The Water Cycle

Grade Levels: 2-5


Students will:


The hot sun makes water change into water vapor (evaporation). The water vapor goes up into the sky and makes clouds. Wind blows the clouds over the land. The clouds meet cool air. The water vapor changes back into water drops and falls to the earth as rain, hail or snow (precipitation). The water is then absorbed into the soil and makes its way back to the streams and oceans. The cycle continues to repeat itself.

Activities and Procedures:

  1. Put a cup of water in a flat pan. Heat to boiling. Put ice cubes in a small pan. Hold it over the steam. Watch the water cycle! Discuss what happens. Use the terms condensation, precipitation and evaporation.
  2. Make the water cycle following the directions at - EPA Kids Page
  3. Place it in a sunny spot and watch what happens over a few days.
  4. Have students discuss what is expected to happen. Then have them compare what they thought with the actual results.
  5. Have students draw a picture of the water cycle with arrows and captions showing how it works.
  6. Students should write a short paragraph explaining their drawing.


  1. Jar with lid
  2. Soil
  3. Sand
  4. Small rocks
  5. Small plant
  6. Ice cubes
  7. Flat pan
  8. Hot plate

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