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Water Cycle Refresher

Activity Description

This activity is designed to refresh student’s knowledge of the water cycle, and to provide a more thorough understanding of water quality. There are opportunities for inquiry based learning, but this lesson has a lot of information that will be referred to later during the lab report writing process.

Estimated Time of Activity

One class period (45/50 minutes)

Activity Objectives

Students will gain an understanding of the different qualities of water that can be tested, and why water quality is important for human health.

Universal Design for Learing (Differentiation)

The activity thoroughly describes water quality and various indicators. There are opportunities for student choice and discussion when talking about water quality in general, and as always, questions are welcomed from all students

Activity Prerequisites (Pre-Activity)

A basic understanding of the water cycle may be helpful, as the first portion of the lecture will be more review than new material, allowing for focus on the water quality indicator tests.

Activity Instructions

(10 minutes) As a do now activity, have the students draw the water cycle as they know/imagine it. Then talk about it for 5 minutes. Try to get a student or two to draw it on the board.

(10 minutes) Discuss the water cycle. Emphasize the percentage breakdown, and the basic steps. Goal is to get students to understand it’s a larger cycle, and water doesn’t just come from the faucet.

(5 minutes) Water quality discussion. Show slide with questions and use it to prompt discussion. Write things on board, and create definitions as a class. Be sure to steer discussion towards proper definitions.

(20-25 minutes) Discuss the water quality indicators that you will be testing on the field trip. Goal is to determine why each test is important, and how it determines water quality. Also, what factors influence the quality. Students will probably not fully understand these, but should come back to these ideas at the end of the lab report during discussion or conclusion. This will be helpful in creating the hypothesis as well/introduction as well.

NYS/CCL Standards (Content Knowledge, IAD)




Assessment will be based on classroom discussion and questions asked by students.


No formal assignment associated with this lesson.



Lab Equipment (optional)

Instructor’s Notes

In the PowerPoint that goes with this lesson plan I’ve included a slide on each water test. You may want to refine it or add to it based on the water quality tests performed on the field trip. You also may want to print it for students to prevent losing time copying notes.