. Faced with a new real-life situation, they will get to develop new skills and a more in-depth understanding of the topic under study.

    Individual Work

    Dams are not everlasting. The hot and cold weather makes them crack. Also water erodes their foundations. Consequently, they create environmental problems. Eventually, every dam must be repaired, removed, or replaced.

    Let each student play the role of a consulting dam engineer, and today, four dams need their attention. S/he is challenged to advise the dam owners whether their dams must be repaired, taken down, or simply left alone.

    Each student would access the dam challenge and consider the problems caused by each of the four different types of dams included in the challenge.

    Then, a class discussion is held during which the students are asked to answer the following questions:
    1.Was the solution you selected the same as that proposed in the dam challenge?

    2.Do you agree on the solution proposed in the dam challenge? Explain your answer.

    Group Work

    Design a Simple Rainwater Harvesting system
    “Rainwater harvesting system, also called rainwater collection system or rainwater catchment system, technology that collects and stores rainwater for human use. Rainwater harvesting systems range from simple rain barrels to more elaborate structures with pumps, tanks, and purification systems. The non-potable water can be used to irrigate landscaping, flush toilets, wash cars, or launder clothes, and it can even be purified for human consumption”.

    A Task To Be Performed
    After exploring the information about rainwater harvesting in the reservoirs of dams, tell students that it is their turn now to design a model of a simple rainwater harvesting system in their school!
    To fulfill this task, students have to answer the following questions:

    1-Does your school have a rainwater harvesting system?
    2-Why is rainwater harvesting important to the school?
    3-Where do you think the rainwater reservoir should be built? Explain.
    4-What is the estimated amount of rainwater to be collected?
    5-How can the collected rainwater be used to save water from other sources at school?

    Once students are done, each group can construct their model to be implemented in school (if possible) or they can present their work. Encourage them to feel free to select the way to display their work: poster-report-podcast-video-powerpoint presentation- cartoon strip- other.

    Students can access the link to get more ideas about designing the cheapest Rain Barrel (that works better than most).                    

  • In this phase, students will evaluate their work through self-assessment and peer assessment. They will also reflect on their learning, express their opinion and support their claims with the data that they have collected throughout this project.

    Reflection on the Learning Journey

    Students will use the Evaluation Worksheet.

    “Reflection Cards”
    Students reflect on the learning experience and the newly acquired concepts by designing a “Reflection Card” for each of the questions below:
    1.    How efficient was your model to collect rain water in your school?
    2.    Are there modifications you can do to improve your model?
    3.    What were some of the most challenging steps of planning your model? What made them so?
    4.    What do you think should be done to carry this learning experience and collaborative work to a wider level and extend the concept of saving rain water throughout your country?

    Ask students to present their ideas in the form of a paragraph on each card on the evaluation sheet, and support their ideas with drawings or concept maps whenever needed.

  • 1 URL