Lesson plan

The Earth's Water Cycle

Your students will learn all about the water cycle with a simple video, lively song and cut and paste activity!
Download lesson plan
Grade Subject

Students will be able to explain the water cycle.

(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.
(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.
(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.
(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.
(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.
(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.

Add to collection

Create new collection

Create new collection

New Collection


New Collection>

0 items

How likely are you to recommend Education.com to your friends and colleagues?

Not at all likely
Extremely likely

What could we do to improve Education.com?

Please note: Use the Contact Us link at the bottom of our website for account-specific questions or issues.

What would make you love Education.com?

What is your favorite part about Education.com?