Make a Water Cycle Model
- Explain how water is cycled among land, the ocean, and the atmosphere.
- Describe at least five processes within the water cycle.
- Understand how the Sun and gravity drive the water cycle.
Earth is a planet full of water. 70% of its surface is covered with water in oceans, lakes, rivers, and more. Water on our planet can also be found in the atmosphere and underground. In this lesson, students will explore how water is continually cycled among land, the oceans, and the atmosphere. As students build a physical model of the water cycle, they will be able to simulate and observe evaporation, condensation, precipitation, and other water cycle processes in real-time.
Remote learning: This lesson plan can be adapted to work remotely. The Engage section of the lesson can be done over a video call. Students will need to do their water cycle model experiment individually and independently during the Explore section using the Student Worksheet as a guide and can then share their observations with each other, virtually. A set of materials can be prepared in advance or students can use materials found around the house. End the lesson with a discussion over a video call during the Reflect section.
NGSS AlignmentThis lesson helps students prepare for these Next Generation Science Standards Performance Expectations:
For educator and each student group of 3–5:
Area of Science
Water cycle, condensation, evaporation, precipitation
Svenja Lohner, PhD, Science Buddies
This lesson is based on a water cycle activity by the UCAR Center for Science Education.
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