Lesson Plan:

The Earth's Water Cycle

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September 21, 2015
by Sharon Schellenberg
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September 21, 2015
by Sharon Schellenberg

Learning Objectives

Students will be able to explain the water cycle.


Introduction (5 minutes)

  • Gather your students somewhere where they can all see you.
  • Tell your students that you are sad because a glass of water fell on your favorite shirt.
  • Pull the wet shirt out of your bag and show it to them.
  • Pretend to be upset about the shirt being ruined.
  • Tell your students that you will have to throw it away.
  • Give your students time to object, hopefully someone will suggest that the shirt will dry.
  • Ask your students what it means for something to dry.
  • Ask your students where the water goes when something is drying.
  • Tell your students that they will be learning about where water goes in the water cycle.

Explicit Instruction/Teacher Modeling (10 minutes)

  • Ask your students what a wheel does on a bike.
  • Explain to students that water goes in a cycle just like a wheel goes around and around.
  • Instruct your students to watch The Water Cycle.
  • Read the text as it appears in the video.
  • Pause where necessary to elaborate or discuss what is meant by the text.
  • Pay particular attention to the water cycle vocabulary: evaporation, condensation, precipitation, and collection.
  • Use a glass of ice water as an example for condensation and collection and a glass of boiling water for evaporation if your class needs more help.
  • Watch Water Cycle Song and have your students sing along.

Guided Practice/Interactive Modeling (5 minutes)

  • Hand out the Water Cycle Diagram worksheet.
  • Tell your students to sit in a circle with the diagram on the floor in front of them.
  • Tell your students to put their finger on the picture in the diagram that matches the words you call out.
  • Call out the following words: water, sun, evaporation, condensation, cloud, rain, precipitation, water, collection, condensation, rain, cloud.
  • Repeat these words until you are confident that your students know their vocabulary.

Independent Working Time (10 minutes)

  • Hand out the second page of the worksheet.
  • Explain and model how to cut out the labels and glue them to the diagram.
  • Instruct your students to raise their hand as them finish the assignment.
  • Go to each student as they finish and ask them to point to and describe the parts of the water cycle on their diagram.



  • Enrichment: Advanced students may label their diagram by writing the words instead of cutting and pasting them on. Students may also use the First Grade Water Cycle Diagram worksheet.
  • Support: Some students may need extra time to complete the assignment as well as visual and verbal clues to help them finish the diagram.


Assessment (5 minutes)

  • During Guided practice: Look for students who are pointing at the correct picture on the diagram.
  • During Independent practice: Your students should be able describe the water cycle verbally as they point to the pictures on their diagram.

Review and Closing (5 minutes)

  • Invite your students to sing the Water Cycle Song again as you play the song.
  • Ask your students to describe evaporation, condensation, and precipitation.
  • Ask your students to think of ways they will tell their parents about the water cycle.

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