StudyJams! The Water Cycle Teaching Guide
- Grades: 3–5
Students learn about the water cycle by watching an animated video. Students reinforce that knowledge by creating a water wheel to illustrate each phase of the water cycle. Students apply knowledge of the water cycle to real-life examples.
- Recognize that water changes from one state to another through evaporation, condensation, and precipitation
- Understand that clouds are made of tiny droplets of water
- Explain how water moves from state to state in the water cycle
- Using a pencil, students divide the circle into thirds. To do this, tell students to draw a Y on the circle.
- Introduce the concept of water cycle with StudyJams! video.
- Pause the video after PRECIPITATION (animals are drinking the water).
- Have students draw a scene in one of the thirds representing precipitation in all forms: rain, snow, hail, sleet.
- Continue the video and pause the video at TRANSPIRATION.
- Have students draw a scene on another 1/3 of their circle representing evaporation. Brainstorm appropriate images to represent evaporation. (Students may draw water rising into the air from plants, people, and rivers in the form of water vapor.)
- Watch the remainder of the video.
- Have students draw images representing condensation on the final 1/3 of the circle. Brainstorm appropriate images to represent condensation.
- Hand out arrows and brads to the students.
- Push the brad through the arrow and through the center of the circle to connect them. The arrow should be able to move on top of the circle.
- Ask questions about the water cycle and have students turn the arrow to the correct answer. Vary the responses; have the students show you the answers, show a partner, or show their table group.
- Using their water cycle wheel as reference, have each student complete the five quiz questions. Show the quiz on the screen and have students record their answers.
- Optional Extension:1 student per table group fills a cup with water – have the student draw a line on the paper cup at the water level. Place cups of water outside in direct sunlight. Have students check water level line each day.Record daily observations.
Supporting All Learners
Use the water cycle wheel to help understand each part of the water cycle. Observing the decrease in water levels helps facilitate the understanding of evaporation due to the heat provided by sunlight. Advanced learners can research the Internet to record and analyze various levels of precipitation throughout the United States.
- Students complete water cycle wheel.
- Students complete individual assessment.
- Students complete chart for water level of paper cup.
- Did the students understand the water cycle?
- Were students able to answer the questions about the water cycle?
- Was one cup per table enough for students to analyze the evaporation process?
- Students use wheel to answer questions.
- Students answer assessment questions.