The Water Cycle

Climate Change Lesson 2: The Water Cycle

Water is the most abundant natural resource on our planet. Every living thing relies on water for their survival. Not every life form can move to a source of water when they need it. Some rely on water coming to them. This process of water moving over the Earth is called the Water Cycle.

Some parts of the Earth have an abundance of water, some parts have very little, and there are even places that have no water at all. Because water is so important, making sure there is enough water for everyone is a very important concern people have today.

In this lesson you will learn about the water cycle, the different stages, and the importance of water moving from one part of the Earth to the other so we can all live.

Activity Level: High

Activity Time: 50 to 90 minutes


Students will show their understanding of the water cycle by creating and acting out skits that demonstrate the different stages after a class discussion and video.



Water Cycle Diagram 

Billy Nye Water Cycle Video


Teacher: "Where does the water come from when it rains or snows?"

"How did the water get into the clouds?"

"If the water in the clouds came from the air and fell down to the ground as rain, How did the water get from the ground to the air to make clouds?"

"When each of these events happen, it creates a cycle. The name for this cycle is the Water Cycle."

Teacher: Display water cycle diagram.

                        Evaporation - Sun heats water and it rises from the ground into the

                        air as vapor.

                        Condensation - Water vapor rises into cooler air and forms clouds.

                        Precipitation - When clouds become too heavy with water vapor, is

                        released and falls back to Earth in the form of rain, snow, hail, sleet

Review the phases of the water cycle with the students to make sure they understand the phases. If you like, you may also show the Bill Nye video on the water cycle at this time.

Activity: Water Cycle Skits

Divide students into small groups. Assign each group either Condensation, Precipitation or Evaporation.

Instructions (Display on overhead or Smart Board):

For this activity, your group needs to develop a short skit demonstrating one of the phases of the Water Cycle. Be as creative as you want, but make sure your skit shows what happens when water evaporates, condenses or precipitates.

While the students work on the their skits, assist them as needed. Once all of the groups are ready, have them take turns demonstrating their phase of the water cycle for the class.


Have the student groups figure out in what order they need to perform their skit to create a full Water Cycle.

Have the group act out their skit and the other students see if they can guess which phase they're acting out.

Table Activity:

Water Cycle Assessment - Pass out to the students and have them complete in class or as homework.


Today we talked about the water cycle and why it is important that this process happens on our planet. What would happen if something disrupted the water cycle, and we didn't get as much rain as needed? Why is water so important for every living thing.

Teacher Resource:

Water Cycle diagram - the one provided as an example is public domain. It can be used as an example for a new design or used for this lesson.

Student Resource:

Water Cycle Assessment

This worksheet will include the Water Cycle diagram with blank spaces near each graphic image of the phases. A word bank provided on the side with EVAPORATION, CONDENSATION and PRECIPITATION so the students have the vocabulary to complete the exercise.

Condensation can appear as:

1. sweat on a glass

2. fog

3. clouds

4. all of the above

Precipitation can come in the form of:

1. snow

2. wind

3. rain

4. 1 and 3

When water evaporates it:

1. sinks and gets warm

2. warms and rises

3. cools and sinks

4. cools and rises

Water in the air needs ________ in order to form clouds.

1. dust

2. light

3. soil

4. rivers

Precipitation flows into:

1. rivers

2. lakes

3. soil

4 all of the above