Friday, June 14, 2013

Unit Study: Clouds and Water Cycle

After we finished up reptiles we decided to take a little hiatus from our ongoing science curriculum and work in a few unit studies...

Emily chose Clouds and Water Cycle!  Fun.  I have pinned and pinned and pinned.. and you shall benefit from the fruits of my hard labor (such as pinning IS)...

"The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands"

– Psalm 19:1

Experiment #1- Introduction to water cycle

Supplies: large pot

 READ:  "Down Comes the Rain" by Franklyn M. Branley.

Vocabulary:  precipitation


1. boil water
2. hold pan over boiling water full of ice-- watch for condensation
3. review states of water: solid, liquid, gas
4. as the water, turned to gas, rises and hits the bottom of the pan full of ice it makes condensation.  The condensation tends to stick together and eventually gets heavy enough to "fall- rain" back into the boiling water.

Experiment # 2- Making a rain gauge

Supplies: empty water bottle

Cut the bottle 1/4 way down, take off cap, turn inside out (to make a funnel for rain)
mark sides as measuring tool

READ: The Magic School Bus in the Water Cycle by Pat Relf

Experiment #3- Seeing how a cloud works

Three Lessons on Rain from The Moveable Alphabet

Supplies: eye dropper
                cotton ball
                cup of water

Stretch the cotton ball to resemble small cloud..

Drop water droplets on cloud until eventually the "rain" starts falling out into empty bowl

wait for it to stop raining and add more droplets--- watch fall.

Show amount of "rain" that fell into empty bowl.

Experiment # 4-Watching it Rain!!!

Supplies: glass of water
                food coloring (liquid)
                shaving cream

Pour shaving cream ON top of glass of water.

-- Explain that when the cloud gets heavy with condensation it begans to rain..

Drop food coloring on top of shaving cream
Watch it rain.

A few more ideas from A Sparrow's Nest!! I simply followed her lead for her whole unit study! Amazing...

She found a few amazing sites! 
Weather Wiz Kids----Emily and I played on this for a long time, multiple days in a row!!
Cloud Index-- literally an index of clouds
Web Weather for Kids: Clouds  a great site, spent a lot of time here too!
and last but not least Scholastic-- a small study on clouds with worksheets and lapbooking stuff
Kids ZONE  Water cycle COLORING PAGE  1  2  3  4  5       and vocabulary
We looked at Amanda's Clouds in Art Showcase

Video on Clouds from Nasa Our World

We tried desperatly to find this book--- but had no luck, but if you do this unit be sure to add it!!!

We made a the Cloud Finder from Scholastic

I found this wonderful poem!!!

Experiment #5-- Fog in Jar found at Restoration Place

supplies:  large glass jar (a gallon is best)
                gallon ziplock bag full of ice
                 black paper
                 colored warm water

place warm colored water in jar
place black paper around half the jar (this helps to see better, it does not affect the experiment)
place lighted match in far and hold over water for a while
immediately place ice ziplock back over top
lift off ice bag

Types of Clouds @ Enchanted Learning

WATER CYCLE FUN song and video!!!

READ: The Little Cloud by Eric Carle

this is a video of the water cycle-- it is a little slow but it does explain it well with visuals.

Experiment #6- Dew Point and Frost

Supplies: water
                metal can
                ice cubes

Put water in can, take temperature- write it down

Add ice cubes,  stir around.

watch until condensation forms on outside...retake tempature- write it down

The water on the outside came from the air-- that tempature is the dew point!

Supplies: metal can
                crushed ice
                1/2 cup salt

When frost forms on outside of can take tempature and write it down.. that is FROST POINT

Vocabulary: sublimation

We made a YUMMY TREAT---- Sky JEllo!   I had trouble linking back to orignal source.. so I went back two sources and that is it.  :0)

I spent time in a unit called The Heavens Declared His Glory by Pearls of homeschooling
READ: It looks like Spilt Milk


We made this little page with examples of clouds... from HERE ... the link to the PDF is here.

Experiment #7-- SOAP CLOUD!

Supplies: ivory soap
                microwave safe bowl

Experiment # 9-- Mini Water Cycle

Supplies: rotisserie chicken container
                grass with dirt
                foil or container to hold water simulate water)

place in container
Place in FULL sun
Keep on on as often as possible

Vocabulary:  transpiration
                      run- off

Experiment #10- Precipitation 2  or HERE

Supplies: gallon zip lock bag
                window with lots of light

Draw water cycle on zip lock
Fill bag at bottom
tape to window
watch and observe the water cycle throughout the day

color sheet


VIDEO/ Online Example Water Cycle-- this is pretty good!

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