Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Weather Study: The Water Cycle

Happy Wednesday, friends!

As previously shared in my post titled "Weather Study: Clouds," our firsties are studying all things weather. Today, I am continuing to share some of the activities we have used lately with our study of the water cycle as well as links to some additional resources that may be helpful for you if you are teaching this topic as well. I will continue to share different aspects of our weather study, but it will take multiple posts to cover it all … there's so much to learn and do! :)

Now, about that water cycle…

I am so grateful to Mrs. Lirette's Learning Detectives for providing these lovely lyrics and instructions for a water cycle song. We have had so much fun singing this song, and I cannot think of a greater way to teach small learners such big words such as evaporation, condensation, and precipitation. Be careful, though; this one will get in your head.

(Sung to the tune of She’ll Be Coming Around the Mountain)
Water travels in a cycle, yes it does 
(use pointer finger to make a big circle)
Water travels in a cycle, yes it does 
(repeat finger circle)
It goes up as evaporation 
(moves hands up to the sky)
Forms clouds as condensation 
(make a cloud overhead with arms)
Then comes down as precipitation, yes it does! 
(Sprinkle with fingers while bringing arms down in front of you)

The students have created large tear-art raindrops for a cute display in the classroom. The background in the center of these raindrops is made with contact paper, so these will be a pretty take-home product for students to put against a window as well. I know most raindrops should be blue in the center, but our kiddos really thought their raindrops should contain all the colors of the rainbow, and who am I to stifle that creativity?!? So here you have it -our colorful raindrops.

Our next activity was a great demonstration of the water cycle. I absolutely love this "rain in a cup" activity, and it never fails to fascinate the students. The "ingredients" list is simple: a clear cup of water, shaving cream, and blue food coloring.
The water represents the air around us. Shaving cream on top of the "air" represents the clouds. The food coloring represents the rain as the clouds become too heavy and water falls through the air as precipitation.

We are going to continue our water cycle activities into next week, so I will probably have more pictures to come on this topic!