California Science Content Standard: 5.3. Water on Earth moves between the oceans and land through the processes of evaporation and condensation. Students will be able to label the parts of the water cycle.
Grade Level: 5
Earth's water is always in movement and is always changing states, from liquid to vapor to ice and back again. The water cycle has been working for billions of years and all life on Earth depends on it continuing to work; the Earth would be a pretty stale place without it.
Earth's water is always moving, the natural water cycle, also known as the hydrologic cycle. This describes the continuous movement of water on, above, and below the surface of the Earth. Water is changing states between liquid, vapor, and ice, with these processes are happening in a split second and has been happening over millions of years.
Evaporation is the part of the water cycle by which water changes from a liquid to a gas.
Condensation is the part of the water cycle by which water vapor in the air is changed into liquid water.
Precipitation is the part of the water cycle by which water released from clouds.
The last part of the water cycle is ground water. As part of the water cycle, groundwater is a major contributor to the water cycle and effects the earth's surface.
Click on the following links to learn more about each part of the water cycle. There will be a quiz on each part's function in the complete water cycle.
How do you think the water cycle affects Earth's weather and what would happen to our planet if the water cycle stopped?