This inquiry-based, water-focused lesson integrates mathematics, environmental science, geography, Indigenous rights, language arts and social justice issues. It was designed to model how inquiry might look in the junior and intermediate grades. It is also an example of how to use mathematics to explore issues of social justice. This lesson has sparked inquiry with groups of teachers during PD as well as with junior and intermediate students in a variety of classrooms. Dr. Bev Caswell developed the lesson in response to the realization that a disproportionate number of First Nation communities experience boil water advisories when compared to the rest of Canada. It appears in the second edition of Natural Curiosity.
“Can you imagine parents, teachers, or the general public in major cities in Canada putting up with this in their schools for weeks let alone years on end?” Caswell says. “Why is there no public outrage on this pressing issue?”