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Students are introduced to the concept of the water cycle. Through inquiry, hands-on activities and problem solving, students will increase their understanding of the steps of the water cycle and benefits of rain. Students will also learn about the small amount of drinking water available on the earth and the need to keep it free from pollution. The math portion of the lessons deals with simple addition and demonstrating percentages using counting chips or small beans.
Take A Look 1, Rain
Science For You,Why is the Sea Salty
Learning Objectives
Students will be able to:
Pre-Viewing Activities
Have the students breathe through their mouth onto a small mirror. Ask them what the cloud is made of that they see on their mirror. (water). Will the cloud disappear? (yes) What is called when the water disappears (evaporation, this is just an introduction to the term evaporation as this lesson will investigate it further.)
Now ask the students to put their hands up to their mouths and breath on it. Ask how their breath feels (warm and moist). Ask where does the moisture go they feel on their hand? (into the air)
What is the moisture they feel called? (water vapor, this also will probably be a new term. Just introduce the word for now.)

Ask three or four students to come to the chalkboard. Give them each a glass of water and a watercolor paint brush. Have them write their names with water on the chalkboard. Ask the class what will happen to the names written with water (it will dry by itself). Where will the water that was on the blackboard go (into the air). What is this called (evaporation). Place a large word strip with the word EVAPORATION on it on the blackboard where the water once was.

Viewing Activities
1. To give students specific responsibility while viewing have them focus on some specific information that will be shown in the video. For very young viewers the information should be shown in the first few minutes and then the tape stopped to ask questions to check for understanding. For this first segment ask the students if the weather is the same everyday? Sometimes does the weather keep us from doing what we want to do? Ask the students to watch the Take A Look 1, Rain to find out why Jeff is disappointed.

2. START the video at the very beginning of the Take A Look, Rain video. You will see the house and hear the theme music. Play until Jeff says." I wish we could decide when to have sunny weather and when to have rain." PAUSE tape.

3. Ask the students what is was that Jeff wanted to do that he couldn't do because of the rain outside. (fly his kite). Ask if any of the students have ever had their plans changed because of the weather. Before beginning the tape again have the students focus on a new concept. Ask them to listen for the word water cycle and be able to explain what it is.

4. RESUME PLAYING TAPE until Kate finishes showing the chart of the water cycle and Kate says "that is what is known as the water cycle". PAUSE tape and have students tell in their own words what the water cycle is.

5. To reinforce this concept have the class play a game. Give each cooperative learning group 4 cards. Each card will have one pictures of a step in the water cycle. Tell them that their group needs to line up in the correct order. When the groups are sure they are in the right order to raise their hands. (The cards are found at the end of this lesson.) Most groups will line up in a line, however, since the water cycle is a circle encourage the groups to form a circle.

6. The next part of the video demonstrated how rain is made.You will want to do this in the classroom for the students to see themselves. (Sometimes after we do the experiment I will show the class the experiment on the video so we can compare results. Any experiment that can be done in the classroom will be more meaningful that just watching it on the video.) Have the students record in their science journals what happened during the experiment.

7. RESUME play and watch as Kate shows the chart that she has kept of the weather for the past month. One of the state core objective is for the students to chart the weather for a month. This would be a good time to begin the class chart. Each student should be able to have their individual chart to record the weather. STOP the tape when Jeff discovers condensation on the outside of the glass of orange liquid.

8. This is another experiment that the students will want to be able to do in the classroom. Make sure the liquid in the glass is colored so that they can see that the moisture that collects on the outside of the glass is a different color than what is inside.Place the word strip CONDENSATION above the glass. Students will record in their journals.

9. Ask students to listen to the music video about rain to tell us why the rain is important. START the tape at the beginning of the music video. Have them list at least three things that we need the rain for. After the music video is over (when you hear the narrators voice and see the boy flying the kite) STOP the tape and record their answers on the chalkboard. Visually REWIND the music video and REPLAY it to make sure that the class discovered all the reasons we need rain.

grass to grow
water flowers and trees
keeping cool

10. REMOVE the Take A Look Tape and replace it with Science for You, Why is the Sea Salty. Ask the students if they have ever seen real pictures of the earth from out in space. The focus for this section will be for the students to discover why the earth is called the blue planet.

11. START the tape at the beginning where you see the standard introduction of the Science for You series. PAUSE playing when you see the globe of the earth and hear ..."perhaps we should call the earth planet ocean instead of planet earth." Discuss the amount of water and color of the earth's surface with the students.

12. Ask the students if they think there is a lot of drinking water available on our planet. Have students vote yes or no and record numbers on chalkboard. Tell them that the tape will help us answer this question. RESUME play until you see the earth and hear "how much of the earth's water is really drinkable."

13. Place 100 counting chips or beans on the overhead. Have the students count with you while you place them when they can all see. RESUME play and pause when the boy first tries to take a drink and the glass is taken away. Remove 70 of the chips from the overhead and tell the class that represented the water that is salty.

RESUME play again until the second time the glass is taken from him. This time remove 20 of the chips to represent the water frozen at the North and South pole. RESUME play until the glass is removed again, take away 9 chips to represent the water found underground or in clouds and on plants. Ask how much of the water is left? One, or one percent. PlAY until the boy finally gets to drink one drop and you hear "why is so much of it salty". STOP the tape and remove video. Ask students if they think there is a lot of water available to drink.

14. Go back to the chalkboard where the class voted on the amount of drinking water available. Discuss their vote. Ask if anyone wants to change their vote to No. Then review again using the counting chips how much of the water is able to be used from drinking water. What could we do to keep it clean and not waste it?
Post-Viewing Activities
Read the book Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs to the students. Have them work in cooperative groups to make large poster of what they would like it to rain if they could choose. Display the posters in the hall for other classes to enjoy.

Another activity to end the lesson with is to read the book, FISH EYES a book you can count on, by Lois Ehlert. This book is very colorful and has pictures of many fish. The students count with you as the fish are added together. You may want to give the students counting chips to act out the story of the fish.
Action Plan
Visit a weather station. Many weather stations can be found at airports, colleges, or high schools. Observe the equipment and ways of predicting weather. Observe how the weather reporter gathers information to report the weather. Where does the information come from?

1. Make a list of compound words that contain the word rain.
2. Make a collection of rain expressions and explain the meaning of each.
3. Describe a storms and tells what happens before, during and after the storm.
4. Pretend you are a small insect during a rain storm. Describe the storm using five senses.


1. Design a bulletin board showing the water cycle.
2. Watercolor pictures of different types of weather


1. Make a rain gauge and use a chart to record the rain for one month.
2. Bring in water from various sources and examine it under microscopes.

Master Teacher: Mary McMurtrey

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