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Aqua Words Relay Race

Water a bit cool, but fun

Use a timed sorting activity and review to explore different connections to water.


To learn why water is important to people and wildlife


  • Paper of different colors
  • Writing utensils
  • Scissors
  • Two bowls


30 minutes


Begin by asking each kid to write down the name of an object (e.g., shoe, flower, river) on a piece of paper. Collect all the papers and divide the group into two teams for a relay race. Redistribute the papers, giving one to each kid. Mark a starting line and place two containers 20–30 yards away, one marked “water” and one marked “no water.” Line the two teams up at the starting line. When you say “go,” the first kid from each team runs up and places their paper in the “water” or “no water” container. The “water” container is for objects that use, or are made with, water, either directly or indirectly. The “no water” container is for objects that are not connected somehow with water. Once the kid has deposited the paper where they think it should be, they return to their line to tag the next kid, and so on. The winning team is the team that sorts all their papers first. 

Gather the kids to discuss the sorting results. Go through the “water” container first, asking the kids if they agree with every object. Next, go through the “no water” pile and discuss how the objects do, in fact, use water either directly or indirectly. For example, a shoe is connected to water because the leather comes from a cow that drinks water and the shoe is made in a factory that uses water to run and cool its equipment. Do the first two or three and then encourage the kids to make the water connections.

This lesson plan is an activity from the Environmental Activities for Youth Clubs and Camps, a resource developed by the Peace Corps Office of Overseas Programming and Training (OPATS). It was contributed by Peace Corps/Armenia.