ALEX Lesson Plan

The Water Cycle

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  This lesson provided by:  
Author:Christy Cobb
System: Covington County
School: Straughn Elementary School
  General Lesson Information  
Lesson Plan ID: 12951


The Water Cycle


This lesson will let students have a hands-on experience with the water cycle. They will learn the different parts of the water cycle through experiments and exploring the Internet.
 Associated Standards and Objectives 
Content Standard(s):

Local/National Standards:


Primary Learning Objective(s):

Students will create a poster/model of the water cycle. Students will explain each part of the water cycle.

Students will use the Internet for research about the water cycle.

Additional Learning Objective(s):

 Preparation Information 

Total Duration:

Greater than 120 Minutes

Materials and Resources:

Down Comes the Rain by Franklyn M. Branley, small chalkboards, glass jars, sponges, cups of ice, tubs of water, food coloring, blue posterboard, cotton balls, construction paper, scissors, glue

Technology Resources Needed:

Computer with Internet access, handheld computer (optional) for extension activity


Students should be familiar with using the Internet.
1.)Read Down Comes the Rain. Discuss the terms precipitation, evaporation, and condensation to determine prior knowledge and help students gain an understanding of the process of the water cycle. Tell the students that they are going to do some experiments to learn more about the water cycle.

Fill a jar one-third full with water. Add the cup of ice to your jar. Add 3 drops of food coloring to the jar. Notice what happens to the jar after 15 minutes or so. Have the students answer the following questions:
What do you see on the outside of the jar?
Is the water on the outside of the jar colored?
Did the water come from the inside of the jar?
(The water vapor on the outside of the jar was cooled off and condensed to form liquid. This is an example of how water vapor is cooled off and condenses in clouds.)

Have the students wet a sponge and wipe it once on their chalkboard. Have them notice what happens after a few minutes have passed. Have them answer the following questions:
Is the water still there?
What happened?
(The water evaporated. It changed from liquid to a gas. This is an example of how water evaporates into the sky.)

Have the students completely saturate or fill a sponge with as much water as possible. Have them hold it above a tub of water. Have the students answer the following question:
What do you notice happens?
(The sponge will leak water. This is an example of how the clouds in the sky get so full of water that eventually the water falls and we have precipitation.)

5.)Pair the students with a partner. Have each pair create a poster of the water cycle. While the pairs are working have students review what they have learned by visiting the following web sites:
( The Water Cycle)
This website gives definitions for each phase of the water cycle. It also has a diagram for students to view.

The Water Cycle

(The Water Cycle)
This site provides additional information about the water cycle.


Assessment Strategies

Students will be assessed by checking their water cycle posters for accuracy.


Teach the students how to sing/chant and do hand movements to the "Water Cycle Song." The words are as follows: The water falls down - PRECIPITATION, Up to the sky - EVAPORATION, Over to the clouds - CONDENSATION, THE WATER CYCLE SONG!

Students would also utilize handhelds with Sketchy to draw, label and animate the water cycle.



View the Special Education resources for instructional guidance in providing modifications and adaptations for students with significant cognitive disabilities who qualify for the Alabama Alternate Assessment.