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Main Curriculum Tie:
Background For Teachers:
Student Prior Knowledge:
Intended Learning Outcomes:
Step 2. Tell students that as Water Cycle Detectives they will now be Evaporation Experts. Pass out the supplies for each group and go outside to the playground in an area with a hard surface such as a sidewalk or blacktop. Have each group find a puddle in one of the areas that will become their study site.
Step 3. Each group will keep track of their evaporation action. Have each group make an outline of a puddle by drawing around the puddle's edge with their chalk. Measure the diameter of their puddle with the ruler or measuring tape. Take the temperature. Instruct them to record this data in their science journals or on a piece of paper. Observations should also include drawings of what they see.
Step 4. Every half hour, have the groups return to the puddle and draw new outlines.Have them continue to measure the size, draw and record temperatures. This process should be repeated until the puddle has completely disappeared or until the school day ends.
Step 5. Return to the class and discuss their observations together. Some questions might include:
Step 6. What conclusions can they state from their observations? (Students should infer that evaporation takes place as the liquid water becomes water vapor from the sun's warmth. They infer this because water can't just "disappear" but has to follow the next step in the water cycle.
Step 7.Discuss with students how the process of the sun's energy causing evaporation is important. Have them name some places on the earth where evaporation takes place. Ask them to identify situations in which evaporation causes problems (swimming pools and fountains lose water, water holes in deserts dry up) and situations where evaporation is helpful (drying cement, clothes hanging on the line, making raisins). Have they noticed that evaporation occurs more frequently in the summer months when the sun is warmer?
Try this experiment on pieces of paper using watercolors. Use a dropper to drip watercolor puddles on the paper. When the puddles are dry, puddle prints using evaporation will remain. Add more puddles to the paper after the first set has dried. Overlap them and try a variety of colors, experimenting as you go.
Create some type of Water Detective Badge, or Evaporation Expert certificate. In order to receive this, students must:
List the three parts of the water cycle (evaporation, condensation, and precipitation.)
When students have a badge, they can receive a reward, such as 5 minutes extra recess, or a mini-box of raisins renamed "Evaporated Grapes"!
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