Lesson Plan

Earth Systems

This activity was developed to give participants an understanding of Earth’s water cycle. In this one-­­hour long activity, students participate in a webquest to learn about the water cycle, and then build a mini model of the water cycle to observe how wa
Carola H.
Classroom teacher
Show More
My Grades 6, 7, 8
My Subjects English Language Arts, English Language Learning, Math, Science, Social Studies, Arts

Students will be able to...

Describe the processes that a droplet of water goes through as it moves through Earth’s four systems                        

Identify the four Earth systems on a diagram of the water cycle

Grades 6
All Notes
Teacher Notes
Student Notes

1 ESS2.D: Weather and Climate Weather and climate are influenced by interactions involving sunlight, the ocean, the atmosphere, ice, landforms, and living things. These interactions vary with latitude, altitude, and local and regional geography, all of whi

Tell the students that they will complete a webquest using different websites and data sets to give them some background about the water cycle. They will record their answers on a student capture sheet.

As a result of interacting with the material in this webquest, students will learn how much water on Earth is actually freshwater, how water moves through Earth’s water cycle, the importance of the oceans to our water cycle, the interactions of Earth’s systems as water changes state and moves through them, how the average person in the U.S. uses freshwater resources, how clouds form, and why understanding the water cycle is vital to knowing about weather, climate and natural resources.

Student Instructions

Water is fundamental to life on Earth. Knowing where and how much rain or snow falls globally is vital to understanding how weather and climate impact both our environment and Earth’s water and energy cycles, including effects on agriculture, fresh water availability and responses to natural disasters. The Global Precipitation Measurement (GPM) mission, launching in 2014, will help scientist to better understand how much rain and snow falls around the world.

Precipitation is a vital component of how water moves through Earth’s water cycle. The water cycle connects all four of Earth’s spheres: the hydrosphere, geosphere, atmosphere and biosphere. Water evaporates from the surface of land and oceans, rises and cools, condenses into rain or snow, and falls again to the surface as precipitation. The water falling on land collects in rivers and lakes as well as soil, and much of it flows back into the oceans. Water also transpires from plants into the atmosphere. All living things need water to survive.