Water – Background

From ice crystals to raindrops, water in its many forms is a remarkable substance that is essential to all living things. Most organisms are made largely of water, many also live in or on the water, and all require water to survive. The Earth’s water is a finite resource but one that is constantly on the move. As it cycles from the Earth’s surface to the atmosphere and back, it changes form. Water evaporates into vapor, condenses into droplets, and precipitates as rain or snow. Much of the water that falls on land is transported back to the air by plants, a process that is only possible because of water’s unique properties.

The Earth’s water was formed billions of years ago as the planet itself was forming, though there is still much to learn about how this came about. Water is Continue reading Water – Background

Water – Activities

FOCUS: The Earth’s water is in oceans, lakes, and rivers, in the atmosphere and underground, inside plants and animals, and frozen in glaciers. The water present today is the same water that has been here for millions of years, though it is constantly in motion, moving from place to place. Water evaporates into vapor, condenses into clouds, precipitates as rain or snow, and transpires through plants as it moves between atmosphere and land, over and over again in a cycle that is powered by the sun and essential to living things.

Objective: To begin to explore and ask questions about water.

Look around the school grounds and notice where water is found. What form is it in (frozen as snow or ice or liquid in puddles or dripping off roof)? Ask children what they notice and wonder about water.

Alternatively, give each small group of children a bucket of water, a bowl of ice, some cups, and some spoons. Allow them to explore the materials, and ask what they notice and wonder about water.

Materials: basin of water, spoons, cups, and ice, set for each group; optional: funnels.

HOT, COLD, AND FROZEN (Grades 3-6)
Objective: To compare the density of water at different temperatures.

Ask the children what happens to air when you heat it up. (It gets lighter and rises.) Would water get heavier or lighter when heated? Ask for ideas about a way that you could test this. Continue reading Water – Activities

Water – Puppet Show

Do Drop In!


Characters: Wilma Water Drop, Willy Water Drop, Melvin Mallard, Slinky Mink, Molly Mole

Props:  Tree, water sprayer


(puppets sway back and forth)

Wilma Water Drop  Hi, Willy Water Drop. Gee, the waves are huge today here in the ocean. It’s like surfing! Weeee! This is fun! Continue reading Water – Puppet Show

Water – Standards


The activities in this unit help children understand the basic concepts in the Disciplinary Core Ideas listed here. You can use the following list as a guide for lesson planning. These Disciplinary Core Ideas are taken from Grade Band Endpoints in A Framework for K-12 Science Education. Additionally, our activities give children opportunities to engage in many of the Science and Engineering Practices and reflect on the Crosscutting Concepts as identified in the Next Generation Science Standards. Continue reading Water – Standards