Water is essential for a healthy body and mind.  Drinking water throughout the day can help to keep our bodies feeling energized, alert, and ready to work and learn.  Whether you are teaching in a virtual or hybrid environment, it is important to integrate water breaks into instruction to ensure that students are focused, engaged, and feeling great.  Here are some tips for increasing sips throughout the day for yourself and your students:

Water during the school day:

  • Make water accessible throughout the day:  Whether teaching virtually or in a hybrid setting, have students start the day with a filled, reusable water bottle and encourage students to take frequent sips to help keep their minds and bodies refreshed and ready to learn.
  • Sip and stretch breaks during transitions:  At the beginning of a new lesson, have students stand up and take a big sip of water before performing one or more physical activities, such as jumping jacks, toe touches, lunges, jogging in place, or dancing in place.
  • Toast to success:  Select a time each day to recognize students for their successes.  For example, recognize students who turned on their cameras during virtual lessons, students who participate in class, celebrate completing a unit in class, or to a job well done!

Teach lessons about water: 

  • Conduct an experiment to see how water is essential to all living things:  Remove 2 leaves of lettuce, basil, or other leafy plant.  Place one leaf in a small glass with water in the bottom and the other in an empty glass.  Have students observe for up to a week.  Ask them to make predictions about what will happen.  Compare how plants and people need water to stay healthy.
  • Demonstrate why water is the best choice:  Demonstrate to your students how much sugar is in common sugary drinks vs water.  Show nutrition facts labels of common sugary drinks, such as soft drinks, juice drinks, and energy drinks.  For each drink, use legos or building block to represent each gram of sugar in each drink.  Do this for several drinks and compare them to water.
  • Teach a lesson from Maryland SNAP-Ed’s Read for Health curriculum about drinking water:  Potter the Otter:  A Tale About Water.  If you do not have the book, watch this video.

Work with your colleagues to increase access to water and build school-wide support:

  • Water after physical activity:  Introduce a policy that requires water breaks after recess, physical education class, or any physical activity.
  • Increase access to water during meals:  Install water filling stations in the cafeteria or provide bottles of water with meals.
  • Offer water at special events:  Create a policy that requires that water is offered at special events or celebrations.

Communicate and participate: 

  • Add reusable water bottles to back to school lists.
  • Communicate your plans to increase access to water throughout the day.
  • Send home a parent newsletter to get parents on board :  Water is the Best Choice ,  Spanish
  • Be a water champion and drink water throughout the day with your students.  Share Sip’s Water Tips with parents and colleagues and encourage them to join you in modeling this healthy behavior.