Water Cycle Mini-Projects

Every year, when teaching things I have taught in the past, I feel the need to change things up, if only for my own sanity.  I take an idea that has worked with other classes, and tweak it just a bit so it is different from what I have already done.  Then there are other years where I just turn everything up on their head, throw all of the old stuff to the wind, and try something new.  So this year, I tried some new things with the Water Cycle.
First, I decided to just ask the kids to teach me about the water cycle.  I didn't want them to just color a picture or all do the same artsy thing.  Instead, I took a page out of my Teach Me Something file and told them to teach me about the water cycle.  I gave them a 17" x 17" piece of paper (because I wanted them to fit on my windows and that was the size of the window pane) and said they could do anything they wanted as long as it taught me about some part of the water cycle.

The kids got to work immediately.  They were SO into this project (which you can find as a part of this file here.)  They looked online for ideas, combed through their science books, brought in materials from home to work in class with, and got down to business.  

After one week of work that they only did in class (about 40 minutes a day for 5 days), the students came up with this.

And this.
This group brought in a shoe box and created a diorama.

And this.
This one is a game!  They created game pieces and a die in addition to the board.

And this.

They were so creative!  I just love what they did.

Then I asked the kids to think about what it would be like to be a water molecule going through the water cycle.  We watched The Magic School Bus At The Waterworks (this is the affiliate link to the book you can purchase.  The video can be found online) and took notes about the actual journey through the cycle.  The students then wrote their own narrative as if the water molecule was them.  The students used this organizer to write their narrative.  

Next, I had them pose into 4 different "shapes" with their bodies.  I took their pictures then, on a sentence strip. the students drew themselves into the water cycle.

I hung the narrative and the sentence strips from the ceiling, which gave the sentence strip the appearance of a raindrop.  
All in all, I loved what ended up happening with the water cycle in this year's "update" of my projects.  

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