Friday, July 18, 2014

W for Water Cycle

See what we did for other letters in the Alphabet in Simple Science.

W for Water Cycle

Science Notebook Page (Click the picture to print).

As with all topics, we started off by talking about what the water cycle is.  To do so, we had to review liquids and gases.  We talked about how water just keeps going around and around the cycle.  We also briefly reviewed evaporation (see the evaporation activities here).    We happened to have a ton of books about storms and rain, we did a lot of reading.  His favorite was definitely Bringing the Rain to Kapiti Plain.  We also watched The Magic School : Wet All Over.

Water Cycle Model
Hot water
Clear container (a glass jar with a lid worked best for us)
Plastic wrap (if you don't have a lid)

A quick search of water cycle models on the internet gets you a bunch of different setups, but the concept is the same.  Put hot water in the bottom of a clear container, put ice at the top of the container, watch the condensation.  We tried a few different methods, which was nice in that it let us talk about the steps of the water cycle multiple times.  Water vapor (gas) evaporates from the liquid into the air in the container.  Then when it gets close to the ice, it starts condensing again.  We actually got fog to permeate the glass jar.  Unfortunately, we only got a little bit of "rain" from the top of the lid.  Maybe it just wasn't cold enough.

As we talked about the different steps I would ask him why he thought things were happening.  Why is the water vapor turning back into a liquid (condensing)? What is it about the ice that makes it condense?  What is it about the freezer that makes liquid turn to solid?

We started with a big bowl.
Adding the ice
It is hard to see in the picture, but the water droplets were visible on the under side of the plastic wrap.

Using a glass.
Using a glass jar.  We got a really good fog in here.  It was also nice that the ice didn't melt all over the table!
Check out my Alphabet in Simple Science Pinterest Board for more ideas!

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