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Water on Earth

Investigation 3.1: Visualizing Earth’s Water

This activity will familiarize students with the availability and relatively tiny amount of fresh water that is readily available on Earth for human use. Students will use a data table to create a model or representation of how water is distributed on Earth. This investigation provides students with the opportunity to grapple with different data representations in order to decide on one(s) that best represent the data and best characterizes the distribution of Earth’s water.

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Investigation 3.2: Exploring the Water Cycle

Based on Project WET’s “Incredible Journey,” students will play the role of water molecules moving through stages in the water cycle. The provided student sheet focuses on the states of matter and the forces driving the water molecules’ movements through the cycle (e.g., energy, gravity, etc.). Students will then use their individual journeys to make connections to specific water locations around Colorado creating a unique journey through Colorado’s water cycle.

Investigation 3.3: Create a Model of the Water Cycle

Synthesizing what they have learned throughout this section, students will create a model of the water cycle. Students will discuss the strengths and limitations of their model and how the model accurately represents (or falls short in representing) what happens in nature.

Some helpful resources to encourage student understanding of the water cycle:

Invite Denver Water YouthEd to your classroom to explore this topic. Request the Incredible Journey.

Video: National Science Foundation. (2013, July 12). The Water Cycle. (6:46).

Video: NASA Goddard. (2012, Aug. 3). Earth’s Water Cycle. (5:52).

Video: GoNoodle: Get Moving. (2017, May 19). Water Cycle – Blazer Fresh. (3:16). A fun song to help students remember the water cycle.