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Water in New Mexico Today
Grades 9-12

This learning module for teachers of grades 9-12 presents ideas for using local resources to learn about water in New Mexico. Students will actively research and investigate water-related issues in New Mexico through community-based education strategies. Activities will help students understand water quality, water quantity, and laws governing water rights in New Mexico. Students will also collect oral histories, analyze historic photographs, and review literature to interpret how water helps to define a sense of place in New Mexico.

This module provides teachers with approaches and perspectives about water in New Mexico by integrating science, language arts, arts, and social studies. Each activity is independent of the other activities. The length of each activity will vary from one class period to multiple class periods, depending on the extent of student involvement and interest.

This module has four parts:
Whose Water Is It? -- Study water rights, water quantity, and water quality in New Mexico today; assume roles of water interest groups; and develop a regional water plan.
Ask an Expert -- Conduct oral histories of individuals with knowledge of water in New Mexico.
Photos from the Past -- Analyze historic photographs related to water use in New Mexico.
A Sense of Place -- Review literature by authors working in New Mexico to interpret how water helps to define a sense of place.

Guiding Questions
Where is the water in New Mexico? How do we access it?
Who has rights to the water? How do we control the use of water?
What current issues are there in New Mexico involving water?
How does water help define a sense of place?

Social Studies
Content Standard 1: Benchmark A, D (9-12)
Content Standard 2: Benchmark A, B, C, D, E, F (9-12)
Content Standard 3: Benchmark D (9-12)
Content Standard 4: Benchmark A (9-12)

Strand III, Content Standard 1: Benchmark A (9-12)

Language Arts
Content Standard 1: Benchmark A, C, D (9-12)
Content Standard 2: Benchmark A, B, C (9-12)

Content Standard 1: Benchmark Dance A; Music A; Theater A; Visual Arts A (9-12)
Content Standard 2: Benchmark Music A; Theatre A (9-12)
Content Standard 3: Benchmark Theatre A, Visual Arts A (9-12)
Content Standard 4: Benchmark Visual Arts A (9-12)
Content Standard 6: Benchmark Visual Arts A, B (9-12)

Students will:
  • Explain and analyze how water is a scarce resource in New Mexico, both in quantity and quality.
  • Analyze how water issues relate to the social and political development of New Mexico.
  • Interpret perspectives of individuals, groups, and societies as they relate to water issues in New Mexico today.
  • Understand the geographic and demographic contexts for water use and allocation in New Mexico.
  • Analyze how water helps define the character and meaning of a place and is related to its economic, social, and cultural characteristics.


© Copyright 2004, Regents of New Mexico State University
This file was last updated Friday September 3, 2004