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Turn off the tap - create a TV ad

About this lesson

Lights, camera, action! Students will star in their very own commercial about encouraging people to turn off dripping taps.

Year level: 1, 2

Theme: Water conservation

Learning objectives

Students can:
  • talk about ways to save water
  • give statistics about water wastage when taps are left running
  • use the information they have discovered to produce a TV advertisement.

Curriculum links



  • Identify a question of interest based on one categorical variable. Gather data relevant to the question ACMSP048


  • Engage in conversations and discussions, using active listening behaviours, showing interest, and contributing ideas, information and questions ACELY1656
  • Reread student's own texts and discuss possible changes to improve meaning, spelling and punctuation ACELY1662 


Things you will need

  • 1 litre containers
  • Computer and internet access
  • Video camera

Lesson description


  • How do we use water in school and at home?
  • How much water do you think comes from a dripping tap in 1 minute?
  • Why is it important to turn off dripping taps?

Watch The leaky faucet video (1:49).

  • Ask students if they have seen a dripping tap at home or school.   
  • Show the class the litre container and discuss other containers that hold 1 litre.
  • Ask them to predict how much water will come out of a dripping tap in 1 day and record their predictions on the board.

Play The dripping tap statistics video (0:44).

  • Ask students if they noticed how much water a dripping tap wastes.
  • Play the clip again and stop so you can note the statistics. Show the students 3 one litre containers. Explain this is how much water is wasted in a day.
  • As a class, work out how much would be wasted in 1 week and discuss how these figures compare to their earlier predictions.


  • Using these statistics students will create a TV advertisement that encourages people to turn off or fix dripping taps.
  • Firstly have some students act out an idea. Ask other students to suggest ideas to help or use a drama session to plan ideas (TV advertisements are no longer then 30 seconds long and need to grab attention but also be able to convey the message clearly).
  • As a class decide on the final idea for the advertisement and assign students various jobs. For example: actors, artists (design the backdrop), film crew, script writers, expert scientists and a director.

Reflect & summarise

  • Ask students to comment on what they learned, what they liked about the activity and what could be improved. Why?
  • Display students’ work in school and/or upload the video to our Brag About It section of our website. 

Extension activities

Teacher background information

Australia is one of the driest continents on Earth, yet we use more water per person than anyone else in the world! Australians use more than 1 million litres of freshwater per person each year. In an average Australian city, this means that the water we use every day, in and around our homes would fill the equivalent of 1,000 Olympic swimming pools!

Why conserve water?

Water is the planet's most precious resource. Without it no plant or animal can survive. In Australia, the world's driest inhabited continent, it is especially important that we conserve our water. Only 3% of the world’s water is fresh water (97% is held in oceans) and only 1% of this is available for humans needs. We need this 1% for our survival, our health and to grow our food.

By reducing our water use, we can ensure the sustainability of water supply for the future. At the same time, we will be saving money by delaying the development of expensive new supply sources, saving energy (e.g. by having shorter showers), and reducing the impact on the environment, which is even more important.

At school we can save water by:

  • turning off taps
  • reporting leaking taps to the school administration
  • washing paintbrushes in an ice-cream container instead of under the tap
  • using Waterwise gardening principles in the school garden
  • using water-efficient appliances: e.g. dual-flush toilets.

We can save water inside the home by:

  • turning off taps and checking for leaking taps
  • taking shorter showers
  • only half filling the bath
  • making sure washing machines and dishwashers are fully loaded before use
  • using water-efficient appliances: e.g. toilets, showers, washing machines.

We can save water outside the home by:

  • using a bucket of water instead of a hose to wash the car
  • using the correct sprinklers and timers
  • adjusting automatic reticulation systems according to the seasons
  • watering less frequently and at the right time
  • never watering when the wind is strong (to prevent evaporation)
  • using wise garden design.

Did you know?

A dripping tap that drips 10 times per minute leaks 14,400 drips a day, which is equal to about 3 litres of water a day.

Key vocabulary

  • Advertisement: A public promotion of some product or service
  • Conserve: To preserve or safeguard
  • Predict: A statement made about the future
  • Tap: Device for controlling the flow of liquid
  • Washer: The seal or valve used in taps to control the flow of water