Lesson plan

Spring Showers Water Cycle

Leap into a spring lesson plan about the water cycle, with the help of a friend in the book *The Little Raindrop*. Students will learn features of the water cycle and retell the journey of the raindrop verbally and in writing.
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Students will be able to retell a fictional text about the water cycle using temporal words.

(5 minutes)
  • Fill a sandwich bag a quarter full with water, and hang it from the window a day before the lesson so the sun heats the bag. The heat applied to the bag will cause evaporation. Since the sandwich bag is closed, the water vapor trapped in the bag clings to the sides as water droplets, showing condensation. (Tip: If it is not a hot and sunny day, use a lamp aimed at the bag to stimulate evaporation. You can also use blue food coloring in the water to create greater contrast between the water and the bag.)
  • Show the students the bag with the drops of condensation that formed from the evaporating water. Hold up the other bag filled with water that was not placed on the window for them to contrast. (One bag will have water droplets and be a bit foggy, while the other will be clear with water on the bottom.)
  • Ask them if they know why the drops formed at the top of the bag. (For instance, “How did the drops get to the top and sides of the bag? How do you think the heat effected the water? Why is one bag clear and the other slightly foggy?”)
  • Say, “The sandwich bag is a small model of what happens when it rains. This spring lesson plan will focus on the water cycle and how spring rain is just a part of that cycle.”
(15 minutes)
  • Read the student objective and define several water cycle key words: evaporation (when heat turns water into vapors), condensation (when the vapor travels to the clouds and turns back to water), and precipitation (when the rain falls from the clouds).
  • Draw a quick water cycle on the board with clouds and a lake. (Tip: Use the Water Cycle worksheet as a guide for your sketch.)
  • Read The Little Raindrop with your students and add sentence strips with these vocabulary words: evaporation, condensation, and precipitation,' to the water cycle drawing as you read the book.
(10 minutes)
  • Ask students questions about the little raindrop's journey and relate it to the water cycle. (For example, “Where did the raindrop go after falling from the sky? What happened first? What happened second? What happened next? What was happening before the raindrop floated up into the sky?)
  • Write the temporal words: first, second, third, and lastly on the board. (Tip: As you are recounting the steps, point to each of the words and hold up your fingers after each number for added reinforcement.)
  • Refer back to the sandwich bag model as you discuss the evaporation and condensation parts to the story.
(10 minutes)
  • Distribute the Spring Writing Prompt worksheet.
  • List the beginning of the three sentences on the board or on chart paper. (First, the raindrop ____, Second, the raindrop ____, lastly the raindrop ____.)
  • Explain why they need to use the temporal words to help them organize their writing. (It helps the reader understand the writing.)


  • Provide cloze sentence stems, (that have a fill-in-the-blank aspect.) For instance, “First, the raindrop ____ from the clouds onto the ____. Then the raindrop became the ____ . Lastly, the raindrop ____to the clouds.”
  • List the answer to the blanks on the board (rained/fell, hill/ground, ocean, evaporated).
  • Provide a list of teh listed key words to use in their writing.
  • Refer them to their word wall for spellings of commonly used words.


  • Distribute The Water Cycle worksheet and have students glue vocabulary words in the correct location.
(3 minutes)
  • Have a quick comprehension check after the writing assignment on the vocabulary words, randomly picking students to place the vocabulary word strips on the drawn water cycle on the board.
  • Consider their oral responses and their writing as a formative assessment of their ability to retell the story and connect it to the water cycle.
(2 minutes)
  • Say, “When you go to school tomorrow morning, notice if the grass is wet. If you feel water on the grass, that is typical spring condensation!”

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