Water Cycle - Water (2)
Pre Lab

  • Discovering the water cycle.
  • Exploring the properties of water.
  • hydrogen
  • oxygen
  • water
  • worksheet
  • glass of water 

Students describe water using a worksheet.


This activity begins students on a journey to understand the water cycle.  Water is a compound composed of the elements hydrogen and oxygen.  Water is one of the most abundant, widely distributed, and essential substances on Earth.  It occurs in nature as solid (snow, ice), liquid (water), and gas (steam).

Water has no taste, no smell, a pouring sound, no shape, and is wet.  You may have to explain that some water does have a taste because many municipal water supplies have been treated with chemicals or may naturally have ions of calcium, magnesium, or fluoride in the water supply and this will give water a slight taste and smell.  Distilled water has no taste or smell.

Water is made up of the elements hydrogen and oxygen, which are held together very tightly.  The hydrogen and oxygen atoms are arranged similar to Mickey Mouse's head.  Mickey's head would be one oxygen, and his ears would each be a hydrogen. Actually, a water molecule is more like a teddy bear, the hydrogen (the ears) are much smaller than the head (oxygen).

  1. Give each student a glass of water and have them taste, smell, hear, see, and touch the water.  Use the worksheet for students to record their answers.  You may want to give students distilled and tap water and see if they can tell the difference.  If you come from a different city with a different water supply you may want students to compare.
  2. Ask students why water is important.  List their answers on the board.  The answers should include the following: 
Travel (Boat)
Grow (People, Plant, Animals)
Help in Manufacturing Products
  1. After you develop and discuss this list with students ask them if we could live without water.  No, without water we would die as both a people and a planet.  Emphasize that we are referring to fresh water and not salt water. 

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