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Water Cycle (Sun and Oceans)


Water Cycle (Sun and Oceans)

TEKS Objective

Explain how the sun and the ocean interact in the water cycle.

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Essential Understanding

The student knows that there are recognizable patterns in the natural world and among the Sun, Earth, and Moon system.

Science Background

Water Science for Schools: US Geological Survey (website) - Information on many aspects of the science of water, along with pictures, data, maps and an interactive Activity Center where students can give opinions and test their water knowledge.

Water Science for Schools
US Geological Survey, Georgia Water Science Center,

Signature Lesson

What is the Water Cycle? BioEd Online (website) - Students build, observe and discuss a simple model of the water cycle, including an explination of the interaction between the Sun and the ocean. Teacher background information included.

What is the Water Cycle?
BioEd Online,

Supporting Lessons

Make a Water Cycle Wristband: American Chemical Society (PDF) - Students create wristbands from colored beads to remember each stage of the water cycle.

Make a Water Cycle Wristband
American Chemical Society,

Build a Model of the Water Cycle: Oceans Alive (website) - Students identify the elements of the water cycle and learn that the sun is the source of energy driving the water cycle.

Build a Model of the Water Cycle
Oceans Alive, Museum of Science, Boston,

Elaboration Lessons and Extensions

Water Planet/Water Cycle: FOSSWeb (website) - This module explores the water cycle.

Science for Kids: American Chemical Society (website) - Lessons on a wealth of concepts for elementary students related to physical and Earth science.

Science for Kids
American Chemical Society,

Assessment Ideas

Have each student answer the questions, Where does water come from? and Where does water go? in one of the following ways.

  • Draw or paint the answers.
  • Write a poem to answer the questions.
  • Write a life history of a raindrop.

Literature Connections

Drip! Drop! How Water Gets to Your Tap. Seuling, Barbara (ISBN: 0-823-41459-0)

A Drop Around the World. Shaw-McKinney, Barbara (ISBN: 1-883-22072-6)

Oceans. Delta Education (ISBN: 1-592-42373-6)

Oceans. Simon, Seymour (ISBN: 0-060-88999-3)

Water. Flanagan, Alice (ISBN: 0-7565-0038-9)

Water. Ditchfield C., Jenner J. and Vargus NR. (ISBN: 0-516-29369-9)

Water, Water Everywhere. Rauzon MJ and Overbeck-Bix C. (ISBN: 0-871-56383-5)

Bringing the Rain to Kapiti Plain. Aardema, Verna (ISBN: 0-140-54616-2)

This Is the Ocean. Hamilton, Kersten (ISBN: 1-563-97890-3)

Water Dance. Locker, Thomas (ISBN: 0-152-16396-4)

The Water Cycle. Frost, Helen (ISBN: 0-7368-2314-X)

Global Warming: The Threat of Earth’s Changing Climate. Pringle, Lawrence (ISBN: 1-587-17009-4)

Related Science TEKS

(5.8A) Differentiate Weather and Climate
The student is expected to differentiate between weather and climate.

Related Math TEKS

5.11A  The student is expected to solve problems involving changes in temperature.

5.12B   The student is expected to use experimental results to make predictions.

5.14A  The student is expected to identify the mathematics in everyday situations.

5.14D  The student is expected to use tools such as real objects, manipulatives, and technology to solve problems.

5.16A  The student is expected to make generalizations from patterns or sets of examples and nonexamples.

Additional Resources

Mini Water Cycle: ABC Science Online (PDF) - Students observe the water cycle in action inside a mini solar still.

Mini Water Cycle
ABC Science Online,

Follow a Drop Through the Water Cycle: US Geological Survey (website) - Explains the water cycle by following a single drop of water through all different parts of the cycle.

Follow a Drop Through the Water Cycle
US Geological Survey, Georgia Water Science Center,

Water Cycle Animation: Exploring Earth (website) - Observe a raindrop traveling through the water cycle.

Water Cycle Animation
Exploring Earth, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company,

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