Exploring the Water Cycle
Lesson 6 of 10
Objective: SWBAT to develop a model to describe the cycling of water among living and nonliving parts of an ecosystem.
To engage students in lesson I show students the TEDEd video Where did Earth's water come from? by Zachary Metz.
Water covers over 70% of the Earth, cycling from the oceans and rivers to the clouds and back again. It even makes up about 60% of our bodies. But in the rest of the solar system, liquid water is almost impossible to find. So how did our planet end up with so much of this substance? And where did it come from? Zachary Metz outlines the ancient origins of water on Earth.
As students watch video they answer the following questions in their interactive notebooks:
1. What is the oldest and most abundant of the elements?
2. Which piece of evidence does not support the theory that water cam much earlier in Earth's history than once suspected?
a. Examination of fossil remains
b. Examination of carbonaceous chondrites
c. Examination of rocks on earth
d. Examination of asteroids
3. What is not likely scenario of how water was initially delivered to Earth?
b. Ice bearing comets
4. Which two reasons were though to have rid Earth of its early water?
a. Lack of an atmosphere
b. Collisions with space debris
c. Lack of gravity
d. High surface temperatures
In this section of the lesson we explore the water cycle using the interactive Exploring the Water Cycle activity courtesy of NASA. (MS-LS2-3. Develop a model to describe the cycling of matter and flow of energy among living and nonliving parts of an ecosystem./CCC-Energy/Matter- The transfer of energy/matter can be tracked as energy/matter flows through a natural system.)
1. Hand out the Exploring the Water Cycle Student Handout. Students will use this throughout the rest of the lesson.
2. Show the water cycle video (slide 5). Students should be labeling their blank diagrams as they watch. This version of the water cycle is more complex than the one on their capture sheets. Students only need to copy the ones from the word bank. This video has no narration so you will need to talk the kids through it, pausing as necessary. I have included video below:
3. Ask, “Which of the stages in the water cycle required energy from the Sun?” (Evaporation and Transpiration.) Click on the diagram (slide 6) and the correct labels will be circles. Go to next slide.
4. Ask, “Which of the stages requires water to give off heat? (Condensation) (slide 7). Click on the diagram and the correct labels will be circles. Go to next slide.
5. Ask, “Which of the stages are driven by the force of gravity?” (slide 8). (Precipitation, Runoff, Infiltration, Groundwater Flow) Click on the diagram and the correct labels will be circles. Go to next slide.
In this section of lesson students read an article titled The Water Cycle from cK-12.
The text discusses the following:
1. Water cycle (evaporation, condensation, precipitation)
Once students have read the article, they answer the following text-dependent questions. (RST.6-8.1-Cite specific textual evidence to support analysis of science and technical texts.)
- What is the water cycle?
- What are two ways water returns to the atmosphere?
- How does water get from the atmosphere back to land? What are the various forms of this process?
- What is the relationship between groundwater and aquifers?
As students watch video they answer the following questions:
- What is a fundamental difference between the water cycle and other nutrient cycles?
- What drives the water cycle? Where does this process primarily occur?
- What happens to most of the water taken up by plants? How does this compare to most of the water taken up by animals?
- How does water's role in photosynthesis explain increased biological productivity in areas of heavy precipitation?
In this section of the lesson students read a passage titled Water, Water, Everywhere from Readworks.
The non-profit ReadWorks is committed to solving the nation's reading comprehension crisis by giving teachers the research-proven tools and support they need to improve the academic achievement of their students.
ReadWorks provides research-based units, lessons, and authentic, leveled non-fiction and literary passages directly to educators online, for free, to be shared broadly.
The ReadWorks curriculum is aligned to the Common Core State Standards and the standards of all 50 states. Most importantly, ReadWorks is faithful to the most effective research-proven instructional practices in reading comprehension.
Students use the Marking the Text Science strategy to access their reading. Marking the text allows students to identify key terms and most importantly evidence used by author in passage.
Once students have read and marked the text students answer the text-dependent questions included at the end of passage. (RST.6-8.1-Cite specific textual evidence to support analysis of science and technical texts.)
Students complete a mini-project (slide 11 - Exploring the Water Cycle Powerpoint) in which they describe one possible path that a water molecule can take through the water cycle. They have the following choices in order to demonstrate their understanding (SP2-Developing and Using Models):
1. They may make a mini-poster with a diagram of the water cycle. (8.5” X 11” maximum)
• The diagram should not look just like the one we used in class. It should have the water molecule moving from one step to another.
• Each step in the cycle needs to have text that describes what is happening to the molecule. This text can be ‘spoken’ by the drop, or written as a caption near the drop.
They may make a comic strip with a molecule of water as the main character.
• The comic must include text that explains what is happening in each frame.
• The text can be dialog ‘spoken’ by the drop, or written as a caption at the bottom of the frame.
Grade their projects with the accompanying rubric (slide 12-Exploring the Water Cycle Powerpoint)