Water, water everywhere

By the time the kids get to third grade, they usually have  a LOT of background knowledge from the investigations they’ve done in changes in states of matter, and from second and first grade.

That also means that they might have a LOT of misinformation filed away in their brains.

It’s really important to access their background knowledge to make sure you clarify any misconceptions that they have.

There are a few ways to see what kids “know” about the water cycle – read about them below!

Step One

So first, we did a graffiti gallery walk to activate background knowledge.

I put four charts around the room with four different pictures, but no labels: a cloud with raindrops, arrows pointing towards a forming cloud, a water running down a hill into a lake, and a sun shining down on water with arrows pointing up.

The kids moved in groups throughout the room, writing what they saw and knew about the pictures. They already knew a lot!

Step Two

Next, we watched a Brainpop jr. about the water cycle.

Step Three

Then, we made these foldables!

I heart foldables 🙂

Step Four

This was an easy activity to do that you could use as a pre-assesment, a regular assignment, or a quiz to see if students are understanding the basic processes of the water cycle. 
Just have the kids cut out the labels for each stage in the water cycle and glue them on where they belong. Using this as a teaching moment? Have kids place them where they think they go. Then check it together so they can move them to the right spot if they need to!

This water cycle cut and paste is actually part of the free download on TpT!

In our ensuing conversations, I was enlightened about what my kids do outside when it rains.

“What’s precipitation?” one of the kids asked.

“It’s any form of water falling from the clouds to the earth, like rain, sleet, snow, or hail,” I said.

“What’s hail?” one of the other kids asked.

“It’s like a ball of ice.”

“Yeah,” one of the kids said, “and it’s a choking hazard.” Dead. Serious. What the WHAT?!

I expected the other kids to laugh, but they mostly just nodded. I chuckled and asked, “A choking hazard?”

“Yup.” Apparently, when it’s raining my students stand outside, staring up at the sky with their mouths wide open, in danger of choking on hail.

My job is awesome.

For this folded flapbook and so many more cool activities for teaching the water cycle and weather, check out my Water, Water Everywhere Unit on TPT!


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