Water Cycle


Water Cycle (3rd-5th)

Students predict the path that water takes through the water cycle before playing a game where each student acts as a water molecule. Students model the path their water molecule might take and revisit their earlier predictions to compare to the path they took as a water molecule. If time allows, students identify the benefits and limitations of this water cycle model. 

SKU: EarSci-WatCyc Category: Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,


Lesson Overview

Students will:

  • Use an image to get students thinking about what processes allow water to change location
  • Predict, then act as water droplets to simulate the water cycle in a game-model
  • Observe differences between hypothesized and actual route, differences between routes other students took, and how the model works
  • Consider how much water is contained within reservoirs while participating in an instructor-led demonstration 

Lesson Objectives 

Students will be able to:

  • Identify the processes that allow water to change location
  • Use a model to describe the cycling of water through the hydrosphere

This lesson is aligned with these Next Generation Science (NGS) Standards.

Standards Covered

Disciplinary Core Idea (DCI)

ESS2 Earth’s Systems 

  • (3rd-5th) ESS2.A Earth Materials and Systems – The water cycle involves interactions of the four major Earth systems

  • (3rd -5th) ESS2.B The Roles of Water in Earth’s Surface Processes – ( Most of Earth’s water is in the ocean and much of the Earth’s freshwater is in glaciers or underground.

Science & Engineering Practice (SEP) 

Developing and Using Models

  • (3rd-5th) Identify limitations of models

Crosscutting Concept (CCC)

Systems and System Models

  • (3rd-5th) A system can be described in terms of its components and their interactions
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