Preparing the class for Danny the Drip

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Danny the Drip Teacher Notes


Clear container of water (aquarium)

Stick or Spoon for stirring

The Story Text

Pollution (See:‘Pollution Preparation Notes’)

Lined Rubbish Bin

Cleanup Cloth

Rubber Gloves

Danny the Drip story pictures
Preparing the class for Danny the Drip
Begin by introducing students to water catchment areas and pollution:

1. Display the “WATER Learning and Living” poster or a map of your local catchment and explore the definition of a catchment: An area of land that catches water and drains it to the lowest point; usually a creek, river or ocean.

2. Ask students to name things we will find in the local catchment. List these as either; NATURAL such as plants, animals, hills and creeks or ARTIFICIAL /HUMAN-MADE such as buildings, roads, cars and boats.

3. Explain that rain travels across or past all these things on its way to the river; some things may become pollution as they get washed along with the rain water.

4. Organise students to bring in pollution for the story (refer to the accompanying pollution preparation notes)
The Danny the Drip Session Outline

Step 1 Interactive Story Telling

1. Students sit with their container of pollution in front of them. (Don’t shake or open)

2. A clear container of water is placed at the front of the class.

3. Before reading the story instruct students to; remember each type of pollutant mentioned in the Danny the Drips Story, take note of how it gets into the river and think of ways it can be prevented.

4. As each pollutant is mentioned the student(s), who have that pollutant in their canister, are invited to come out to the front and pour it into the container of water. (Stand to the side so that everyone can see the water, stir if necessary)

Step 2 Follow up discussion

1. Why was Danny so sad at the end of the journey?

2. Whole class recounts Danny the Drip’s journey.

3. Create a list of the different pollutants mentioned in the story?

4. For each type of pollution answer the following;

�� Where does it come from?

�� What problems might it cause to the river environment?

�� What can be done to prevent it?

5. Give students an opportunity to ask questions about the story.

Step 3 Clean Up

1. Ask students to think of the best way to dispose of the polluted water and the containers used to collect pollution.

2. Use rubber gloves or a sieve to remove solid waste and sort into rubbish or compost.

3. Pour liquid onto the garden.

4. Wash then reuse or recycle jars and film canisters.

Extension ideas:

  • You could use the Danny the Drip Picture Series as you tell the story and stick them on the board. Start the lesson by drawing a catchment on the board (include hills, creeks flowing into a river and then wind this river through a town or city and then out to the sea). As you read through the story and mention each kind of pollution stick each picture with blue tack onto the board in an appropriate place in the hills or in the city etc). At the end of the story ask students to think of ways that we can stop each of the kinds of pollution from entering waterways.

  • Develop your own class Danny the Drip story. Ask each student to prepare a page describing how their kind of pollution entered the river.

  • Plan a group activity for ’World Environment Day’, ’Clean Up Australia Day’ or ’National Water Week’ to help clean up pollution in the local area.

  • Demonstrate the importance of water to all living things using a variety of media e.g. posters, plays, models.

  • Create a poster or PowerPoint presentation illustrating the journey of water from rain to households and then to rivers and seas.

  • Find out how you can get involved in groups working to improve water catchment health in your local area.

  • Use dance and music to tell the story of human impact on catchment water quality.

  • What might fast food packaging look like in the future? Design your own.

  • Make daily/weekly observations of your school yard to record the types and amounts of litter. Represent your results visually and share them with other classes.

  • Use brainstorming and group techniques to generate pollution solutions then create a Top 10 list of actions to reduce water pollution.

  • Share pollution solutions with the school community through a poster display.

  • Create role plays to explore different views on who is responsible for pollution.

  • Create your own catchment care performance to explain water catchment and pollution solutions to others.

  • ’If I had a Waterwatch Magic Wand.’ Present/create a story to describe what changes you would make to improve water quality in your catchment.

  • Draw the kinds of things people do that impact on water quality.

  • Design a ’Waste Coat’ using materials you would find floating in the river.

Danny the Drip – The Story

This is the story of Danny the Drip, a drop of water- and his journey down a very special river, the Torrens River, all the way to the ocean.

Along the way Danny sees many things which pollute the river and it makes him angry.

Will you remember all the things that happen?


Danny the Drip journey starts his journey as a tiny drop of water that falls from the sky when it rains.


As Danny lands with a thud, he realises that he has reached the land.

Danny falls in a small town way up in the hills where the rain runs off the slopes and hills and into the river.

Up here, the river is small, like a creek, and the water is clean and clear. Danny is having a great time going around bends, past trees and over rocks.


Then he starts going past farms where there are lots of cows, The cows are walking around, in the river, drinking the river water and eating the river plants.

While they are eating & drinking, the cows are pooing straight into the water!

The farmers have also been fertilising the pasture to help it grow for the cows to eat. After the rain, a lot of the fertiliser got washed down into the river.


One of the farm dogs has also done a big poo, which has been washed by the rain into the river. Yuck!

All that fertiliser and poo is food for algae which grows and grows and grows. Poor Danny the Drip, his water is now green and smelly!!


After lots of bends, past lots of hills, Danny the Drip finally reaches the edge of the city of Adelaide. There are many street trees and, instead of raking up the leaves and putting them into a compost bin, people are letting the rain water wash them straight down the drain. This water goes underground in the stormwater pipes and comes out into the river. All the leaves are making the water brown and Danny’s friends, the fish, are finding their gills are getting clogged up with little bits of leaf.


Danny the Drip notices one of the factories near the river has a pipe coming from it that leads straight into the river. When he takes a closer look he sees that there are all sorts of toxic chemicals coming out the pipe.

“This is just terrible,” thinks Danny “don’t people realise what they are doing to my home?”

As he continues his journey to the sea, Danny the Drip sees a group of people enjoying a picnic at a park on the edge of the river. The people have not been bothered to put their rubbish in the bin so the next gust of wind blows some of the rubbish down into the river. Danny is really sad now. He can’t believe how careless some people can be- it would have been much better for the people to put the rubbish into a bin.


As Danny the Drip passes through the suburbs on the other side of the city he notices some new houses being built. The shrubs and grass have been scraped away and when it rains, the top layer of soil washes straight into the river, making it dirty and muddy. Danny also spots someone emptying their saltwater swimming pool straight down the stormwater drain. With all this mud and salt Danny the Drip can’t see where he is going anymore. He bumps his head on rocks and gets tangled up in the leaves and branches. This is very scary for Danny and he wishes people were more careful.


Further downstream Danny the Drip spots a truck. The truck needs a service because the engine in leaking oil directly into the lake. “Oh dear”, thinks Danny the Drip, the ducks & other birds are going to be in trouble when that smelly, black oil sticks to their feathers.


Further along, there are houses right next to the river and Danny can see a person mowing their lawn, but they are not putting their grass clippings into a bag, instead they are shaking the clippings all over the fence and they are washing straight into the river! Oh no! Thinks Danny, when grass sits in water, it breaks down and uses up all of the oxygen and many of my plant and animal friends will die.


People who have spent the day at work are now starting to drive home. The roads are full of traffic. Petrol drips out of the cars and if they brake in a hurry, their tyres screech and leave black rubber behind on the road. Every time it rains the petrol and rubber are washed off the road down the stormwater drains and straight into the river.


Danny the Drip is feeling very sick from all the pollution coming into the river but he still continues his trip. He notices someone washing their car in the driveway. All the detergent they are using is getting hosed straight into the gutter and running into the river. The detergent has chemicals in it that hurt Danny's friends and is poisonous for the tadpoles.

Why couldn’t they wash their car on the lawn?

After one last bend in the river Danny the Drip finally arrives at the sea.

Look at the water that flows out to sea with him. It is full of smelly, disgusting, poisonous pollution. The pollution is going to hurt all the animals and plants that live in the ocean.
What can we do to help make our rivers cleaner? Danny needs your help.


An exciting journey through the catchment
Telling the story of Danny the Drip requires a little help from your students! Students will need to prepare small amounts of imitation water pollution. We suggest that you use small jars or film canisters to hold the pollution and emphasize the importance of not collecting the actual pollutants in certain cases such as; petrol, poo and toxic chemicals.

Below is a list of the different types of pollution mentioned in the story and how to prepare them. You may like to give each student a type of pollution to prepare for homework or ask students to bring in the materials and then prepare them in class.






Lawn clippings



Fallen leaves (preferably non-native)




Soak in hot water


Play dough, mud or chocolate topping

Not the real thing please


Table salt


Dirt or fine sand



Litter – plastic chip packets, paper etc



Tea leaves and sugar or sago

Mix together


Dishwashing or laundry liquid


Mustard or Tomato sauce

Mix with water


Soy sauce and cooking oil





Rubber bands


Dear Parent / Caregiver,

Our class will be reading the story of Danny the Drip, which is about catchments and water pollution. We would like your help in preparing small amounts of imitation pollution for this interactive story.
_____________________________‘s pollution is _____________________
Materials needed to make it are ___________________________________
Please return imitation pollution in a labelled jar or film canister by: ________

Thank you for your help.

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