The best place to do this water cycle experiment is either on a window ledge or on a table next to a bright and sunny window. First you will fill a plastic cup about half full with warm water. Carefully place cup of water into the dry plastic zip lock bag. Slowly zip the top of the bag until tightly closed. Tape the top of the bag to the window.
Now have your student kneel to eye level of the cup. Carefully draw a line with your colored marker on the outside of the bag, where the water line is on the cup. At this point, have your student take a picture of the bag. Now you will want your student to start writing in their observations in a “Science Journal”. Have them begin with a Hypothesis, then write all observations, including the Time and Date. Note: this is Day 1 of this experiment.
The next day, this will be Day 2. Have your student observe what has taken place inside of the bag. The water line on the cup should now be lower than on Day 1. Have your student draw a line with the marker at the new water line. The water line is lower because this is the first phase of the water cycle which is “Evaporation”.
There should also be a “cloudy” appearance at the top of the bag. This is the second phase of the water cycle known as “Condensation”, this is how clouds are formed in the sky. Water droplets on the side of the bag are there because of the third phase which is “Precipitation”, in nature this iswhat occurs when it rains or snows.
Finally, there will be water droplets on the bottom of the bag, this is the fourth phase of the water cycle known as “Collection”, this happens when rain or snow collects in rivers, lakes and oceans.
This is an excellent “multisensory” learning lesson. To expand this lesson you can take lots of pictures, download them into your computer, and create online photo journals, cards, notes and blogs, www.smilebox.com is excellent for online journaling. What a fun and rewarding way to showcase your students work and share with friends and family