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Water Cycle Lesson Plan
Created by: Michelle Gilbert
Unit Topic or Theme: Science
Grade: 4
Lesson Topic or Theme: The Water Cycle
Lesson Objectives: The student will be able to identify each stage of the water
cycle and the vocabulary associated with the water cycle.
Instructional Technique: Computer time, discussion, books, lecture, diagrams,
individual sheet work, and an experiment.
Instructional Materials: The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency website
(, water cycle
books, materials to perform a water cycle experiment (large clear bowl, plastic
wrap, a weight, a small container, and a rubber band), the water cycle journey
website, and worksheets.
Theoretical Perspective: Water covers about 70 percent of the Earth. Water also
constitutes about 70 percent of the human body. It is essential to life and life
processes. The water cycle shows how water is recycled and why it is so plentiful.
With an understanding of the water cycle, students will better understand how the
environment works and the importance of water to the living world.
ISTE Standards: Profile Grades 3-5: 4.3, 5.3, 5.4, 7.4, 7.5
Curriculum Frameworks: Earth and Space Science 10
A. As an introduction, the teacher will use the water cycle activity from
the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency website
which is a flash animated activity that allows the students to control
the water cycle and learn more about it. This is a great website to get
students to start thinking about the water cycle. The teacher should
also have books about the water cycle available to students, such as “A
Drop of Water,” by Walter Wick.
B. After viewing the website, the teacher will conduct a discussion about
the water cycle to assess how much the students already know about it
and to find out what they learned from their online and book
explorations. Depending on how much knowledge the students already
have, the teacher will lecture about the different stages of the water
cycle and associated vocabulary. If the teacher has access to a diagram
of the water cycle, that could be helpful as well. Next, students would
each participate in an experiment by creating their own miniature
water cycle. This can be done separately by each student or in pairs.
Each person/group will need a large clear bowl, plastic wrap, a weight,
a small container, and a rubber band. First, have the students place the
small container in the middle of the large clear bowl. Fill the bowl
with a little water, being careful not to fill the small container inside.
Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and fasten the rim of the bowl with a
rubber band. Put a weight on the top of the plastic wrap in the center.
Lastly, put the contraption on a window sill or somewhere the sun can
hit it. The students can periodically check what is happening to their
mini water cycle to solidify the new concepts they have learned.
C. Finally, students would complete the water cycle journey website to
test their knowledge. Use the worksheets provided on the website to
accompany the website. The first worksheet will help the student to
keep track of their progress on the website. They will record how
many tries it took for them to answer each question on the website
correctly to be able to move on to the next question. The other
worksheet is a blank water cycle, which students must fill in. The
teacher can use these two worksheets as a form of a final assessment
and it can be graded as a quiz or a test.
D. Adaptations are not necessary for this lesson. Everyone should be able
to participate in each activity without difficulty because it is mostly
comprised of teacher directed discussion and group work. Students
only need to know how to use the Internet and the mouse. The
websites are easy to navigate and with teacher instruction, all students
should be able to manipulate the websites.
E. For homework, students should complete the water cycle crossword
puzzle. It is fun, but also reinforces the vocabulary associated with the
water cycle.
Students will be able to identify each stage of the water cycle and
the vocabulary associated with the water cycle.
The water cycle journey website and the worksheets will be used
as assessment. The students will record how many tries it takes
them to ascertain the correct answer and they will also fill out a
blank water cycle diagram. Both of these worksheets can serve as a