The concept of evaporation is generally understood by students in grades 5-8, but they may be unsure of the journey that a single drop of water takes from the sky to earth and back again. The National Science Education Standards stress that the process of condensation requires extensive observation and instruction if students are to really understand the water cycle.
We believe these three interactive sites will help your students visualize and understand the global water cycle.
Observe a Raindrop Traveling Through Various Paths of the Water Cycle
By clicking on arrows, students can move a raindrop from a cloud through different paths in the water cycle. The activity names the processes and supplies short definitions. Precipitation, transpiration, infiltration, runoff, and melting are among the processes represented.
Droplet and the Water Cycle
This fun and challenging interactive game is from the NASA Earth Science Enterprise For Kids Only web site. Using Flash animation, students control a droplet of water falling from the sky on its journey through a rainforest, into a river, and on to the ocean, while avoiding dangers, like butterflies and insects that are very thirsty.
The Water Cycle
Using this short module from the Environmental Protection Agency, students can learn about aquifers, transpiration, and condensation. This is a good web site for helping middle school students grasp the connections between different forms of water.
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