i-Tree Unit Lesson 1: Water Cycle and Weather


Activity Description: 

This lesson emphasizes how evaporation affects precipitation which contributes to heavy rain and storms. It lays the foundation for thinking about the ways that trees can mitigate increased weather effects in urban environments like Washington, D.C. First, students discuss their past observations of evaporation and write a hypothesis to describe this phenomenon. Next, students make entries to their lab journals based on classroom instruction of the water cycle using visuals and a NASA weather video. As a class, they label a diagram that models the stages of the water cycle. This lesson provides the context for the Evaporation Lab that will be conducted in i­Tree Lesson 2.

Educational Standards: 

Next Generation Science Standards

MS­ESS2­4: Develop a model to describe the cycling of water through Earth's systems driven by energy from the sun and the force of gravity.

MS­LS2­3: Develop a model to describe the cycling of matter and flow of energy among living and nonliving parts of an ecosystem.

Common Core:

CCSS.ELA­ LITERACY.RST.6­8.7: Integrate quantitative or technical information expressed in words in a text with a version of that information expressed visually (e.g., in a flowchart, diagram, model, graph, or table).

  • Water cycle diagram
  • Water cycle and weather presentation
One class period
i-Tree Lessons, http://www.itreelessons.com/