Open-and-go lessons that inspire kids to love science.

Sign up now for tons of free lessons like this one!

Watery Planet    Mystery 3

Mystery 3 image

In this Mystery, students develop a model to explain how water cycles from the Earth’s surface to the atmosphere and back again.

Beginning Exploration (1 of 11)
Full Screen
Exit full screen whiteExit Full Screen
Beginning Exploration (2 of 11)

DISCUSS:

Imagine you lived in the same town as Pat’s brother. What could the town do to solve the problem of running out of fresh water? Do you have any ideas?

Full Screen
Exit full screen blackExit Full Screen
Beginning Exploration (3 of 11)
Full Screen
Exit full screen whiteExit Full Screen
Beginning Exploration (4 of 11)

THINK & DRAW:

What makes it rain? How does rain get up into clouds?

Draw a picture of your ideas. Label your picture with words describing what you think happens.

Full Screen
Exit full screen blackExit Full Screen
Beginning Exploration (5 of 11)
Full Screen
Exit full screen whiteExit Full Screen
Beginning Exploration (6 of 11)

DISCUSS (1 of 2):

Have you ever noticed a situation where water droplets formed on something?

Go to the next slide to see examples we thought about.

Full Screen
Exit full screen blackExit Full Screen
Beginning Exploration (7 of 11)

Example (1 of 3): The bathroom mirror after a shower

Full Screen
Exit full screen blackExit Full Screen
Beginning Exploration (8 of 11)

Example (2 of 3): The outside of a cold glass

Full Screen
Exit full screen blackExit Full Screen
Beginning Exploration (9 of 11)

Example (3 of 3): Blades of grass first thing in the morning

Full Screen
Exit full screen blackExit Full Screen
Beginning Exploration (10 of 11)

DISCUSS (2 of 2):

Where do you think the water droplets came from? Why do you think they formed in these places?

Hint...

Full Screen
Exit full screen blackExit Full Screen
Beginning Activity Prep
Full Screen
Exit full screen whiteExit Full Screen
Beginning Activity: Make It Rain
Full Screen
Exit full screen whiteExit Full Screen
Beginning Activity: Make It Rain
Full Screen
Exit full screen whiteExit Full Screen
Beginning Activity: Make It Rain
Full Screen
Exit full screen whiteExit Full Screen
Beginning Activity: Make It Rain
Full Screen
Exit full screen whiteExit Full Screen
Beginning Activity: Make It Rain
Full Screen
Exit full screen whiteExit Full Screen
Beginning Activity: Make It Rain
Full Screen
Exit full screen whiteExit Full Screen
Beginning Activity: Make It Rain
Full Screen
Exit full screen whiteExit Full Screen
Beginning Activity: Make It Rain
Full Screen
Exit full screen whiteExit Full Screen
Beginning Activity: Make It Rain
Full Screen
Exit full screen whiteExit Full Screen
Beginning Activity: Make It Rain
Full Screen
Exit full screen whiteExit Full Screen
Beginning Activity: Make It Rain
Full Screen
Exit full screen whiteExit Full Screen
Beginning Activity: Make It Rain
Full Screen
Exit full screen whiteExit Full Screen
Beginning Activity: Make It Rain
Full Screen
Exit full screen whiteExit Full Screen
Beginning Activity: Make It Rain
Full Screen
Exit full screen whiteExit Full Screen
Beginning Exploration (11 of 11)
Full Screen
Exit full screen whiteExit Full Screen
Beginning Complete!

You've completed the Exploration & Activity!

If you have more time, view the assessment, reading and extension activity in the optional extras.

Full Screen
Exit full screen blackExit Full Screen

Optional Extras

Below are ideas for extending this topic beyond the activity and exploration you just completed.
Full Screen
Exit full screen blackExit Full Screen

Activity: My Life as a Drip

Can you imagine what your life would be like as a drop of water? With the help of this creative writing activity from Kinetic City , you certainly can!

Students roll a die to choose a first sentence — then roll again to choose an ending.

  • Do you start underground and end up in an elementary school drinking fountain?
  • Do you begin in a puddle and end up in an iceberg?

So many possibilities and never the same story twice.

Full Screen
Exit full screen blackExit Full Screen

Video

“The Great Aqua Adventure” (4:28) reviews the basics of evaporation, condensation, and precipitation.

This is one of many videos from Crash Course Kids, a YouTube channel focusing on 5th-grade science topics. Crash Course Kids offers friendly hosted videos on many different subjects. Subscribe to free biweekly shows, or check out their extensive library of videos, all aligned with Next Generation Science Standards.

Full Screen
Exit full screen blackExit Full Screen

Readings

These readings are free with registration on Newsela. Readings can be adjusted for reading level. A writing prompt and a quiz questions is available for each reading.

  • What's going on in that cloud floating high in the sky? Find out in “What are clouds?” (Grade 5; also in Spanish)

  • Clouds are made of water, but sometimes that water doesn't fall as rain. Scientists have figured out how make clouds drop their water. Discover how in this reading.(Grade 5)

Full Screen
Exit full screen blackExit Full Screen

Online Resource: The Water Cycle

This interactive diagram from the U.S. Geological Survey lets you explore the parts of the water cycle online. Choose from three levels: Beginning, Intermediate or Advanced.

The same information is available as a poster that’s free to download and print. Choose from 24 different languages.

A simpler version of the poster is available as a water-cycle placemat. (A print-friendly link is at the bottom of the page.)

Whatever form you choose, these are great for reinforcing or reviewing concepts presented in this Mystery.

Full Screen
Exit full screen blackExit Full Screen

Discuss

Water is always evaporating, making clouds, then raining down to fill lakes and oceans. That means the earth’s water gets used over and over again. Think about what that means for the water you drink.

  • What does that mean for people today? Are we using the same water that dinosaurs used?

  • What does that mean for people in the future? Will they use the same water you’re using?

  • Are there things we should all do to save and protect water for the future?

Full Screen
Exit full screen blackExit Full Screen