FOURTH GRADE: Students will identify the features of the water cycle, analyze that the path in the water cycle can vary, and describe the importance of each feature to life on earth.

Download Lesson Plan: It’s A “Water-full” Life

School: Normal Park Museum Magnet School Author(s): Olivia McKeehan
Standard: SPI 0407.8.1 Identify the basic features of the water cycle and describe their importance to life on earth. State: Tennessee
Content Area: Science Time Duration: 2 Sessions (45 minutes per session)
Learning Target: Students will identify the features of the water cycle, analyze that the path in the water cycle can vary, and describe the importance of each feature to life on earth. Materials: Project WET “The Incredible Water Journey”  or Computer Simulation http://www.discoverwater.org/blue-traveler/

Labels for water cycle

A picture of your community

Water Journey Passports

Key Vocabulary: evaporation, transpiration, runoff, groundwater, precipitation, condensation, water vapor Technology

Connection:

Engage Now: Opening Adapted from Project WET “The Incredible Water Journey”

-Tell the students they are now water droplets and are about to embark on a journey.

-Give a brief overview and introduction of the water cycle and discuss vocabulary.

-Explain to students they will record their journey on their Water Journey Passports.

-Divide the students evenly among the nine stations: Clouds, Plants, Animals, Rivers, Oceans, Lakes, Ground Water, Soil, and Glaciers.

-Before beginning the activity, discuss how water can be transported to and from each place.

-In order for students to move to another station, they may use a dice or spinner (see die side labels in Project WET document).

-Each time a student moves, they must record their movement in their passport. The response should include the conditions in which the water molecule transferred.  Also, allow the students room to creatively express this journey through illustrations and in writing.

-Discuss the journey of the “water molecule.”

-What was your experience?

-In your experience, how did the water cycle work?

-Discuss the impact of pollution in the water cycle.

Teach Now:
Mini Lesson
Review states of matter and connect to water cycle.

The teacher will review the water cycle.

Resources available: BrainPop “Water Cycle” and Studyjams.scholastic.com “The Water Cycle”

The teacher will lead students in acting out the water cycle.  Describe the conditions for each feature of the water cycle and students will act out each feature.

Explore Now: Independent Practice The students will investigate the picture of their community (provided by teacher).

Turn and talk: Where do you see each part of the water cycle in this picture?

What state of matter is the water in each part?

How does the water change states and phase of the water cycle?

The students will label their picture with each feature of the water cycle.

Closing: Give each student a plastic bag.  Label the parts of the water cycle on the bag.  Explain to the students that they will fill the ¼ of the bag with water, hang the water near a window and make observations over the next week.
Show Me Now:
Assessment
Write a brief narrative from the point of view of a water droplet.  Include each feature of the water cycle in the narrative and how the water droplet is moved around the water cycle.
Differentiation Opportunities: Extension: Allow students to make their own representation of the water cycle. Have students differentiate how climate affects the water cycle.

Extra Support: Pre-teach vocabulary with graphic organizer/foldable.

Class/Home Extensions: Students will observe the basic features of the water cycle with their “water cycle in a bag” activity.