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Water Cycle Ideas and Diorama Freebie

Sometimes it's nice to just take a break from the experiments and all the set up of activities in order to stop and make connections in a completely different way. Water is essential for life on earth and learning about the water cycle through a diorama is just the way to show what they know. Follow this simple activity and grab your free resource at the end!

Four Easy Steps to the Water Cycle Connection!

Step 1:

Gather your materials. All you need is:

  • paper: green (grass/land), brown (the ground/earth), yellow (sun), blue (water and rain), white (clouds and snow)
  • a box such as a shoe box...I use empty juice box boxes that we have at school for breakfast and after school classes
  • string or fish line to hand the clouds or precipitation
  • cotton balls if you want them to make puffy clouds
  • Sheets from my Water Cycle Freebie! Would love for you to rate it if you like it:)
Step 2: 

I like to start off by teaching about the water cycle. I use a great video linked below.

When finished I have them learn the six major words we want to see in the diorama. I have hand motions to help with those kinesthetic thinkers. 
  1. accumulation (hands move around in a circle with fingers down)
  2. evaporation(fingers wiggle up toward sky)
  3. condensation (hands go together to form a cloud shape, hands folded together)
  4. precipitation (fingers wiggle down)
  5. run off (fingers flow from high spot to low spot)
  6. ground water (fingers are moving down as if playing a piano)

Now...a bit of a trick question...which word starts the water cycle? There is no beginning or end! So as you teach it pick one and make sure that you go in order 1-4 from above. There is an order to it. 

Step 3:

Learning the vocabulary is very important so we then work on our vocabulary sheets after playing a game. 
How to play the game:
  1.  Gather blue cubes... a ton they signify precipitation/rain
  2. make cloud finger puppets

Literally, the best game to see the water cycle in action. We have some kids have their hands be the clouds with the finger puppet clouds on. The other kids gather the cubes placed on the ground. It is their job to pick them up and put them into clouds hands. They will fall. You now have the four key words. As they pick up it is evaporation, in clouds condensation, falling is precipitation, and on the ground accumulation.

Step 4: 

Diorama time! I assign numbers on each table. 1's do accumulation, 2's do condensation, 3's do precipitation, and 4's do run off. We then have them finish and then work on something off of this list...sun, evaporation with arrows, labeling and gluing. This helps everyone focus and be part of the team effort!

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