ALEX Learning Activity


The Water Cycle Adventure

A Learning Activity is a strategy a teacher chooses to actively engage students in learning a concept or skill using a digital tool/resource.

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  This learning activity provided by:  
Author: Heather Steele
  General Activity Information  
Activity ID: 370
The Water Cycle Adventure
Digital Tool/Resource:
Scholastic StudyJams Water Cycle Video
Web Address – URL:

The Scholastic StudyJams Water Cycle video can be used in the classroom to introduce students to the three steps that make up the water cycle. There is an included link to a quiz to assess the students learning. 

  Associated Standards and Objectives  
Content Standard(s):
SC2015 (2015)
Grade: 5
14 ) Use a model to represent how any two systems, specifically the atmosphere, biosphere, geosphere, and/or hydrosphere, interact and support life (e.g., influence of the ocean on ecosystems, landform shape, and climate; influence of the atmosphere on landforms and ecosystems through weather and climate; influence of mountain ranges on winds and clouds in the atmosphere).

Unpacked Content
Scientific And Engineering Practices:
Developing and Using Models
Crosscutting Concepts: Systems and System Models
Disciplinary Core Idea: Earth's Systems
Evidence Of Student Attainment:
  • Develop a model using an example to describe ways the geosphere, biosphere, hydrosphere, and/or atmosphere interact.
Teacher Vocabulary:
  • Atmosphere
  • Hydrosphere
  • Geosphere
  • Biosphere
  • Model
  • Phenomenon
  • System
  • Earth
Students know:
  • Earth's major systems are the geosphere (solid and molten rock, soil, and sediments), the hydrosphere (water and ice), the atmosphere, and the biosphere (living things, including humans).
  • These systems interact in multiple ways to affect Earth's surface materials and processes.
  • The ocean supports a variety of ecosystems and organisms, shapes landforms, and influences climate.
  • Winds and clouds in the atmosphere interact with the landforms to determine patterns of weather.
Students are able to:
  • Develop a model, using a specific given example of a phenomenon, to describe ways that the geosphere, biosphere, hydrosphere, and/or atmosphere interact. In the model, identify the relevant components of their example, including features of two of the following systems that are relevant for the given example:
    • Geosphere (i.e., solid and molten rock, soil, sediment, continents, mountains).
    • Hydrosphere (i.e., water and ice in the form of rivers, lakes, glaciers).
    • Atmosphere (i.e., wind, oxygen).
    • Biosphere [i.e., plants, animals (including humans)].
  • Identify and describe relationships (interactions) within and between the parts of the Earth systems identified in the model that are relevant to the example (e.g., the atmosphere and the hydrosphere interact by exchanging water through evaporation and precipitation; the hydrosphere and atmosphere interact through air temperature changes, which lead to the formation or melting of ice).
  • Use the model to describe a variety of ways in which the parts of two major Earth systems in the specific given example interact to affect the Earth's surface materials and processes in that context. Use the model to describe how parts of an individual Earth system:
    • Work together to affect the functioning of that Earth system.
    • Contribute to the functioning of the other relevant Earth system.
Students understand that:
  • Systems, like the atmosphere, biosphere, geosphere, and hydrosphere, can be described in terms of their components and their interactions.
AMSTI Resources:
AMSTI Module:
Dynamics of Ecosystems

Alabama Alternate Achievement Standards
AAS Standard:
SCI.AAS.5.14- Identify how the atmosphere and hydrosphere interact to support life (e.g. air, water).

Learning Objectives:

The student will be able to:

1. visually represent the three steps that make up the water cycle.

2. list the three steps of the water cycle. 


  Strategies, Preparations and Variations  

  • The students should have a brief introduction to the water cycle.
  • The students should view the water cycle video found in the above link.
  • After the video, the students will complete the quiz, on the above link, together as a class.
  • The students will then create a visual representation of the three steps on a piece of paper and describe what happens at each step. 
Assessment Strategies:

The teacher will observe the students while they complete the quiz together as a class. The students will be assessed on their answers to the quiz and the description of the three steps. 

Advanced Preparation:

Teachers should view the video before showing it to the class to make sure everything is suitable for the lesson. 

Variation Tips (optional):

The students could take turns answering the quiz questions on an Interactive Whiteboard.

Notes or Recommendations (optional):
  Keywords and Search Tags  
Keywords and Search Tags: water cycle