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    Water
    By JohnV

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    I haven't specifically taught about the Earth's water, but I do know a few activities that might fit into this category.

    For the water cycle, make a water cycle in a box (or bottle). You need a clear container that can be sealed airtight. Put a sample of liquid water in the bottom, seal it and apply cold (ice) to the top. Condensation will form on the inside and collect into drops which will run down to the bottom illustrating evaporation, condensation, and precipitation. I use a clear plastic shoebox from WalMart sealed with cling wrap over the top. I put a jar cover with water in one end of the box and a construction paper tent in the other half. I put ice on the cling wrap over the construction paper. Condensation forms inside the cling wrap and a drop collects which falls onto the construction paper.

    Our sixth grade teachers use a set of one-liter (or 20 ounce) bottles to show the categories of water in the world. One bottle has water in it to represent the oceans, one represents the polar ice caps, one is fresh water, etc. You would have to look up the numbers (percentages) and calculate the amount of water to put in each bottle (1 percent of 1000 milliliters for example would be 10 milliliters). It is a revelation for the students when they discover that fresh water that is available for drinking is only a few drops.

    Look in the phone book for the local county extension agent or the National Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) of the US department of agriculture. Their national website is:

    http://www.nrcs.usda.gov/

    They will have access to teaching materials concerning soil and water conservation. You can download some of them from the website or order them through the mail. I will bet that the local NRCS would be willing to guest lecture for you, also.

    Check back here from time to time. As I have a chance, I will search for more stuff.

    John



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