Teaching the Water Cycle – Evaporation, Precipitation, Condensation

Teaching the water cycle is easy. Just use a solid learning cycle – instruction and inquiry, practice, and assessment. Your students will love the baggie project. You’ll love their mastery of the concept.

Ms. Sneed Enjoys Teaching the Water Cycle

Our favorite fourth grade teacher, Ms. Sneed, pulled out her water cycle materials. “We’ll work on this next,” she said to her co-teacher.

Mr. Frank grabbed a baggie from the folder. “This is one of my favorite water science experiments,” he said. “Let’s get started.”

Creating the Water Cycle in a Baggie

Ms. Sneed picked up a pencil and began writing in her plan book. “Next Monday kids can explore the interactive diagram from the USGS. Then each child can create a baggie diagram.”

“Perfect,” Mr. Frank replied as he penciled it into his own plan book.

Teaching the water cycle is fun with this baggie project. They draw a diagram on a Ziploc baggie, add some colored water, and tape it to a sunny window.

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Teaching the Water Cycle Vocabulary

“The following day we can reinforce vocabulary with this pictorial list.” She slid a page across to Mr. Frank.

Teaching the water cycle is easier with this list of vocabulary words: evaporation, transpiration, condensation, precipitation, percolation, plant uptake, runoff, and river discharge. Pictures reinforce the concepts.
Exploring Diagrams

“That same day, we can go over another diagram of the cycle. The author has provided digital versions – Easel Activities and Google Slides – so we don’t need to make copies of either review sheet.”

A colorful diagram supports teaching the water cyle.

Practicing Vocabulary and Diagrams

“On Wednesday, kids can practice with these worksheets. Again, digital versions are available.”

A matching vocabulary worksheet and fill-in-the-blank diagram help kids practice water cycle concepts.

“That seems pretty straightforward,” said Mr. Frank. “Do you think they’ll be ready for a quiz on Thursday?”

Ms. Sneed nodded. “Yep. Quick, easy, and also available in digital versions.”

The two teachers smiled. Nothing like quick, easy planning!

After teaching the water cycle, assess students' understanding with a quiz. They match vocabulary and definitions then complete a diagram.

Enjoy Teaching

Over the course of her career, Ms. Sneed realized that there were 6 steps to enjoy teaching. In order to survive, she had to organize, plan, and simplify. Then, to thrive, Ms. Sneed needed to learn, engage, and finally – dive in! Follow the Fabulous Teaching Adventures of Ms. Sneed and learn how you can enjoy teaching too.

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