Journey of a Water Drop

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Lesson Summary

Students will demonstrate their knowledge of how water cycles work by creating artistic expressions of the stages of a water cycle. This may involve poetry, skits, songs or dramatic presentation… or using a visual medium like a comic strip.


Students will be able to:

  • Experience that learning can be joyful and empowering.
  • Explain how the environment and community require many interconnected systems
  • Know that systems are made up of subsystems and have inputs and outputs.
  • Collect and record quantitative & qualitative data, using varied tools
  • Predict, analyze, interpret, and represent information using creative, scientific, and verbal approaches


  • Students create an artistic representation of the water cycle to present
  • This lesson should help the instructor determine how well students understand the concept of water cycles. How many phases do students incorporate into their creative pieces? Are they able to present accurately? What sorts of questions do they ask? If a group creates a comic, can the others label the processes (evaporation, precipitation, condensation …)? Can they think back about the story and label the processes? In the follow-up discussion, how many were able to mention connections between water cycles and watersheds?

Age group: 8 and up Venue/s: Anywhere (LS 102, perhaps)

Materials: Paper, pencils, color pencils

Time: 50 minutes: 20 to prepare; 20 to present to each other; 10 to discuss/debrief effectively

Set up: None

The Lesson Plan:


Can someone name one phase of the water cycle?(“evaporation”) Great! Now who can name the phase that comes after evaporation? And the next? Great!! So, you guys know this. Now, your next step is to prepare a creative way to teach others about how water cycles happen. We are going to divide into small groups and each group will develop a song, a poem, a skit, a story, or a comic strip about a water droplet cycling through phases of a water cycle. You must include at least three to four of the phases (evaporation, condensation, precipitation, collection…).

The core lesson:

  1. After the introduction, the instructor facilitates the group dividing into teams of three (ideally) or four. You may want to have them describe what sort of creative expression they want to be a part of, and use that as a dividing factor, to avoid kids just working with friends.
  2. Next, make sure that each group has what they need to get started and then circulate as they begin to plan.  (Give your chaperone one of the team-work check cards, so they can be listening for good cooperative skills among and within the groups, while the kids are planning and practicing.)
  3. Give the kids 15-20 minutes to create their cycles (more if needed), and then another 5-10 to ensure that they all know their roles in performing or presenting.
  4. Let them perform or present. Ask each group to offer one compliment and ask one question about each of the other groups' cycles.(If all goes well, ask the kids how they could blend their cycles into one water droplet's experience… as one "performance.") Have them re-perform with all of the cycles blended… what else could happen? Why is it always possible to do this? How much time could each of these cycles take for the story to unfold?
  5. If kids are able and willing, encourage them to plan for presenting their cycles at the campfire on Wednesday night. (Provide an opportunity to practice once or twice on Wednesday, perhaps after lunch, for example.)
  6. It is critical that you then provide an opportunity for discussion about what they've learned and how water cycles are influenced by different sorts of watersheds.


Questions to ask:

  • Is a water droplet still a part of a water cycle when it is in your bath tub?
  • How does a watershed influence the time it takes for a water droplet to cycle through different phases of "life?" Why might this matter?
  • What aspects of the other LAWS influence how water cycles? (speed, distance…)
  • How does the Living Machine influence the water cycle or the watershed here at IslandWood? What else can you think of that you've seen here that changes how water cycles in our watershed? (Let's take a look around campus …)
  • What difference might it make if your water droplet lands in the IslandWood watershed or in the watershed where your school is? How might the path of the water droplet change?

Also, remember to invite your chaperone to share what s/he finds as far as team work… Surprise, kids! Teamwork is not only for when you are given a team-building challenge!

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