Lesson 1: Introduction to Water Cycle, Precipitation and Clouds



  • Content objectives
  • The students will be able to have a deep understanding of the environmental concept of climate change through the water cycle.
  • The students will be able to know the process of the water cycle including how it takes place, when and where.
  • Students will learn about the importance of water in the atmosphere in all its form, how water changes form and what makes water change form.
  • The students will learn the three forms of water, which includes the liquid form; water, the solid form; ice and the gas form; water vapor.
  • They will learn the important uses of water in all the three form to human beings, animals and plants or vegetation.
  • The students will know how the water cycle continues in all the three forms of water for example the plants give out water in form of vapor and the clouds give out water in form of liquid usually through raining.
  • The students will be able to understand cloud formation and how temperature in the atmosphere is regulated through the water cycle.
  • Language Objectives


  • Students will be in a position to define key terms in the water cycle which include; evaporation, condensation and precipitation through demonstrative water cycle diagrams.
  • There will be diagrams shown to the students of the water cycle that will enable them to understand the terminologies used in the water cycle.
  • There will be online videos to aid in understanding the water cycle better than from the diagrams
  • Through group work, the students will be able to master the water cycle concept by learning from their fellow students.
  • The students will be able to show what they have learnt about the water cycle by matching pictures of the cycle to the definitions of the processes involved.
  • The matching can be done individually and another activity like making a water cycle board can be for group work like this https://www.pinterest.com/pin/441493569702425184/An article from Pinterest by Suzie’s Home Education Ideas
  • K-ESS3-1, Using a model to represent the relationship between the needs of different plants or animals (including humans) and the places they live
  • K-ESS3-3, Communicate solutions that will reduce the impact of humans on the land, water, air, and/or other living things in the local environment
  • Science and Engineering Practices
  • Asking Questions and Defining Problems
  • Developing and Using Models
  • Obtaining, Evaluating and Communicating Information.

In order to equip the students with the best knowledge about the water cycle, the teacher must know the various forms of water involved, the definitions of the terms used such as precipitation, evaporation and condensation among others. The teacher must also be with the knowledge that water bodies like the oceans, seas give out water in form of vapor through evaporation process. The vapor rises up into the atmosphere and then condenses to form clouds in the sky. The clouds then give out this water in form of rains or snow and the process is called precipitation. A teacher must also know that the water cycle is also known as the hydrologic cycle and that it is a continuous process. The teacher should know that water cycle helps in regulating temperatures in the atmosphere and, therefore, plays an important role in the environment. The teacher must also know that this process is important to humans as they use water for general domestic purposes and survival. Animals also use water for survival and the plants depend on it for growth.

  1. Materials
  • Science journals
  • Access to Internet as well as a computer
  • A projector
  • To project the diagrams that will be used for the lesson
  • To project the videos that will be used from online search engine
  • Black board and chalk for normal class lessons
  • Some instruments to be used during the song formation of water cycle processes for quick and easy memorizing.
  • Cardboards for group work to form water cycle board, rolls of strings, glue or masking tape for sticking items on the board, pairs of scissor and rulers for the art work.

*Scissors will be issued by the teacher who will either help the students to cut out the required material mostly or let the students do it but in his or her presence.




The students may engage in various misconducts during the water cycle lesson and these includes;

  • Students may make a lot of unnecessary noise during the practical session of group work
  • Students may explore the Internet for other irrelevant materials
  • Some students may fall asleep on the cardboards provided for group work.
  • Other students may fight over the materials provided which may be ruined beyond use.
  • Students may use the strings to tie themselves around the wrist as bracelets, at the ankles or dangerously around the neck.
  • Students may fight each other over the materials provided

This lesson will educate students on the water cycle processes of evaporation, condensation and precipitation. It will also teach the students on the important uses of water to humans, animals and plants.

Engage (5 Minutes)

  • Introduce the water cycle process on the black board vividly
  • Go into deeper details with the illustrations from the diagrams and the internet materials available and projected for the students
  • Ask questions about what you just taught them to see the progress of the lesson. This will also help a teacher know areas he or she needs to emphasize on or repeat teaching.
  • For example; the three forms of water and the definition of the water cycle processes.
  • Explain purpose of the lesson: To learn about the water cycle and its importance to the environment
  • Ask the students for questions if they have any. If they have, let the rest of the class try to answer the questions. For motivational purposes, the teacher can ask the rest of the students to clap for students who try to answer the questions even if they are not right. The teacher can also come up with rewards like extra paper, pens, and pencils for those students who put effort in class to encourage the rest.

Explore (8 Minutes)

  • Go back to the group work and the board project that you had asked the various small groups to work on.
  • Display the board to the rest of the class one at a time as you ask the rest of the students questions like;
  • What do you think this group missed out?
  • What corrections can we make on this board?
  • Has this group achieved the complete water cycle?
  • Has this group illustrated any importance of the water cycle to humans, plants and animals? Look out for plant diagrams, an animal drinking water or a person using water for cleaning from a water body.
  • If there are any adjustments in regards to the above questions, let the students sort them out on their own. Let them add in what was left out by a certain group and let them make the corrections themselves.
  • Once they are done, the teacher can then add his or her points that the students may have left out.

Explain (5 minutes)

  • Since by this time a lot of time will have been spent on the water cycle, touch on the rest of the lesson like the importance of water to human, animals and plants.

Ongoing assessment:

  • Ask the forms in which humans, animals and plants take in water and give out water.
  • Ask about cloud formation and what happens before and after cloud formation
  • Ask what makes water transform into the different form, looking for heat as the answer.
  • The needs of English Language Learners will be addressed through the teacher’s presentation, group work and whole class conversations. They will have the opportunity to learn about water cycle using visual models while explaining the concepts.


  • Students will be given homework regarding the water cycle lesson.
  • This homework can be done with family at home as it will help the student bond with the parents or guardian. It will also help the student progress individually in the lesson learnt and point out a student’s weaknesses.
  • The teacher can assess the homework later and provide guidance to the student accordingly.
  • This assignment can be to re-do the group work project but this time individually or with the help of family at home.
  • This will improve the students memory of the lesson learnt.


  • Student will be given material about the water cycle and encouraged to ask questions, raise concerns and make comments about the materials.

Ongoing assessment:

  • Formative nature during the lesson using discussions, groups, sciences journals and making activities like song formation.
  • A small quiz can be given to the students to help the teacher assess and evaluate the student’s understanding of the topic, which can be handed in as the students break out of class.

The students who will have seemed less active in class and with all the activities of this lesson will receive close attention with the home work they will hand-in to the water cycle board. Follow ups will be mandatory on their quiz performance and if necessary, another class of the same topic.

For the students that may be way ahead of the rest in grasping the concept of water cycle, a teacher may see it fit to use them to help the rest. The teacher may reshuffle the group to this effect and ensure that the quick learners help the ones that are either slow or of less interest to the topic.

  • Students will record key facts and information in their Science Journals throughout the lesson as well as record their findings for their homework assignment there.
  • Handouts will be distributed during specific sections of the lesson. They are attached below and labeled in terms of when they are to be used and who created them.


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