Can we make it rain?

Can we make it rain?

Lesson narration:
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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?

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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.

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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.

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

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

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

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DISCUSS (2 of 2):

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

Hint...

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Extensions

Below are ideas for extending this topic beyond the activity and exploration you just completed.
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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.

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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.

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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.

  • How does water move through Earth's land, oceans, and atmosphere? Find out in “The water cycle.” (Grade 5)

  • 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)

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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.

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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?

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Lesson narration:

Activity Prep

Print Prep

In this lesson, students develop a model to explain how water cycles from the Earth’s surface to the atmosphere and back again. In the activity, Make It Rain, students create simple models of the ocean and sky to see how these two systems interact. Students compare how the temperature of the ocean and the temperature of the sky affect evaporation and condensation.

Preview activity
COVID-19 Adaptations
Digital worksheets available
Teacher demo recommended

Students at home
Prepare the four experimental set-ups shown in the Rainmaker Experiments worksheet. Demonstrate the activity over video conference. Students need a copy of the Rainmaker Experiments worksheet (printed or digital) to record their ideas and observations.
Students at school
Prepare the four experimental set-ups shown in the Rainmaker Experiments worksheet. Demonstrate the activity while students observe. Each student needs a copy of the Rainmaker Experiments worksheet to record their ideas and observations.

Exploration

23 mins

Wrap-Up

7 mins

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