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Green Guardians


3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th


Science, Biology, English Language Arts, Mathematics

Resource Types

  • Activity - Classroom
  • Worksheet

Regional Focus



Google Docs

Gallon Challenge

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  • This activity challenges students to use just one gallon of water for everything they need in one day.
  • Students will have to think critically about their water use and consider what they most value when it comes to the water they use.
Teaching Tips


  • This worksheet is a simple way for students to think about natural resources and how much water is wasted.
  • Students will gain perspective regarding the myriad of ways we use water each day. 

Additional Prerequisites

  • Students should be familiar with the ways people use water.
  • In order to complete this worksheet independently, students will need to know how to measure volumes of liquid, add, and subtract.


  • This resource would be well suited for elementary science or math classes that are working on water conservation or adding and subtraction word problems.
  • This resource would be a great activity after discussing the ways people use water (bathing, drinking, cooking, flushing the toilet, agriculture, and more). 
  • After completing this activity, a great extension would be for students to come up with some action items that would reduce their water consumption. 
  • Have advanced students measure how much water comes out of their hose in one minute and then calculate the gallons of water used to water grass over a given surface area.
  • Have students find out how many gallons of water their toilets use each time they flush and then have them calculate the water savings of low-flow toilets over a given period of time.
Scientist Notes
This resource from Green Guardians is a worksheet for students to take on the "Gallon Challenge." Students are given only one gallon of water for the day and they are tasked with keeping an inventory of how they used their water. The second page is a reflective journal where students assess how they used their water and then think about the adequacy of one gallon and what activities are the most water intense. This activity is a great way to get students thinking about how they use water in their daily lives and how they can conserve. This activity gives students a real taste of water scarcity issues and is recommended for teaching.
  • College, Career, and Civic Life (C3) Standards
    • Dimension 4: Taking Informed Action
      • D4.8.6-8 Apply a range of deliberative and democratic procedures to make decisions and take action in their classrooms and schools, and in out-of-school civic contexts.
  • Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS)
    • ESS3: Earth and Human Activity
      • 5-ESS3-1 Obtain and combine information about ways individual communities use science ideas to protect the Earth’s resources and environment.
  • Common Core Math Standards (CCSS.MATH)
    • Measurement & Data (K-5)
      • CCSS.MATH.CONTENT.3.MD.A.2 Measure and estimate liquid volumes and masses of objects using standard units of grams (g), kilograms (kg), and liters (l). Add, subtract, multiply, or divide to solve one-step word problems involving masses or volumes that are given in the same units, e.g., by using drawings (such as a beaker with a measurement scale) to represent the problem.
    • Number & Operations in Base Ten (K-5)
      • CCSS.MATH.CONTENT.3.NBT.A.2 Fluently add and subtract within 1000 using strategies and algorithms based on place value, properties of operations, and/or the relationship between addition and subtraction.
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