Activity 1– Why is water essential for life?

In this unit pupils will focus on exploring the significance of water, both as a physical necessity for life and its spiritual significance in Christianity. They will consider their own relationship with water, what it is and why it is important.

They will investigate reasons why people in different parts of the world don’t have access to clean water and beliefs that can inspire others to act on their behalf.

Key Questions

What is water?

Why is it important?

What inspires people to help others who don’t have clean water?

How do beliefs influence action?

Learning Objectives

  • To consider the fact that human life and other life forms need water to survive.
  • To consider the ways in which humans need and use water.
  • To develop skills in questioning adults other than teachers.
  • To explore why water is in short supply in some places.

What is Water and why is it important?


Introduce the focus of the Water of Life enquiry.

  • What is Water and why is it important? See powerpoint ‘What is Water and why is it important? What is water and Why is it important?
  • Ask pupils in pairs to brain shower a definition of water and the reasons why they think water is important.
  • Make class list of water uses – school, home etc.
  • In what ways do we take water for granted? How much water do we think we use?
  • Compare a day, a week, a month at home or in school. Pupils could undertake a home or school survey of water useage.

Main activity

What might motivate people to help others to get clean water, toilets etc.?

  • Invite a speaker from Water Aid to lead an assembly or class-based activities to help pupils explore the importance of water to human beings.
  • Show ‘Water Aid resources for schools e.g.PDF Facts about water in Mozambique and Water Aid’s work there
  • Discuss with pupils the idea of having neighbours in other countries and what it might it look like to ‘love them?’

Refer to PowerPoint ‘What is Water and why it is important? What is water and why is it important?

How might a Christian believer interpret ‘Water of Life’ in relation to caring for others?

For example Christians believe that:

  • Jesus said the two greatest of God’s commandments are: Love the Lord your God with all your heart, and love your neighbour as yourself: see textual references e.g. Matthew’s Gospel 22 v 36 – 40
  • A Christian believer is motivated to love God and love others because of the depth of divine love for people expressed in Jesus life and death on the cross, and the way it opens a spiritual path from despair to hope, from death to life.


What inspires us to make a difference in other people’s lives?

Learning Outcomes

  • Talk simply about the concept of water and use words like ‘important’ ‘survival’ and ‘help’ to do so.
  • Respond for themselves to examples of people who don’t have enough water.
  • Identify the impact that not having access to clean water, has on a person’s life
  • Ask important questions about religion and beliefs, making links between their own and other’s responses.
  • Describe what inspires and influences themselves and others
  • Respond sensitively to some Christian NGO advertising campaigns motivating people to love their neighbours as themselves

Points to Note and Resources

Christians believe Jesus is real (not like the Disney heroes) and for 2,000 years many millions of people have been inspired by Jesus to give up good things in their lives in order to help others.

Useful Resources

Resources to support background concept that ‘God so loved the world that he gave his son Jesus to die for the sins of the world:

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