Under the Maple Canopy

Singing Union Songs Since 2009

Homeschool Planning aka The Toilet Unit

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The other day my not quite 6 year old was sitting at the table, eating dinner, when he paused, looked at me and asked, “Mommy, where does it go when you flush the toilet.”  I suggested that perhaps the dinner table was not quite the best place for the discussion, but in the short of it, to the wastewater treatment plant.  “Oh,” he replied.

Fast forward about an hour and in our discussions of our next school day I asked him if there was anything in particular that he wanted to do.  “I want to learn about toilets,” he suggests.  Ok.  This is when it dawns on me – there is likely an entire unit out there that would cover plenty of science and history just by learning about toilets – and related subjects.  Imagine my not so big surprise when I discovered that no one else out there has done the work for me.  I’ll have to come up with my very own lesson plans.  Yup…

So, in the interests of bridging in the gap, I thought I’d share what I’ve come up with.  The plan…as it were. I’d like to be able to touch on things like the sewage/wastewater treatment plant, septic tanks, humanure, toilets (and their history), and grey water.  I’m sure there will be a mechanical/engineering lesson as we learn just exactly how it is that the toilet works, how one fixes it, and the different toilets out there (possibly in the world?).  I’ve only just begun researching, but here’s what I’ve come up with so far.


Children’s Books

Flush!  The Scoop on Poop Through Out the Ages” by Charice Mericle Harper

Everyone Poops” by Taro Gomi (for my younger two)

The Truth About Poop” by Susan E. Goodman

Toilets, Bathtubs, Sinks, and Sewers: A History of the Bathroom” by Penny Colman

Wastewater (Dealing with Waste)” by Sally Morgan

Flush!: Treating Wastewater” by Karen Mueller Coombs

Adult Books

Goodbye to the Flush Toilet: Water-Saving Alternatives to Cesspools, Septic Tanks, and Sewers” by Carol Hupping Stoner

The Toilet Papers: Recycling Waste and Conserving Water” by  Sim Van der Ryn

What Did We Use Before Toilet Paper?:  200 Curious Questions and Intriguing Answers” by Andrew Thompson

The Big Necessity: The Unmentionable World of Human Waste and Why It Matters” by Rose George

Toilets of the World” by Morna E. Gregory

The Porcelain God: A Social History of the Toilet” by L. Julie Horn

Flushed:  How the Plumber Saved Civilization” by W. Hodding Carter


Big Red Hat’s How Do Toilets Work?


How does a toilet work?

Protecting the water supply

Water conservation for kids

Give Water a Hand


Water Conservation Around the House

EEK! – Do You Have a Blue Thumb?

Project Ideas

Collect pennies/family fundraising for clean water – Living Water International


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