Georgian Court University
Grade Level: 4-6
Time Frame: One 45 Minute Period (Teacher created model demonstration)
Or Two 45 Minute Periods (Using student created models)
Plus an optional additional (short) 45 Minute Period to play the Water Cycle Game (found in Extension section)
Image source: http://clipsahoy.com/webgraphics4/as5612.htm
After students learn important and fun facts about water and how we use and need it, students will begin to form an appreciation of the limited amount of water we have and understand its worth. Students will gain a better understanding of the different phases of water as it occurs throughout the water cycle. The knowledge of the water cycle will be taught and reinforced through classroom participation, teamwork, volunteer activities, and model experiments. Students will learn through classroom participation to fill-in a blank water cycle poster, placing the correct terms and images on the poster to create a complete water cycle diagram. Through visual stimulation and physical participation, students will work with a model to gain a better understanding of the water cycle and water’s phases. Through classroom discussion and / or personal reflection students will reinforce their knowledge of the water cycle. For reinforcement and fun, students can also play the water cycle game.
NJ Core Content Standards
STANDARD 5.1 (Scientific Processes) All students will develop problem-solving, decision-making and inquiry skills, reflected by formulating usable questions and hypotheses, planning experiments, conducting systematic observations, interpreting and analyzing data, drawing conclusions, and communicating results.
A. Habits of Mind
· Evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of data, claims, and arguments.
· Communicate experimental findings to others.
· Recognize that curiosity, skepticism, open-mindedness, and honesty are attributes of scientists.
B. Inquiry and Problem Solving
· Identify questions and make predictions that can be addressed by conducting investigations.
· Collect, organize, and interpret the data that result from experiments.
STANDARD 5.8 (Earth Science) All students will gain an understanding of the structure, dynamics, and geophysical systems of the earth
B. Atmosphere and Weather
· Describe and illustrate the water cycle.
D. How We Study the Earth
1. Utilize various tools such as map projections and topographical maps to interpret features of Earth's surface.
STANDARD 6.6 (Geography) All students will apply knowledge of spatial relationships and other geographic skills to understand human behavior in relation to the physical and cultural environment.
A. The World in Spatial Terms
· Translate maps into appropriate spatial graphics to display geographical information.
· Use geographic tools and technologies to pose and answer questions about spatial distributions and patterns on Earth.
B. Places and Regions
· Explain how regional systems are interconnected (e.g., watersheds, trade, transportation systems).
Spatial, Kinesthetic, Linguistic, Interpersonal, Intrapersonal, Logical/Mathematical, Naturalistic
Note: Even if your class is well acquainted with the water cycle, a review is still strongly recommended to help the students to create a good connection with the future lesson plans. There is a wonderful water cycle game for a fun review on the bottom of the lesson plan found in the “Extension” section.
Teacher will present students with three clear cups: one containing ice, one with water, and one with water heating to the point of steaming. (If heating water is not an option, teacher can quiz students on what would occur if they took the third cup of water and placed it on a stove top.) Teacher will then prompt a classroom discussion of the similarities and differences between the three cups.
Sequence of events
Notes for above:
SOLID: Water is solid when temperature is below 0 degrees Celsius, called ice. This is found as hail, snow, polar ice caps, icicles, and glaciers. Molecules of water are still H2O but they are immovable and more spaced out from each other. This makes ice lighter than water (which is why the top of lakes are icy when there is still water below or when you put ice in a cup of water they float).
LIQUID: At room temperature, H2O is liquid. It is fluid and takes the shape of its container, including when it is spilled on the ground (it spreads on the flat surface of the floor until it hits the side boundary like a wall). The molecules of H2O are closer together and are in constant motion.
GAS: H2O becomes a gas when the temperature is higher than 100 degrees Celsius. The molecules are moving very quickly and randomly. They do not have a definite shape, but fill the container in which they are held in, such as a balloon or even the classroom!
*There are also additional websites (in Materials section) to show what the molecules look like in different phases for a better understanding.
3) Teacher will create a quiz (Jeopardy or similar) or some “fun facts” time in which fun facts of water (such as those in the quiz provided in powerpoint and pdf format) are reviewed and / or learned. Additional fun facts are posted at the bottom of this page if teachers wish to extend this activity.
4) Students will be provided with the necessary materials to carry out an experiment to help build a better understanding of the water cycle.
(Source of activity: http://www.ucar.edu/learn/1_1_2_4s.htm)
Note: If you have a large aquarium, you can do this activity as a demonstration, allowing the students to study and observe the phenomena and develop their own ideas and conclusions for class discussion.
If there are sufficient materials, you can also do it as a group project, with teams of three to five students responsible for setting up the model and drawing conclusions from their own work.
1. Using the clay, shape a mountain.
Place the mountain on one side of the shoe box with the sloped side facing
the interior of the box where the "ocean" will be.
3. Pour warm water into the "ocean" basin until about one-fourth of the mountain slope is covered.
4. Replace the lid of the shoe box.
5. Place a petri dish on top of the shoe box over the mountain (as shown).
6. Place crushed ice into the petri dish.
7. Position the lamp over the ocean. Turn on the lamp. CAUTION: THE LAMP WILL GET HOT. DO NOT TOUCH THE BULB OR SHADE. ***Have students return to their seats for the next activity for changes to occur.***
5) Students will be presented with water cycle poster to fill in the blank. (Water cycle image can be obtained from Resources section below and be made into a transparency for an overhead or pasted into a PowerPoint slide to present to the whole class.**(Use sticky tac in case you want to take the words down without ripping the paper)**
6) Students will volunteer to post the different pictures and words where they belong on the poster to create an accurate water cycle. (Words may vary depending on this knowledge but can include: precipitation, condensation, infiltration, groundwater, surface run-off, evaporation, sublimation, transpiration) (Pictures would include a sun, clouds, vapors, rain/snow, and river if they aren’t already on the poster).
7) Have students return to observe the container carefully and note any changes that they see. It might help to add a little smoke to the aquarium to help them see the circulation. (A few matches lit, then blown out and quickly dropped into the box will work).
Observations and Questions
Have students answer some or all of the questions (above) in lab notebooks or in small group discussion.
Students will receive a hand out of the blank water cycle in which they will fill out the designated blanks with the key terms and hand in for evaluation.
Students will play the water cycle game http://www.nps.gov/archive/wica/Hydrology_Introduction_Water_Cycle_Game.htm
Observe a raindrop: Interactive Website
Matching Game: How Much Water?
Properties of water (molecules) to view
Where do rainy days come from? A collection of water cycle learning activity ideas: http://www2.scholastic.com/browse/article.jsp?id=3298
FUN WATER FACTS
Fun Water Facts
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© 2011. Amanda Traina (Author), Louise Wootton (Editor)