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Lesson Plan #:AELP-EAR002
Author: Cindy Miller, Precott High School, Prescott, AZ Date: May 1994

Grade Level(s): Kindergarten, 1, 2, 3, 4


  • Science/Earth Science

OVERVIEW: This activity will introduce new vocabulary and will serve as a building block to future lessons on the water cycle. Students will use experiences from their everyday lives to practice the above skills.


This activity is designed to help students understand that water picks up natural and man-made substances as it moves over and through the earth. Students will observe and experiment with water in three physical forms.

OBJECTIVES: Participants will be able to:

  • observe water in different physical forms
  • theorize what happens in the evaporation process, and
  • observe residues left after water evaporates.

    Refrigerator, small plastic glasses or a jar, water source, rulers, balance scale, tea kettle, hot plate and mirror.


  • Show the student an ice cube, or provide each student with an ice cube in a cup.
  • Ask the students what the cube is made of and ask them to put them in the glass and observe what happens.
  • When the ice has melted, discuss the difference between the solid form of water and the liquid form.
  • Have the students leave their glasses of water on a shelf and ask then what they think might happen.
  • When the water has evaporated, discuss with them what has happened and compare this to their answers to what they thought would happen in step 4.
  • Observe the sides and bottom of the glasses and, if necessary, compare them to a new glass.
  • Discuss with them where the film came from that is left on the sides and bottom of the glass.
  • Heat water in the tea kettle and, when boiling, hold the mirror over the opening in the spout and observe what happens.
  • Discuss with them how water becomes steam and is able to move into the air.

    Have the students draw the things that they observed. Have student describe the three physical forms of water and compare and contrast them. Test students knowledge of the following vocabulary words: Solid, Liquid, Gas, Vapor, Absorb, Evaporation.

    May 1994 These lesson plans are the result of the work of the teachers who have attended the Columbia Education Center’s Summer Workshop. CEC is a consortium of teacher from 14 western states dedicated to improving the quality of education in the rural, western, United States, and particularly the quality of math and science Education. CEC uses Big Sky Telegraph as the hub of their telecommunications network that allows the participating teachers to stay in contact with their trainers and peers that they have met at the Workshops.