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The Water Cycle Unit

1. The Water Cycle
Introduce the water cycle to your students with this foldable
which can also be used as an assessment to test their
knowledge. For slower learners, you can place a word bank on the
board to help them.

2. The Water Cycle Notes

This foldable is a simple little study guide that provides an
overview of the water cycle process for the students.

3. Water Cycle Vocabulary Set

Use this blank sheet to have students fill in information about
the water cycle. For slow learners, they can use the definition
sheet provided to help.

4. All the Water on Earth

This is a really fun demonstration that helps students to
understand that although there is a lot of water on Earth, not
much of it can be used for drinking water or other needs.
Instruction sheet for class demonstration is included.

5. My Life as a Drop of Water

This is a fun writing prompt in which students will write a short
story about their life as a drop of water through the water cycle.
They can illustrate it and be creative for extra points!

6. Make it Rain Experiment

This interactive science experiment is a really quick and easy way
to teach students about condensation and precipitation.
Printing Orientation
Make sure to properly print these pages front to back
For best results, open this PDF document with Adobe Reader for PC
(print “actual size”) or Preview for Mac.

Foldable 1: The Water Cycle


Front Back

Foldable 2: The Water Cycle Notes


Front Back
All the Water on Earth
This is a really fun demonstration that helps students to
understand that although there is a lot of water on Earth, not
much of it can be used for drinking water or other needs.

Lesson Goals:

● Help students to recognize that although there is a lot of water

on Earth, not much can be used for drinking water or other
● Students will learn that ground and surface water is only a very
small percentage of the Earth’s water.
● Students will understand how much water is used in the
household every day
● Develop an understanding of how important it is to take care of
our water resources
● Identify possible ways to conserve water

Materials needed:

● 5-gallon bucket
● 2-cup measuring cup
● 1-cup measuring cup
● green food coloring
● eyedropper
● ice cube tray
● related handouts


1. Start by asking the class what they know about how much
water there is on Earth. Note down their answers to the board.
2. Pass around handout “How much water is there on, and in, the
All the Water on Earth
3. As the students are reading through the handout, pass around
the following to help them understand some of the terms
● aquifer
● water cycle
4. After students finish the “How much water..” handout, distribute
the below handout about glaciers and icecaps:
● ice caps


1. Show the 5-gallon bucket to the students. Explain that the water
in this bucket represents all of the water on Earth.
2. List on the board the follow types of water supplies on Earth:
● oceans
● groundwater
● rivers
● icecaps/glaciers
● freshwater lakes
● inland seas/salt lakes
● atmosphere
3. Ask two students to help with the demonstration. Hand one of
them the 2-cup measuring cup and ask them to fill it with water
from the bucket.
4. Have the student hold that amount up so everyone in the class
can see it and explain that this represents the amount of fresh
water on Earth.
5. Using the green food coloring and the eyedropper, put a few
drops into the bucket and explain that the rest of the water is
saltwater found in seas, oceans and salt lakes.
6. Explain that saltwater is not usable by humans because the salt
would make us very sick.
7. Ask the second student to pour 1 and a half cups from the 2-cup
into the ice cube tray.
All the Water on Earth
8. Explain that this is the amount of water stored in polar ice caps
and isn’t easily available because it is frozen.
9. Pass around the “All the Water in the World” handout (found on
the next page)
10. Once students have completed the answers, ask them if they are
surprised just how small a percentage of water in the world is

Follow up questions:

● Why isn’t all fresh water usable? Some isn’t easy get to: either
frozen or trapped in bad soil or bedrock fractures. Some water is
also too polluted to use.
● Why do we need to take care of surface/ground water? Water is
very important for humans, but also for animals and
plants/crops too. If we waste or pollute it, there will be even less
of it available to use.
● What are the implications of using so much water? Split
students into groups and ask them to write down a list of at
least 10 ways to conserve water on a daily basis.
All the Water in the World

Did you know…?

● Earth is also known as the “Water Planet”

● Approximately 75% of the Earth’s surface is covered with water
● The Earth has different types of water:

Oceans 97.2% of total water

Icecaps/glaciers 2.38%

Ground water 0.397%

Surface water 0.022%

(lakes, rivers, streams, ponds)

Atmosphere 0.001%

Add up the above percentages for water available for drinking:

Ground water _________

Surface water _________

TOTAL: (0.419%)

Add icecaps/glaciers _________

GRAND TOTAL: (2.799%)

REMEMBER: Only a very small percentage of water is suitable for humans to

drink. Not all of the water in the ground, lakes and rivers is easy to reach or
clean. Icecaps and glaciers are hard to use as well. Some work is being done to
take salt out of the ocean water, but it is a very expensive process.
Make it Rain
This interactive science experiment is a really quick and easy way to teach
students about condensation and precipitation.

Materials needed:

● 2-liter bottle for each group (empty water bottles

work best)
● Ice cubes
● Warm water
● Experiment notebook (next two pages)


1. Start by cutting the top off the bottle about ¼ of

the way down
2. Ask students to place the ice cubes into the top of
the bottle (see diagram)
3. Pour warm water into the bottom of the bottle (as
warm as possible, just not hot enough to melt the
4. Instruct the students to place the top into the
5. Using their experiment notebook, students can
explain what is happening and illustrate the clouds
and rain drops.

NOTE: If raindrops don’t fall right away, a quick tap on the top of the bottle will
usually get things going!
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