I begin this lesson by having the kids come to the carpet one table at a time to sit like scientists. That means they are quiet and ready to listen and learn.
I then read to the kids a book called Rain by Marion Dane Bauer. I stop at points of interest for a whole group discussions.
At each page I have the kids discuss with their floor partner what is learned about weather. I do this to get the kids primed for the lesson and prepare their brains for what they will be learning today.
While still seated on the carpet, I have the kids share all that they know about rain. Some have very limited knowledge because they have lived in a desert region all of their lives.
I have the kids talk to their floor partner about what they know about rain. I give the kids 20 seconds of think time and then each partner 15 seconds to share their thoughts.
I then call on random pairs of partners to share what they talked about during the discussion. They share what they know and understand, which takes us to learning about the science of rain: The earth's water cycle.
I do this to encourage learning and to get the kids to process the information just learned. The kids use this as an opportunity to hear the information and then say the information. The next step leads to them using it.
We continue to sit on the floor as I share with the kids how the Earth's water cycle works. I use a basic image from the internet to explain how it works.
This image is simple to understand. I do not look for them to remember the vocabulary as common vocabulary, but I do expect them to be familiar with it and recognize when used.
I go over each step of the water cycle using the image so the kids can be familiar enough with the cycle that they can successfully complete the evaluation task at the end of this lesson.
Doing it this way allows the kids to hear, see and use the information gained from this lesson. The water cycle image used to demonstrate to the kids is closely reflected in the independent work done at the end of the lesson. This makes it easy for the kids to transfer the information from what they've seen to the work they do.
The evaluation is the water cycle that they have to cut and match pictures to the words precipitation, condensation, evaporation, and accumulation.
We go over the cycle and vocabulary one more time before I give them their eval task and set them off on their own.
As they work, I roam the room to monitor progress and assist as necessary.
When all the kids are finished cutting and pasting the images with the proper vocal words, I call them back to the floor for the closing of this lesson:
I extend the lesson to a home-school connection mini reader that the kids can either cut, order and staple at the end of the science lesson if there is time or they can do it during the reading lesson the next day as it crosses across academic lines into our ELA standards.
Procedure to go over the take home readers:
This take home reader supports learning and serves as a home-school connection piece. It supports learning by extending the lesson and crossing into Language Arts. Most students can read it themselves; those struggling with reading can have assistance at home.