Earth's Hydrologic Cycle

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Resource Type:Classroom Activities; Curricula and Instruction
Grade Level:
K 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12
Organization:American Geosciences Institute (AGI); Earth Science Week (ESW); Orange County Marine Institute Curriculum Series
Summary:The ocean is the key element in Earth's hydrologic cycle (water cycle). Students will construct a simple model of the hydrologic cycle to help them visualize and understand the movement of liquid water and heat. The hydrologic cycle is the continual movement of water from one place to another and from one state of matter to another. The hydrologic cycle plays a major role in distributing water and heat around the planet. In this activity, students create a mini version of the hydrologic cycle in a fish tank. Students can see each step of the cycle, from water to gas and back to water again. With these visuals, students should have a discussion on types of precipitation (rain, snow, hail, etc.), and how those events relate to the hydrologic cycle.
Earth Science Big Ideas:Big Idea 5
NGSS Discplinary Core Ideas:ESS2.A; ESS2.C
NGSS Performance Expectations:2-ESS2-3; HS-ESS2-5; MS-ESS2-4
NGSS Science and Engineering Practices:Analyzing and interpreting data; Constructing explanations (for science) and designing solutions (for engineering); Developing and using models; Obtaining, evaluating, and communicating information; Planning and carrying out investigations
NGSS Crosscutting Concepts:Cause and effect: Mechanism and explanation; Energy and matter: Flows, cycles, and conservation; Patterns; Scale, proportion, and quantity; Stability and change; Structure and function; Systems and system models
Subjects: 6-8; 9-12; earth science week; elementary school; high school; hydrology; k-12; k-3; k-4; k-5; k-5 geosource; k-6; k-8; k-9; middle school; oceans; water; water availability; weather
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