Objective: Students will write a classified ad that describes part of the water cycle.
Materials: Water cycle topics: Condensation, Lake, Infiltration, Groundwater, Runoff,
Ocean, Sun, Clouds, Precipitation, Transpiration, Aquifer, Evaporation, Stream, Wind;
paper and pencils
Background: Classified ads are placed in newspapers around the world. These
advertisements can range from selling real estate to cars to construction materials to
professional services and everything in between.
Make copies of the water cycle terminology and cut apart into slips of paper; one slip
per student. In some cases, depending on the class size, multiple students may have
the same word from which they design their ad.
Ask the class if anyone knows what a classified ad is. Read some from your local paper
and then read these make-believe examples and ask the kids to guess which part of the
water cycle each ad describes.
Explain that each student will have a chance to write a classified ad that describes part
of the water cycle. Afterward, everyone will play a game to match the classified ads with
a part of the water cycle.
Have students pick one slip of paper, keeping their slip secret from other students.
Provide reference books and ask each student to write his/her ad.
When everyone is finished, collect the ads. Then distribute copies of the list of water
cycle terminology. Read the list out loud followed by each classified ad created by the
students. Ask the students, as you go, which term matches which ad. Explain that some
ads may fit more than one term.
To finish the activity, have each student design, draw and color a water cycle based on
their classified ad.
Make-believe classified ads:
Are you looking for a quite place to get away from it all? Why not visit our resort that is
completely shrouded in fog, year round! We offer full services to the casual visitor! Give
us a call at 1-800-WE-DO FOG and make your reservation! (Condensation)
For sale: Water that's seen it all! If you're looking for scraps of paper, bits of string and
wood, pieces of plants and a few particles of dirt, you need to give me a call! Will sell
cheap. 547-9932 (Runoff)
It creeps, it slithers, it slinks through rocks, sand, dirt - you name it. The water that does
it all! Our company is ready to help you with all your soaking needs! Give us a call at
After students have mastered writing a classified ad for a part of the water cycle, have
them extend the ad to include the entire cycle.
Build a water cycle in your classroom. One suggestion is to build a terrarium.
As a small group activity, have groups create a brochure to sell the water cycle. Include
a discussion of what characteristics should be included in their brochure. Display their
brochures on a water cycle bulletin board.
SD Standards for 4th grade:
4.R.1.1; 4.R.1.2; 4.R.2.2
Observation, Writing, Communication
Prior Preparation: Read to your class
"A Drop Around the World" by Barbara
Shaw McKinney or another book that
relates to the water cycle. If using "A
Drop Around the World" have students
identify the parts of the water cycle
represented on each page.