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Water, Water Everywhere - The Water Cycle

Last Updated: Apr-27-2010

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Developed By

  Heather Schulz
Stepahnie Dzubak

Lesson Title

  Water, Water Everywhere - The Water Cycle

Length of Lesson

  5-6 days; 50 minutes class periods

Lesson Unit

  Fluid Earth






  Earth Science

Michigan Content Expectations

  E.ES.07.11; E.ES.07.81


  water cycle, evaporation, condensation, precipitation, groundwater



1. Computers with internet access

2. Station Labels for Water Cycle Game

3. Station Dice for Water Cycle Game

4. Video cameras, digital cameras





Th following lesson is an introduction to a larger unit on weather and human impact on the environment.  The lesson provides background knowledge for the basic process of the water cycle and where water is found on, above, and below the Earth.


Big Idea(s)


The water cycle describes the continuous movement of water on, above , and below the Earth.


Essential Questions

  1. Where does the water in your house come from?
  2. What role do you play in the water cycle?
  3. Why don't we run out of water?

Learning Objectives

  1. Describe where water exists on, above and below the Earth.
  2. Describe how water gets on, above and below the Earth.
  3. Show where water exists on, aboe and below the Earth.
  4. Show how water gets on, above and below the Earth.
  5. Describe the role of the Sun in the water cycle.

Summative Assessment



In order to show your understanding and achievement of the Learning Objectives for this lesson, you will choose the format of your presentation. Remember that in whatever format you choose, the following must occur:
         Describe where water exists above, on, and below on the Earth.
         Describe how water gets above, on, and below the Earth.
         Show where water exists above, on, and below the Earth.
         Show how water gets above, on, and below the Earth.
         Describe the role the Sun plays in the water cycle.
A rubric has been printed on the back of this sheet to give you a better idea of the scoring.
Possible Project Formats
  • 3D model
    • with written explanation
    • with verbal explanation
  • Cartoon
  • Song with visual
  • Flap Poster
  • Website using www.weebly.com  
  • Another format that you have thought of
Consider your use of technology
  • You may use Word, PowerPoint, digital cameras, video cameras, scanners, and any of the online software listed above. 
  • Anything that can be drawn by hand may be drawn on the computer. 
  • Anything that can be handwritten can be typed or done with a voice recording.
The project will be completed by groups of 1-3 students. All students in a group must be in the same class.

Resource(s) available for this section

Lesson Opening


1. A Song about the Water Cycle found on www.neok12.com:


 2. Lesson Overview with PowerPoint.

Resource(s) available for this section



Water Cycle Exploration

1.       Using a list of internet sites, students will search for the meaning of key vocabulary terms, answer questions, study diagrams and make drawings about the water cycle and its important components.
2.       The list of internet site was made available at http://h2ocyclejms.weebly.com.
3.       The Student Packet is also available at the weebly site.
4.       The information in the sites includes text (at different reading levels), diagrams, interactive sites, videos, songs, and quizzes 

The Water Cycle Game

1. Students will become "water molecules" and travel through different compartments of the water cycle.  Gives students the experience of a non-circular water cycle.

2. For a different way to track the trip through the cycle, students filled out the following form:



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Check for Understanding


 A short matching "quiz" for the key vocabulary of this lesson.

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Water Cycle Key Vocabulary - How WIll I Remember? Notes Sheet

After looking over the Check For Understanding sheets, completion of the Key Vocabulary sheet can be focused on terms that students do not understand.  Completion of the sheet can be done as a class, individually, or in small groups.


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Extended Practice


1. Explore Learning Gizmo - The Water Cyle; use the lesson materials provided by the site. (www.explorelearning.com)

2. The Water Cycle Game  - There is a second version of the game that includes pollutants.  Students can begin to understand the role that the water cycle plays in spreading and filtering pollutants in the environment.



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Students will share their summative assessments using a gallery walk.  Using a diagram students will review the primary compartments of the water cycle.  As a connection to the next lesson (human impact and pollution), students will brainstorm answers to the following question:  How does pollution impact the water cycle?