Run and get a glass of water and put it on the table next to you. Take a good long look at the water. Now -- can you guess how old it is?
The water in your glass may have fallen from the sky as rain just last week, but the water itself has been around pretty much as long as the Earth has! We use water for everyday things. The earth has a limited amount of water. That water keeps going around and around and around and around and in what we call the "Water Cycle". This cycle is made up of a few main parts: evaporation, condensation, and precipitation. Today, we will experiment with water to understand that it travels in a cycle and understand different parts of the water cycle.


1. Brainstorm and create a diagram of the water cycle.

2. Create a PowerPoint presentation describing the different parts of the cycle and displaying images of each.

3. Create a YouTube video displaying one of the steps in the water cycle. Use your creativity to describe the cycle as you understand the water cycle.


  • What is a cycle? Something that goes in a circle. A bicycle has two circular tires. Something that travels in a circle is a cycle.
  • Show students a glass of water, and discuss where water comes from.

Direct Instruction

  • Define the key vocabulary terms at board and provide examples of when students may have witnessed evaporation or condensation.
  • Examples of evaporation include:
o Steam rising from a pot of water
o Puddles that have dried up
o Water sitting in a bowl that seems to ‘disappear’ after a few days
  • Examples of condensation include:
    • Water droplets forming on the outside of your water glass
    • A foggy mirror in a bathroom
    • Foggy windows in a car
    • Demonstrate the cyclical movement of water either by drawing the water cycle at the board, or sharing a poster of the water cycle.
  • Explain that in the experiment to follow, we will be creating a mini water cycle.

  • Place a tablespoon of salt in bottom of plastic bowl. Fill with about 1 inch of warm water. Taste water with finger to see if you can taste the salt.
  • Place the empty baby food jar in center of water. Cover plastic bowl with plastic wrap. Set marble on center of plastic wrap above the baby food jar. Place in a sunny spot for a few hours, or one day.
  • Later, check inside the baby food jar. There will be fresh water. Taste it to see if it tastes salty. The warm water from the bowl evaporated, created condensation when it hit the cool plastic wrap, traveled down the plastic wrap to the center due to the weight of the marble, and dripped into the baby food jar as precipitation.