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Water Cycling in the Wilderness

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Summary

Students will identify stages in the water cycle. Students will identify the importance of water to all living things.

Coin Type(s)

  • Quarter

Coin Program(s)

  • 50 State Quarters

Objectives

  • Students will identify stages in the water cycle.
  • Students will identify the importance of water to all living things.

Major Subject Area Connections

  • Science

Minor/supporting Subject Area Connections

  • Art
  • Language Arts

Grades

  • Kindergarten
  • First grade

Class Time

Sessions: Four
Session Length: 20-30 minutes
Total Length: 91-120 minutes

Groupings

  • Whole group
  • Small groups
  • Individual work

Background Knowledge

Students should have a basic knowledge of:

  • Water
  • Needs of living things
  • Weather
  • Cycles
  • Mural

Terms and Concepts

  • Quarter
  • Obverse (front)
  • Reverse (back)
  • Water cycle
  • Condensation
  • Evaporation
  • Precipitation
  • Glacier
  • Waterfall
  • Solid
  • Liquid
  • Gas

Materials

  • 1 overhead projector (optional)
  • 1 overhead transparency (or photocopy) of each of the following:
    • "Alaska Quarter Reverse" page
    • "Round and Round It Goes" worksheet
  • "Alaska Quarter Reverse" page
  • "Round and Round It Goes" worksheet
  • "The Water Cycle" songsheet
  • 1 class map of the United States
  • 1 copy of a text that gives information about the water cycle. For example:
    • The Drop Goes Plop: A First Look at the Water Cycle by Sam Godwin
    • The Water Cycle (Nature’s Changes) by Bobbie Kalman and Rebecca Sjonger
    • The Life and Times of a Drop of Water: The Water Cycle by Angela Royston
    • The Snowflake: A Water Cycle Story by Neil Waldman
  • 1 copy of a text that gives information about Alaska. For example:
    • Count Alaska’s Colors by Shelley Gill
    • Far North In the Arctic: Counting Alaska’s Animals by Corey Hansen andKathryn Kunz Finney
    • Alaska’s 12 Days of Summer by Pat Chamberlain-Calaman
    • Alaska ABC Book by Charlene Kreeger
    • Under Alaska’s Midnight Sun by Deb Vanasse
  • Chart paper
  • Markers
  • Small clear plastic cups
  • Hot water
  • Tape
  • Bag of ice cubes
  • Cotton Balls
  • Small paper cups
  • Cold water
  • Construction paper (11 by 17 inches)
  • Sequins
  • Scissors
  • Glue
  • Butcher drawing paper
  • Pencils
  • Crayons

Preparations

  • Make an overhead transparency (or photocopy) of each of the following:
    • "Alaska Quarter Reverse" page
    • "Round and Round It Goes" worksheet
    • "The Water Cycle" songsheet
  • Make copies of each of the following:
    • "Alaska Quarter Reverse" page (1 per student) (optional)
    • "Round and Round It Goes" worksheet (1 per student)
    • "The Water Cycle" songsheet (1 per student)
  • Locate a text that gives information about the water cycle (see examples under"Materials").
  • Locate a text that gives information about Alaska (see examples under "Materials").
  • Gather for observation in Session 2:
    • 2 small clear plastic cups
    • Tape
    • Hot water
    • Bag of ice cubes
    • Cotton balls (1 per student)
    • Small paper cup (1 per student)
    • Cold water (place a small amount in each cup)
  • Cut large circles from constructions paper (1 per student).
  • Gather sequins and cotton balls for illustration of the water cycle in Session 2.
  • Cut a piece of butcher paper for a class mural.

Worksheets and Files

Lesson plan, worksheet(s), and rubric (if any) at www.usmint.gov/kids/teachers/lessonPlans/pdf/201.pdf.

Session 1

  1. Review the term "cycle" with the students. Discuss the cycles that they are already familiar with (for example: recycle, life cycle, the seasons).
  2. Ask the students to give ideas of the forms that water takes and record their responses on chart paper.
  3. Introduce the term "water cycle" to the students. Tell the students that the water cycle is the process by which water changes forms over and over again. Write the definitions at the top of a piece of chart paper.
  4. Introduce the students to the selected text on the water cycle. Preview the text and illustrations and allow students to generate observations about the water cycle.
  5. Read the text aloud. During the reading, attend to any unfamiliar vocabulary.
  6. After the reading, discuss the water cycle again and the forms they noticed in the text. Add the responses to the chart paper.
  7. Discuss the stages of the water cycle: evaporation, condensation, and precipitation. Explain each. (In evaporation, the sun heats the water and turns it into vapor or steam—tiny droplets that can’t always be seen. In condensation, the vapor in the air gets cold and turns back into liquid. In precipitation, so much water has condensed on particles in the air that the air can’t hold them anymore.
  8. On another piece of chart paper, label three columns with the terms evaporation, condensation, and precipitation.
  9. Discuss which form of water is created by each of these processes.
  10. Display the overhead transparency of the "The Water Cycle" songsheet. Introduce students to the song and act out the lyrics a few times. Then distribute a copy of the "The Water Cycle" songsheet to each student so they can practice the song and motions at home.

Session 2

  1. Sing the "The Water Cycle" as a review of the previous session.
  2. Show the students the two clear plastic cups of water, one empty and one filled with hot water. Tape them together, the empty one upside down on top of the other.
  3. As the upper cup starts to fog, ask the students which stage of the water cycle is occurring (evaporation).
  4. Next put a bag of ice cubes on the top of the upper cup and explain that it is very cold up high in the air. As beads of water form, ask the students which stage of the water cycle they are observing now (condensation).
  5. Once the droplets begin to fall from the top cup, ask the students which stage is taking place (precipitation).
  6. Explain to the students that they will be doing a short observation to show them the stages of the water cycle. Show the students the materials they will be using. Remind the students that the materials are for an observation and should be used appropriately (for example: don’t drink the water, don’t put cotton balls in their ears).
  7. Distribute a cotton ball and a small paper cup with a little water in it to each student.
  8. Direct the students to hold the cotton ball and pretend they are holding a cloud. Explain that the water has evaporated and formed the cloud because it is so much colder high up in the sky (evaporation). Ask the students if it feels heavy or light.
  9. Tell the students to place the "cloud" (cotton ball) in the cold water until it’s wet, then hold it over the cup. Ask the students how the "cloud" feels now, heavy or light.
  10. Ask the students what is happening to the water. Encourage them to say it is dripping from the cotton ball. Explain to the students that at this stage the clouds get very heavy with water and cannot hold anymore so water falls from the clouds in the form of rain or, if it is really cold, snow (precipitation).
  11. Collect the materials.
  12. Display the transparency of the "Round and Round it Goes" worksheet and distribute a copy to each student.
  13. Explain to the students that they are going to illustrate the water cycle on a coin made of construction paper. They will use cotton balls, crayons, and sequins tomake the illustration. Ask the students what they think each of the materials will represent (cotton balls are clouds, sequins are rain, small pieces of cotton could besnow, etc.).
  14. Direct the students to cut out the terms from the "Round and Round it Goes"worksheet and glue them next to the appropriate illustration on their water cycle coin. Remind the students to include the Sun in their illustration since it plays a role in the water cycle. Allow them time to complete the coin illustration.
  15. Review the students’ coins as a class and display them.

Sessions 3 and 4

  1. Review the previous sessions and discussions on the water cycle.
  2. Discuss how each of the stages of the water cycle are important to all living things.
  3. Describe the 50 State Quarters® Program for background information, if necessary, using the example of your own state, if available. Then display the transparency or photocopy of the Alaska quarter reverse, mentioning that an image must be special to be on a quarter. Locate Alaska on a classroom map. Note its position in relation to your school’s location.
  4. With the students, examine the design on the Alaska quarter. Tell the students thatthe back of a coin is also called the reverse, and "obverse" is another name for thefront of a coin. Look at the images on the coin. Discuss that the design shows abear clutching a salmon in its mouth and a waterfall behind them. Show the stu-dents the date at the top of the coin and tell them that is the date Alaska became partof the United States. Explain that "The Great Land" is a nickname for Alaska.
  5. Introduce the students to the selected text on Alaska. Preview the text and illustrations and allow students to generate observations about Alaska.
  6. Read the text. During the reading, attend to any unfamiliar vocabulary.
  7. After the reading, discuss Alaska and living things that can be found in Alaska. Record the responses on a piece of chart paper.
  8. Explain to the students that Alaska has a lot of water. Ask the students what forms of water might be seen in Alaska (for example: waterfalls, lakes, rivers, the ocean, snow, ice). Tell the students that the word "Alaska" means "the mainland" or "the object towards which the action of the sea is directed." Discuss the importance ofwater in Alaska based on the images on the coin (for example: it is a home for fish, the bear needs it to drink, the trees need it to grow).
  9. Divide the class into small groups. Explain to the students that as a class they will create a mural of the water cycle. Each group will be responsible for illustrating something from the chart paper on Alaska. Tell the students the mural needs to include waterfalls, glaciers, ice, snow, and plants and animals seen in Alaska. Half of the class will illustrate the stages of the water cycle and the forms of water seen in Alaska and the other half will illustrate the living things found in Alaska. All must label their drawings appropriately.
  10. Allow an appropriate amount of time for the students to complete the mural.
  11. As a class, review the mural and the stages of the water cycle.

Differentiated Learning Options

  • Allow students to work in pairs.
  • Provide students with a completed copy of the "Round and Round It Goes" worksheet.
  • Allow students to use clip art on the mural.

Enrichments/Extensions

  • Have students relate the water cycle to their own state and the various living things found there.
  • Have students research other states that are made up primarily of water. Have them report on the various living things found in those places and why the water is important to them.
  • Take anecdotal notes about the students’ participation in class discussions.
  • Evaluate the students’ worksheets and mural for understanding of the lesson objectives.
There are no related resources for this lesson plan.

Discipline: Language Arts
Domain: L.K Language
Grade(s): Grade K
Cluster: Conventions of Standard English
Standards:

  • L.K.1. Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English grammar and usage when writing or speaking.
    • Print many upper- and lowercase letters.
    • Use frequently occurring nouns and verbs.
    • Form regular plural nouns orally by adding /s/ or /es/ (e.g., dog, dogs; wish, wishes).
    • Understand and use question words (interrogatives) (e.g., who, what, where, when, why, how).
    • Use the most frequently occurring prepositions (e.g., to, from, in, out, on, off, for, of, by, with).
    • Produce and expand complete sentences in shared language activities.
  • L.K.2. Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English capitalization, punctuation, and spelling when writing.
    • Capitalize the first word in a sentence and the pronoun I.
    • Recognize and name end punctuation.
    • Write a letter or letters for most consonant and short-vowel sounds (phonemes).
    • Spell simple words phonetically, drawing on knowledge of sound-letter relationships.

Discipline: Language Arts
Domain: RL.1 Reading: Informational Text
Grade(s): Grade K
Cluster: Key Ideas and Details
Standards:

  • RI.1.1. Ask and answer questions about key details in a text.
  • RI.1.2. Identify the main topic and retell key details of a text.
  • RI.1.3. Describe the connection between two individuals, events, ideas, or pieces of information in a text.

Discipline: Language Arts
Domain: L.1 Language
Grade(s): Grade K
Cluster: Conventions of Standard English
Standards:

  • L.1.1. Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English grammar and usage when writing or speaking.
    • Print all upper- and lowercase letters.
    • Use common, proper, and possessive nouns.
    • Use singular and plural nouns with matching verbs in basic sentences (e.g., He hops; We hop).
    • Use personal, possessive, and indefinite pronouns (e.g., I, me, my; they, them, their, anyone, everything).
    • Use verbs to convey a sense of past, present, and future (e.g., Yesterday I walked home; Today I walk home; Tomorrow I will walk home).
    • Use frequently occurring adjectives.
    • Use frequently occurring conjunctions (e.g., and, but, or, so, because).
    • Use determiners (e.g., articles, demonstratives).
    • Use frequently occurring prepositions (e.g., during, beyond, toward).
    • Produce and expand complete simple and compound declarative, interrogative, imperative, and exclamatory sentences in response to prompts.
  • L.1.2. Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English capitalization, punctuation, and spelling when writing.
    • Capitalize dates and names of people.
    • Use end punctuation for sentences.
    • Use commas in dates and to separate single words in a series.
    • Use conventional spelling for words with common spelling patterns and for frequently occurring irregular words.
    • Spell untaught words phonetically, drawing on phonemic awareness and spelling conventions.

Discipline: Language Arts
Domain: SL.1 Speaking and Listening
Grade(s): Grade K
Cluster: Presentation of Knowledge and Ideas
Standards:

  • SL.1.4. Describe people, places, things, and events with relevant details, expressing ideas and feelings clearly.
  • SL.1.5. Add drawings or other visual displays to descriptions when appropriate to clarify ideas, thoughts, and feelings.
  • SL.1.6. Produce complete sentences when appropriate to task and situation. (See grade 1 Language standards 1 and 3 for specific expectations.)

Discipline: Language Arts
Domain: W.1 Writing
Grade(s): Grade K
Cluster: Research to Build and Present Knowledge
Standards:

  • W.1.7. Participate in shared research and writing projects (e.g., explore a number of “how-to” books on a given topic and use them to write a sequence of instructions).
  • W.1.8. With guidance and support from adults, recall information from experiences or gather information from provided sources to answer a question.
  • W.1.9. begins in grade 4.

Discipline: Language Arts
Domain: SL.K Speaking and Listening
Grade(s): Grade K
Cluster: Comprehension and Collaboration
Standards:

  • SL.K.1. Participate in collaborative conversations with diverse partners about kindergarten topics and texts with peers and adults in small and larger groups.
    • Follow agreed-upon rules for discussions (e.g., listening to others and taking turns speaking about the topics and texts under discussion).
    • Continue a conversation through multiple exchanges.
  • SL.K.2. Confirm understanding of a text read aloud or information presented orally or through other media by asking and answering questions about key details and requesting clarification if something is not understood.
  • SL.K.3. Ask and answer questions in order to seek help, get information, or clarify something that is not understood.
  • SL.K.4. Describe familiar people, places, things, and events and, with prompting and support, provide additional detail.
  • SL.K.5. Add drawings or other visual displays to descriptions as desired to provide additional detail.
  • SL.K.6. Speak audibly and express thoughts, feelings, and ideas clearly.

Discipline: Language Arts
Domain: W.K Writing
Grade(s): Grade K
Cluster: Research to Build and Present Knowledge
Standards:

  • W.K.7. Participate in shared research and writing projects (e.g., explore a number of books by a favorite author and express opinions about them).
  • W.K.8. With guidance and support from adults, recall information from experiences or gather information from provided sources to answer a question.
  • W.K.9. begins in grade 4.

Discipline: Language Arts
Domain: W.K Writing
Grade(s): Grade K
Cluster: Text Types and Purposes
Standards:

  • W.K.1. Use a combination of drawing, dictating, and writing to compose opinion pieces in which they tell a reader the topic or the name of the book they are writing about and state an opinion or preference about the topic or book (e.g., My favorite book is...).
  • W.K.2. Use a combination of drawing, dictating, and writing to compose informative/explanatory texts in which they name what they are writing about and supply some information about the topic.
  • W.K.3. Use a combination of drawing, dictating, and writing to narrate a single event or several loosely linked events, tell about the events in the order in which they occurred, and provide a reaction to what happened.

Discipline: Language Arts
Domain: W.1 Writing
Grade(s): Grade K
Cluster: Text Types and Purposes
Standards:

  • W.1.1. Write opinion pieces in which they introduce the topic or name the book they are writing about, state an opinion, supply a reason for the opinion, and provide some sense of closure.
  • W.1.2. Write informative/explanatory texts in which they name a topic, supply some facts about the topic, and provide some sense of closure.
  • W.1.3. Write narratives in which they recount two or more appropriately sequenced events, include some details regarding what happened, use temporal words to signal event order, and provide some sense of closure.

Discipline: Language Arts
Domain: RL.K Reading: Informational Text
Grade(s): Grade K
Cluster: Craft and Structure
Standards:

  • RI.K.4. With prompting and support, ask and answer questions about unknown words in a text.
  • RI.K.5. Identify the front cover, back cover, and title page of a book.
  • RI.K.6. Name the author and illustrator of a text and define the role of each in presenting the ideas or information in a text.

Discipline: Language Arts
Domain: RL.K Reading: Informational Text
Grade(s): Grade K
Cluster: Integration of Knowledge and Ideas
Standards:

  • RI.K.7. With prompting and support, describe the relationship between illustrations and the text in which they appear (e.g., what person, place, thing, or idea in the text an illustration depicts).
  • RI.K.8. With prompting and support, identify the reasons an author gives to support points in a text.
  • RI.K.9. With prompting and support, identify basic similarities in and differences between two texts on the same topic (e.g., in illustrations, descriptions, or procedures).

Discipline: Language Arts
Domain: RL.K Reading: Informational Text
Grade(s): Grade K
Cluster: Key Ideas and Details
Standards:

  • RI.K.1. With prompting and support, ask and answer questions about key details in a text.
  • RI.K.2. With prompting and support, identify the main topic and retell key details of a text.
  • RI.K.3. With prompting and support, describe the connection between two individuals, events, ideas, or pieces of information in a text.

Discipline: Language Arts
Domain: RL.1 Reading: Informational Text
Grade(s): Grade K
Cluster: Craft and Structure
Standards:

  • RI.1.4. Ask and answer questions to help determine or clarify the meaning of words and phrases in a text.
  • RI.1.5. Know and use various text features (e.g., headings, tables of contents, glossaries, electronic menus, icons) to locate key facts or information in a text.
  • RI.1.6. Distinguish between information provided by pictures or other illustrations and information provided by the words in a text.

Discipline: Language Arts
Domain: RL.1 Reading: Informational Text
Grade(s): Grade K
Cluster: Integration of Knowledge and Ideas
Standards:

  • RI.1.7. Use the illustrations and details in a text to describe its key ideas.
  • RI.1.8. Identify the reasons an author gives to support points in a text.
  • RI.1.9. Identify basic similarities in and differences between two texts on the same topic (e.g., in illustrations, descriptions, or procedures).

Discipline: Language Arts
Domain: All Language Arts Standards
Cluster: Applying Strategies to Text
Grade(s): Grades K–12
Standards:

  • Students apply a wide range of strategies to comprehend, interpret, evaluate, and appreciate texts. They draw on their prior experience, their interactions with other readers and writers, their knowledge of word meaning and of other texts, their word identification strategies, and their understanding of textual features (e.g., sound–letter correspondence, sentence structure, context, graphics).

Discipline: Visual Arts and Music
Domain: K-4 Visual Arts
Cluster: Standard 6: Making connections between visual arts and other disciplines
Grade(s): Grades K–12
Standards:

  • Students understand and use similarities and differences between characteristics of the visual arts and other arts disciplines
  • Students identify connections between the visual arts and other disciplines in the curriculum

Discipline: Language Arts
Domain: All Language Arts Standards
Cluster: Use of Spoken, Written, and Visual Language
Grade(s): Grades K–12
Standards:

  • Students use spoken, written, and visual language to accomplish their own purposes (e.g., for learning, enjoyment, persuasion, and the exchange of information).

Discipline: Visual Arts and Music
Domain: K-4 Music
Cluster: Standard 1: Singing, alone and with others, a varied repertoire of music
Grade(s): Grades K–12
Standards:

  • Students sing independently, on pitch and in rhythm, with appropriate timbre, diction, and posture, and maintain a steady tempo
  • Students sing expressively, with appropriate dynamics, phrasing, and interpretation
  • Students sing from memory a varied repertoire of songs representing genres and styles from diverse cultures
  • Students sing ostinatos, partner songs, and rounds
  • Students sing in groups, blending vocal timbres, matching dynamic levels, and responding to the cues of a conductor

Discipline: Visual Arts and Music
Domain: K-4 Music
Cluster: Standard 8: Understanding relationships between music, the other arts, and disciplines outside the arts
Grade(s): Grades K–12
Standards:

  • Students identify similarities and differences in the meanings of common terms (e.g., form, line, contrast) used in the various arts
  • Students identify ways in which the principles and subject matter of other disciplines taught in the school are interrelated with those of music (e.g., foreign languages: singing songs in various languages; language arts: using the expressive elements of music in interpretive readings; mathematics: mathematical basis of values of notes, rests, and time signatures; science: vibration of strings, drum heads, or air columns generating sounds used in music; geography: songs associated with various countries or regions)

Discipline: Science
Domain: K-4 Content Standards
Cluster: Earth and Space Science
Grade(s): Grades K–12
Standards:

  • Properties of Earth materials
  • Objects in the sky
  • Changes in earth and sky

Discipline: Science
Domain: K-4 Content Standards
Cluster: Life Science
Grade(s): Grades K–12
Standards:

  • Characteristics of organisms
  • Life cycles of organisms
  • Organisms and environments

Discipline: Language Arts
Domain: All Language Arts Standards
Cluster: Applying Strategies to Writing
Grade(s): Grades K–12
Standards:

  • Students employ a wide range of strategies as they write and use different writing process elements appropriately to communicate with different audiences for a variety of purposes.

Discipline: Language Arts
Domain: All Language Arts Standards
Cluster: Effective Communication
Grade(s): Grades K–12
Standards:

  • Students adjust their use of spoken, written, and visual language (e.g., conventions, style, vocabulary) to communicate effectively with a variety of audiences and for different purposes.

Discipline: Science
Domain: K-4 Content Standards
Cluster: Science as Inquiry
Grade(s): Grades K–12
Standards:

  • Ability necessary to do scientific inquiry
  • Understand scientific inquiry

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