FREE Teacher Resource- Water Cycle

Saying that we have been hot and dry lately is an understatement. The last time we had  a good rain was June 20th . We had a short burst of rain this morning, but it didn’t take long to dry that up. Right now counties to our north and west are getting rain, but not us.  I cannot complain too hard, because many parts of the country look a ton worse than we do. Please keep American farmers in your prayers.

picture, farm, drought, dry, no rain, organic, hay, farmer, 2012

Tim posted this picture of our farm yesterday on Instagram with this caption: “Getting dry out, the bluegrass in the pastures is shutting down. Hope it rains tomorrow.”

picture, corn, rain, field, farmer, 2012

This is a corn field from Mike and Pam Haley’s farm in Ohio

So since the rain isn’t falling on its own, the kids and I made our own rain.

Learning about the water cycle and water conservation can be a little abstract for preschoolers and early elementary students. But by having them participate in this hands-on experiment they should get a good understanding of what makes rain.

Make Your Own Rain-(adopted from The Water Project)

A miniature water cycle.

You will need:

  • a large metal or plastic bowl
  • a pitcher or bucket
  • a sheet of clear plastic wrap
  • a dry ceramic mug (like a coffee mug)
  • a long piece of string or large rubber band
  • water
    1. Put the bowl in a sunny place outside.
    2. Using the pitcher or bucket, pour water into the bowl until it is about ¼full.
    3. Place the mug in the center of the bowl. Be careful not to splash any water into it.
    4. Cover the top of the bowl tightly with the plastic wrap.
    5. Tie the string around the bowl to hold the plastic wrap in place.
    6. Watch the bowl to see what happens.

The “mist” that forms on the plastic wrap will change into larger drops of water that will begin to drip. (You can speed up the dripping by carefully moving the bowl – don’t splash! – into the shade.) When this happens, continue watching for a few minutes, then carefully peel back the plastic. Is the coffee mug still empty? Water from the “ocean” of water in the bowl evaporated. It  condensed to form misty “clouds” on the plastic wrap. When the clouds became saturated it “rained” into the mug!

Now if only it were that simple to make our own rain on the farm.

Beyond the Lesson

Laminate Water Cycle Placemats from the USGS and use at snack time or hang in the bathroom by the sinks.

Watch an animated video from the EPA. The EPA also has other water related activities for kids

Sing a simple song to remember the steps in the water cycle

Here is a great two part lesson plan on where food comes from and what plants need to grow

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2 thoughts on “FREE Teacher Resource- Water Cycle

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