Water Changes Form
demonstrationactivity exercisesuggested grade levels: 4- 6
view Idaho achievement standards for this lesson
Water changes form from liquid to gas by the process of evaporation. Water vapor can also change back to liquid by the process of condensation. Condensation and Evaporation are two processes that are extremely important for the water cycle to occur. The water cycle is vital for life on earth and is going on all around us. This activity is designed so students will get a hands-on activity involving condensation and evaporation.

1. Students will be exposed to the climatology section of the Digital Atlas.
2. Students will make a model of the water cycle.
3. Students will be able to make predictions and answer questions about the water cycle.

Glass bottles Small clear plastic bags
Rubber bands  

1. Have your students break up into groups of 3-5. Give each group a bottle, rubber band, and a small plastic bag or sheet. Students will fill their bottles with water about halfway. Tell your students to put a plastic bag over the top of the jar and secure it tightly with a rubber band. Put the jars next to the window where they are exposed to strong sunlight.

2. Use the hydrology section of the Digital Atlas (done as demo). To get there: Click on Atlas Home, Hydrology, Basics, then on FAQs. This page can be used as a resource of information on the water cycle for the teacher if needed. Click on What is the Hydrologic Cycle and click on figure 1. Use this figure to explain the water cycle to the class. Discuss the water cycle and cloud formation. Point out to students that evaporation and condensation are the two biggest parts of the water cycle.

3. After presenting, refer back to the bottles at the window, there should be some condensed water on the inside of the plastic. Have a class discussion asking the following questions:
     1. What processes in the water cycle occurred in the jar?
     2. What caused the water to evaporate?
     3. Why are there droplets of water on the plastic and how did they get there?
     4. Can these droplets evaporate again?

4. Summarize the water cycle by having the students tell you how to draw the water cycle on the blackboard. Draw it step by step and emphasize evaporation and condensation at each appropriate point in the water cycle. You can also have the students draw their own version as well.

Handouts/Activity links:
These are links to access the handouts and printable materials.

Related Lesson Topics:
Climatology: Climatology

Lesson plan by Vita Taube, 2000
Idaho Achievement Standards (as of 7/2001) met by completing this activity: