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    Water Cycle Lesson Plan
    By jodiereed

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    I have used this with my 4th graders.

    The Water Cycle Lesson Plan

    1. Get a glass of water
    1. Ask- How come we never run out of water?
    Our water travels in a cycle and we call this the water cycle.
    Today we will learn the 3 stages of the water cycle.
    2. Ask students to prentend that it's a very hot day out and there are puddles in the street.
    But, then the sun comes out! Where did the water go?
    Relate to cooking- cooking rice- where did this water go.
    Swipe the chalk board with water from a paper towel. Where did the water go?
    Evaporation
    You'll need a pot of water and a small burner for this next part.
    Boil some water. Let the kids come up to feel the water evaporating onto their hands. Make sure they feel the water on their hands.
    Relate the burner to the sun. Because this is what causes it to happen at a much faster rate. (heat)
    3. Why can't we see the water rising into the air after it has rained outside? We can't we see the water rising into the air when we are out sitting by the lake?
    It has turned into a gas called water vapor.
    Water vapor rises high into the sky and into the clouds. We can't see this happenning because it's a gas.
    4. What happens once this gas we call water vapor gets to the clouds?
    Place a lid on the boiling pot of water. Pick up the lid after a couple of seconds and show them that the vapor has turned back into a liquid, water. This process is called condensation.
    Students will pretend that they are in a hot shower, the bathroom is really foggy and you can't even see the mirror. Someone opens the bathroom door (probably your annoying little brother or sister). Ask the students what happens to the mirror when all of that cold air comes in when the door opens.
    Place a mirror over the boiling pot of water. Relate this to the water cycle. First the water evaporates from the shower or the boiling water. Then it turns into a gas, water vapor. which leads to the mirror. When the cold air hits the mirror (lift your mirror off the boiling pot of water) the water vapor forms little droplets of water. This is condensation. Show the students the water running down the mirror. Precipitation.
    5. Condensation is always a hard concept for them to remember so relate it to a cold can of soda outside or the morning dew.
    6. To show the students what happens inside the cloud use a large sponge. Slowly pour a glass of water in the sponge. When the sponge can't hold anymore water it comes out. Precipitation.
    Just like when we need to go to the restroom and can't hold it anymore.
    Draw a diagram on the board and label the parts of the water cycle.
    Show a power point and let the students explain the different steps. Make sure they use the correct vocab.
    Make a terrarium. This is a good model of how the water cycle works. Tie this in with writing. Students can write an adventure story about them in the terrarium.
    Experiment - On two paper plates put a couple of water drops trace them with a pencil. Put one plate in the sun and one in a dark part of the room. Which evaporates faster and why???

    View the original thread this idea was posted on



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