Grade: Elementary
Subject: Science

#1844. Water Cycle

Science, level: Elementary
Posted Thu Jul 6 08:40:52 PDT 2000 by Patrick Carr (
Student Teacher, Indiana, Pa
Materials Required: sponge, poster board, diorama
Activity Time: 45 minutes
Concepts Taught: Water Cycle, Precipitation

Water Cycle
Water is a vital resource and the water cycle shows how water is recycled through our environment. All of Earth's inhabitants including plants, humans, and animals require some kind of use of water. The water cycle is important to students because it shows one of the major cycles and is a great base to introduce many geological and biological concepts. Knowledge of the water cycle will help students better understand how the environment works.

TLW: demonstrate their understanding of the water cycle and how it effects the environment by graphically depicting and describing the water cycle.

The basic water cycle consists of water rising to the atmosphere through evaporation and returning to the land and oceans through precipitation and condensation. Evaporation is when the water from the ground and oceans is cycled into the sky and forms clouds. Precipitation is when the clouds get full and the water is cycled back down to earth. Condensation is due to the air cooling and resulting in fog and early morning moisture on the grass called dew.

Anticipatory set: I will start my lesson by gathering the students into a circle around a table in the front of the room and dump some water onto the table. I will then use a sponge and lightly soak up most of the water. After the water disappears, I will ask the students what they think happened to the water. Their responses will begin the lesson body.

Lesson body:
1. I will start by giving examples of different types of evaporation and precipitation. Puddles, rivers, oceans, and ground surface water will be my examples for the sources of evaporation. Rain, snow, and hail will be the examples of precipitation.
2. After the students learn about these main parts, we will start into the water cycle. This is when I will put my poster on the board and start to explain how the cycle works.
3. I will explain how the water evaporates from the oceans and puddles into the sky and then when the clouds form and fill up, it precipitates.
4. The students will repeat the same demonstration that I did in the anticipatory set. They will use a sponge to release the water onto the table and then spread the water out and watch it evaporate.
5. I will then ask the students why they think the water cycle is important and have them give a few examples of the water cycle that happens in their yard or house. I will explain that the water cycle is important to our environment because it provides animals and plants with a constant cycle of water. Water contains many nutrients and minerals that are important to the survival of plants and animals.
6. The definitions for all the key terms will be placed on the board so the students can take notes and use them for their personal charts.
7. The students will work in groups of four to make up their own version of the water cycle. They will be free to use their creativity to make up their own example of a place where the water cycle takes place. Examples are their back yard or a rain forest or anything that interests the students. Their cycles will need to be correctly labeled and contain information on the importance of each part of the water cycle.

I will have a small diorama constructed that represents the water cycle. There will be a chance for all the students to play with the diorama and watch how the water cycle works. They will also take notes on the results of their experimentation and use them for personal reflection. We will complete the lesson by reviewing the poster on the board and beginning the process of our evaluation and extension activity.