Our Water Planet

Created by Dorian Janney Last updated 2/18/2016

This list has been developed to accompany the GPM NSTA "Water Cycle" webinar which was held on March 3rd, 2016. You can view the archive of this webinar by going to .

  • Water Cycle Webquest

    This is a "webquest" that has students explore the water cycle by visiting various websites and finding answers to questions posed on their student capture sheet.
    AAAS Benchmarks: 4B/E3, 4B/M7, 4B/M9, 4E/E2b
  • Water Cycle Speaker's Toolkit for Elementary and Middle School Presentations

    This toolkit was designed to help presenters - particularly scientists and engineers - easily present to elementary and middle school audiences and feel confident that the information they are presenting is developmentally-appropriate. The site includes PowerPoint presentations on Earth's water cycle, with talking points and suggestions. Best practices are also included for elementary and middle school presentations that provide helpful suggestions before, during, and after the presentation, as well as a list of additional resources. - See more at: http://nasawavelength.org/resource-search?qq=water+cycle&educationalLevel=#sthash.OQsvisoh.dpuf
    AAAS Benchmarks: 4B/P2, 4B/E3, 4B/M7
  • The Water Cycle

    This lesson was developed to give participants an understanding of Earth's water cycle. In this one-hour long activity, students participate in a webquest to learn about the water cycle, and then build a mini-model of the water cycle to observe how water moves through Earth's four systems. The activity uses the 5E instructional model and is part of the "Survivor Earth" series of one-hour lessons - See more at: http://nasawavelength.org/resource-search?qq=water+cycle&educationalLevel=#sthash.OQsvisoh.dpuf
    AAAS Benchmarks: MS-LS2-3, , 4B/M7, 4B/E3
  • Exploring the Water Cycle

    In this lesson, students will learn about the water cycle and how energy from the sun and the force of gravity drive this cycle. The emphasis in this lesson will be on having students understand the processes that take place in moving water through Earth’s system - See more at: http://nasawavelength.org/resource-search?qq=water+cycle&educationalLevel=#sthash.OQsvisoh.dpuf
    AAAS Benchmarks: MS-ESS2-4, , , , 4B/M7, 4B/E3
  • SOS Water Falls Pre-Visit

    Intended for use prior to viewing the Science on a Sphere film "Water Falls," this lesson introduces students to Earth's water cycle and the importance of freshwater resources. - See more at: http://nasawavelength.org/resource-search?qq=water+cycle&educationalLevel=#sthash.OQsvisoh.dpuf
    AAAS Benchmarks: 3A/M2, 4B/M7
  • The Water Cycle: Now You See It, Now You Don't

    This is a hands-on lab activity about the water cycle, specifically evaporation and condensation. Using materials such as clay, ice and a lamp, learners will observe the relationship between temperature and condensation and temperature and evaporation. They will then draw a diagram or a concept map of the water cycle. Background information, common preconceptions, a glossary and more is included. This activity is part of the Aquarius Hands-on Laboratory Activities. - See more at: http://nasawavelength.org/resource-search?qq=water+cycle&educationalLevel=#sthash.OQsvisoh.dpuf
    AAAS Benchmarks: 4B/P3, 4B/M7
  • Reading the Clouds: CloudSat Poster

    This poster illustrates and describes types of high-, low-, and mid-altitude clouds. Poster back has article and activity related to Earth's water cycle, as well as a cloud identification quiz and a water cycle crossword puzzle. - See more at: http://nasawavelength.org/resource-search?qq=water+cycle&educationalLevel=#sthash.OQsvisoh.dpuf
  • Water in the Geosphere

    In this activity, participants learn about the geosphere by making observations and taking measurements. They will go outside and use scientific equipment to investigate water in the soil by measuring soil moisture, temperature, color and consistency. Students will use this qualitative and quantitative data to understand how water is found in many places in the natural environment and how these places are connected in the water cycle. The data collection is based on protocols from the GLOBE program. This activity uses the 5E instructional model and is part of the "Survivor Earth" series of one-hour lessons. - See more at: http://nasawavelength.org/resource-search?qq=water+cycle&educationalLevel=#sthash.OQsvisoh.dpuf
    AAAS Benchmarks: 4B/M7, 11A/M2
  • Water in the Hydrosphere

    In this activity, participants learn about the hydrosphere by making observations and taking measurements. They will go outside and use scientific equipment to investigate temperature, pH and transparency of a body of water. They will use this qualitative and quantitative data to understand why it is important to know about the condition of freshwater sources in many places in the natural environment and how these places are connected in the water cycle. Data collection is based on protocols from The GLOBE Program. This activity uses the 5E instructional model and is part of the "Survivor Earth" series of one-hour lessons. - See more at: http://nasawavelength.org/resource-search?qq=water+cycle&educationalLevel=&facetSort=1&page=2#sthash.jxtQOgxi.dpuf
    AAAS Benchmarks: 4B/M7, 5D/M1b, 11A/M2
  • Evaporation Investigation

    This is a hands-on lab activity about evaporation. Learners will conduct experiments to observe the process of evaporation. They will then describe the process of evaporation, and the general water cycle, through discussion and pictures. Background information, common preconceptions, a glossary and more is included. This activity is part of the Aquarius Hands-on Laboratory Activities. - See more at: http://nasawavelength.org/resource-search?qq=water+cycle&educationalLevel=&facetSort=1&page=2#sthash.jxtQOgxi.dpuf
    AAAS Benchmarks: 4B/P3
  • Think Scientifically: The Sun and The Water Cycle

    Learners will read or listen to a story about two sisters, Marisol and Sofia, as they explore the Sun's role in the water cycle. Additionally, numerous extension resources are included in the accompanying educator guide, such as suggestions for no-cost language arts activities, links to further science activities, a book walk cue chart to guide classroom discussion before, during, and after the story, a graphic organizer, and alignments to the National Science Education Standards (NSES) and the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS). - See more at: http://nasawavelength.org/resource-search?qq=water+cycle&educationalLevel=&facetSort=1&page=2#sthash.jxtQOgxi.dpuf
    AAAS Benchmarks: 4B/E3, 4B/M7
  • Water in the Atmosphere

    In this activity, participants learn about the atmosphere by making observations and taking measurements. They will go outside and use scientific equipment to collect atmospheric moisture data (temperature, relative humidity, precipitation and cloud cover). Students will use this qualitative and quantitative data to understand how water is found in the atmosphere, how the atmosphere determines weather and climate, and how Earth’s spheres are connected through the water cycle. The data collection is based on protocols from the GLOBE program. This activity uses the 5E instructional model and is part of the "Survivor Earth" series of one-hour lessons. - See more at: http://nasawavelength.org/resource-search?qq=water+cycle&educationalLevel=&facetSort=1&page=2#sthash.jxtQOgxi.dpuf
    AAAS Benchmarks: 4B/E3, 4B/M7
  • Water in the Biosphere

    Water is essential to Earth's living system, the biosphere. In this lesson, students determine the types of living things within an outdoor study site, use a taxonomic key to determine the predominant land cover type of their site, then predict the amount of water present. Data collection is based on protocols from the GLOBE program. This activity uses the 5E instructional model and is part of the "Survivor Earth" series of one-hour lessons - See more at: http://nasawavelength.org/resource-search?qq=water+cycle&educationalLevel=&facetSort=1&page=2#sthash.jxtQOgxi.dpuf
    AAAS Benchmarks: 4B/M7, 11A/M2
  • Survivor: Earth

    This series of ten lessons has been developed to teach students about local and global water issues. They are based on NASA’s Global Precipitation Measurement (GPM) Mission. The activities are done largely outdoors and include scientific data collection and analysis and integrate technology. Many of the lessons involve data collected based on protocols from the GLOBE Program. Each lesson is designed to take one hour; the lessons build on each other, but can also be used independently. Each lesson topic includes a lesson plan, PowerPoint presentation, student capture sheet and capture sheet answer guide. - See more at: http://nasawavelength.org/resource-search?qq=water+cycle&educationalLevel=&facetSort=1&page=3#sthash.iEgODPz0.dpuf
    AAAS Benchmarks: 5-ESS2-1, 5-ESS2-2, MS-ESS2-4, , 1B/M1b, 4B/M7, 4B/M8
  • Discoveries at Willow Creek

    n this science-based storybook, students learn about making observations, taking scientific measurements and recording their findings in a science journal. Simon, Anita and Dennis join Hannah, a local scientist, as they compare spring and fall observations of changes they see at Willow Creek. The book is one of a series in the Elementary GLOBE unit designed to introduce students to the study of Earth system science (ESS). Each book has companion learning activities that complement the science covered in each story. Together, the books form an instructional unit that addresses ESS and related subjects (e.g., weather, water, seasons, soil, and aerosols). The GLOBE Program is a worldwide, hands-on, K-12 school-based science education program - See more at: http://nasawavelength.org/resource-search?qq=water+cycle&educationalLevel=&facetSort=1&page=3#sthash.iEgODPz0.dpuf
  • Anatomy of a Raindrop

    This short video (~2 minutes) explains how a raindrop falls through the atmosphere and why a more accurate look at raindrops can improve estimates of global precipitation. This information is important to scientists working on the Global Precipitation Measurement (GPM) mission - understanding the micro world of raindrops provides insight to scientists about the macro world of storms - See more at: http://nasawavelength.org/resource-search?qq=water+cycle&educationalLevel=&facetSort=1&page=3#sthash.iEgODPz0.dpuf
    AAAS Benchmarks: 4D/M8
  • For Good Measure Video

    This short video (2:01) uses an engaging approach to emphasize the importance of tracking and studying precipitation. The video cast explains how the Global Precipitation Measurement (GPM) mission will use a constellation of satellites to achieve global coverage, thereby providing scientists with accurate precipitation data from around the world. In addition to the video, the site contains supplemental text which provides background information on the GPM mission - See more at: http://nasawavelength.org/resource-search?qq=water+cycle&educationalLevel=&facetSort=1&page=3#sthash.iEgODPz0.dpuf
    AAAS Benchmarks: 3A/M2, 4B/M7
  • Earth's Water

    The total amount of water on Earth, the places in which it is found and the percentages of fresh vs. salt are examined in this lesson. A short demonstration allows students to visualize the percentage differences and a coloring exercise illustrates locations. This lesson uses the 5E instructional model. All background information, student worksheets and images/photographs/data are included in these downloadable sections: Teacher's Guide, Student Capture Sheet and PowerPoint Presentation. - See more at: http://nasawavelength.org/resource-search?qq=water+cycle&educationalLevel=&facetSort=1&page=4#sthash.TtJzhzPi.dpuf
    AAAS Benchmarks: 4B/M7
  • Bringing Ocean Sciences & Engineering Practices to the Classroom

    Emphasizing the synergies between science and engineering, these video clips highlight the research of professional ocean scientists and engineers in various disciplines. The clips are accompanied by additional relevant content including images, data visualizations, graphs, animations, and other information. Content has been organized into more than a dozen thematic areas such as Solving Old Problems with New Technology and Small Scale Observations and Large Scale Ideas. All content has been aligned with science and engineering practices from the Next Generation Science Standards, including "asking questions and solving problems" and "planning and carrying out investigations," providing applicable resources for teachers who want to provide role models of effective practice for their students. - See more at: http://nasawavelength.org/resource-search?qq=water+cycle&educationalLevel=&facetSort=1&page=4#sthash.TtJzhzPi.dpuf
    AAAS Benchmarks: , , , ,
  • Measuring Precipitation

    Students will design, build and then test a rain gauge to measure precipitation. By sharing their results, they will recognize the need for standardization and precision in scientific tools. All background information, student worksheets and images/photographs/data are included in these downloadable sections: Teacher’s Guide, Student Capture Sheet and PowerPoint Presentation. This activity uses the 5E instructional model and is part of the Survivor Earth series of one-hour lessons. - See more at: http://nasawavelength.org/resource-search?qq=water+cycle&educationalLevel=&facetSort=1&page=4#sthash.TtJzhzPi.dpuf
    AAAS Benchmarks: 3A/M2, 4B/M7
  • MY NASA DATA: Patterns in High Cloud Coverage

    In this data analysis activity, Students will plot and analyze a time series of data for high cloud coverage from a specified location (home or school) and determine whether or not a seasonal pattern exists. The lesson includes step-by-step instructions for use of the MY NASA DATA Live Access Server (LAS), guiding students through selection of a data set from a location of their choice, importing the data into a spreadsheet, creating graphs, and analyzing data plots. The lesson provides detailed procedures, related links and sample graphs, follow-up questions, extensions, and teacher notes. Designed for student use, MY NASA DATA LAS samples micro datasets from large scientific data archives, and provides structured investigations engaging students in exploration of real data to answer real world questions - See more at: http://nasawavelength.org/resource-search?qq=water+cycle&educationalLevel=&facetSort=1&page=5#sthash.fSyDOe19.dpuf
    AAAS Benchmarks: 9B/M3, 12C/M2
  • Rain Gauge Activity

    n this activity, students face an engineering challenge based on real-world applications. They are tasked with developing a tool they can use to measure the amount of rain that falls each day. Students will find out why freshwater is important, learn about the water cycle, and the need to have a standard form of calibration for measurement tools. They will learn that keeping track of precipitation is important, and learn a little bit about how NASA's GPM satellite measures precipitation from space. This lesson uses the 5-E instructional model - See more at: http://nasawavelength.org/resource-search?qq=water+cycle&educationalLevel=&facetSort=1&page=5#sthash.fSyDOe19.dpuf
    AAAS Benchmarks: 3A/E3, 3A/M2, 4B/E3, 4B/M7