This mini-science fair project summarizes the unit on the water cycle.
Invitation to Learn
As a culminating activity, organize a water cycle celebration (mini water science fair). The intent of the water cycle celebration is:
- to promote good classroom science
- to provide students with the opportunity to demonstrate knowledge they have learned about the water cycle
- to extend student learning to relevant water issues in their community.
The water cycle celebration could be spread over several days or utilize much of an entire day. It is suggested that the activity be initiated by discussing the celebration with students. Brainstorm ideas that relate to the standard objectives covered by the lessons. Encourage ideas by considering:
- Activities that have been done in the unit and extensions to those activities
- Water-related vocabulary
- Potential field trips and resource persons
- How the water cycle components influence student lives
- Potential videos on storms, floods, water cycle, etc. for inclusion in a view-a-thon
- Potential posters, projects, displays, or experiments that could be up for visitors to the classroom
- Water-related issues relevant to your community
- Exhibitors that might share their assets (for example stream and groundwater models, or
- Having a water-related employment time for invited professional business people to share information about their jobs (hydrologist, water plant supervisor, laundromat operator, carwash owner, etc.)
For their projects, students might:
- Create a water cycle music video or organize a sing-a-long
- Research the role water played in establishing their community
- Create a recipe booklet of simple products containing water
- Have a water cycle-related sharing time during which students share events that happened in their families. They may share about floods, plugged drains, storms, wet clothing, recreational events in water, or how ancestors came to America.
- Research local water supplies and concerns
- Create a river model of the community
- Demonstrate an evaporation model
- Create a model showing how the lake effect works
- Describe why Utah claims to have the greatest snow on Earth, or
- Trace a water molecule through the water cycle using a narrative essay.
- Have students use the Water Cycle Celebration proposal to outline a plan for their project.
- Have students discuss their plans and obtain teacher approval signatures before starting the process.
- Organize student projects into a meaningful opportunity and extend appropriate invitations to parents and other classrooms.
Prior to celebration proposal, create with students an evaluation tool (i.e., a rubric) to assess student understanding and performance. Use the background information and science language as guides to create an evaluation tool that adequately measures student understanding.