Objective: Students will be introduced to the water (hydrologic) cycle.

Materials: 1 quart jar, clear plastic wrap, ice cubes, warm water, hydrologic coloring sheet, water cycle area identifiers, The Right Stuff movement cards (two complete sets of 30 cards), 2 containers to hold the cards (one for drawing out of and one to discard used cards)

Background: The earth's water is always in some state of motion. The endless circulation of water from the oceans to the atmosphere tot eh rivers and groundwater and back to the oceans again is known as the hydrologic cycle. The complex process is driven by two natural forces: the sun's energy which causes surface water to evaporate into the atmosphere and gravity which causes the water to flow downward toward low areas.

Procedure:
Have students color the hydrologic cycle coloring sheet. Briefly discuss the water cycle terminology.

Next, pour enough warm water into the jar to cover the bottom. Cover top of the jar with plastic wrap and seal with metal ring.

Put 3 or 4 ice cubes on the plastic wrap, then observe the underside of the plastic wrap for about 10 minutes. The plastic wrap will look wet and finally water drops will form on the underside of the wrap. In addition, steam will form on the sides of the jar.

Lead a class discussion based on the coloring picture and the experiment. Tell students that the same water they are drinking now was around during the time the dinosaurs lived. Water is constantly recycled on our planet.

Put the students in a large area where the different parts of the water cycle are identified on the floor or chairs (items listed: ocean, clouds, land, lake, river, plants and groundwater). All the students start out as a tiny water droplet. The idea is to get with other droplets to form a raindrop (group) and move as one. A raindrop consists of a group of students of no less than 3 and no more than 6.

Step one: have students form raindrops by linking arms. Every student should be in a group. They are all now raindrops in the clouds.

Step two: Raindrops drop onto the ground (go to Land area). At this point each student draws "The Right Stuff" card from container A. Each student reforms with his/her original group until teacher announces that raindrops have to leave the ground and go to their next area. Note: each card shows pictures of the destinations of that droplet. Under each picture it tells students how many have to be included in his/her group in order to move on to the next place in the water cycle. Example: Student draws a card that says: Plants (in the first square) and Evaporate (in the second square). This student has to go to the area designated as "Plants" and regroup from a droplet to a raindrop by reading how many droplets need to be in his/her raindrop.

Step three: After everyone has settled into their next area, students then move on (according to the card they have) and reform in the next area.

Step four: Once student has Evaporated back into the cloud area, he/she must deposit the used card into container B, reform with other students (droplets) to make a raindrop and repeat the cycle.

Students continue through the water cycle several times to get the concept. Note: there are 6 separate movement cards. Teacher needs to make 5 copies of each movement card to make 1 set of cards. We suggest that you make 2 sets in order to have enough cards in the "drawing" container (A). Students will discard their used cards in container B and will start cycle over by drawing another card from container A. Having multiple sets will enable the students to continue on in the cycle uninterrupted.

Additional information:
Card #1 - Plants - Evaporation: In the first block, student must join (link arms) with one other water droplet before moving onto evaporation block. If student is unable to join up with another student who has to evaporate in their next block, student must stay as a plant until someone arrives who needs to evaporate in their next block. In second block, student evaporates back to the cloud area to reform into raindrops and begin cycle over again. In this block, student does not need to join with anyone to evaporate into the cloud area.

Card #2 - River - Evaporation: In the first block, student must join up (link arms) with 2 other droplets before moving on to evaporation block. If student is unable to join up with another student who has to evaporate in their next block, student must stay in the river until someone arrives who needs to evaporate in their next block. In second block, student evaporates back to the cloud area to reform into raindrops and begin cycle over again. In this block, student does not need to join with anyone to evaporate into the cloud area.

Card #3 - River - Ocean - Evaporation: In the first block, student must join up (link arms) with 2 other droplets before moving on to the ocean block. If student is unable to join up with another student who has to move to the ocean in their next block, student must stay in the river until someone arrives who needs to move the ocean in their next block. In the second block, student must join with 3 other droplets who need to evaporate at their next move. If student is unable to form a raindrop with 3 other droplets, he/she must stay in the ocean until they can move. In third block, student evaporates back to the cloud area to reform into raindrops and begin cycle over again. In this block, student does not need to join with anyone to evaporate into the cloud area.

Card #4 - River - Lake - Ocean - Evaporation: In the first block, student must join up (link arms) with 2 other droplets before moving on to the lake block. If student is unable to join up with another student who has to move to the lake in their next block, student must stay in river until someone arrives who needs to move to the lake in their next block. In the second block, student must join with another droplet to move to the ocean. If student is unable to form a raindrop with another droplet, he/she must stay in the lake until they can move. In third block, student must join up with 3 other droplets before evaporating. In fourth block, when reaching the "E" space on the card, student evaporates back to the cloud area to reform into raindrops and begin cycle over again. In this block, student does not need to join with anyone to evaporate into the cloud area.

Card #5 - Groundwater - Lake - Evaporation: In the first block, student must join up (link arms) with 2 other droplets before moving on to the lake block. If student is unable to join up with another student who has to move to the lake in their next block, student must stay in groundwater until someone arrives who needs to move to the lake in their next block. In the second block, student must join with 1 other droplet who needs to evaporate. In third block, student evaporates back to the cloud area to reform into raindrops and begin cycle over again. In this block, student does not need to join with anyone to evaporate into the cloud area.

Card #6 - Groundwater - Lake - Ocean - Evaporation: In the first block, student must join up (link arms) with 3 other droplets before moving on to the lake block. If student is unable to join up with another student who has to move to the lake in their next block, student must stay in the groundwater until someone arrives who needs to move to the lake in their next block. In the second block, student must join with 2 other droplets to move on. If student is unable to form a raindrop with another droplet, he/she must stay in the lake until they can move. In third block, student must join up with 1 other droplet before evaporating. In fourth block, student evaporates back to the cloud area to reform into raindrops and begin cycle over again. In this block, student does not need to join with anyone to evaporate into the cloud area.

Extensions:
Prepare a bulletin board displaying the uses of water, a section with newspaper and magazine clippings of water issues, photos of how water and living things are related, or one about the water cycle.

Have class develop their own classroom water laws and penalties - forgetting to turn off water, lose a recess period; letting the water get cold before drinking, write a conservation poem, etc.

Study water myths and legends of the Native Americans or from other lands.

Develop a water notebook of clippings from newspapers, magazines, etc. (Don't forget cartoons!) Be sure articles are labeled with the newspaper, date, page number, etc. Have the students write a summary or interpretation of the articles.

Vocabulary Glossary:
Condensation: The process by which a vapor becomes a liquid; the opposite of evaporation
Evaporation: The conversion of a liquid into a vapor usually through the application of heat energy
Groundwater: Water found in spaces between soil particles underground
Infiltration: Water seeping into the ground
Precipitation: Water falling, in a liquid or solid state, from the atmosphere to Earth
Grade Level:
3-4

Subject Areas:
Science, Visual Arts, Reading

SD Standards for 4th grade:
Science
4.E.1.1

Visual Arts
Standard 1

Reading
4.R.1.1; 4.R.1.2

Setting:
Classroom

Skills:
Creative Thinking, Deduction, Observation


Prior Preparation: Laminate water cycle area identifiers and make copies of coloring sheet. Make copies of each the Right Stuff movement cards, laminate (optional), cut apart and place into a large container

Vocabulary:
condensation, evaporation, groundwater, infiltation, precipitation

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