Drip Drop, Water's Journey Activity
Drip Drop, Water's Journey

Where Did the Water Go?

Water is one of Earth's most important resources. All living things need water to survive. We use water every day. Do we have enough water? Where does water come from?

Remember that the water cycle is the path that water follows as it evaporates into the air, condenses, and returns to Earth as precipitation. A key part of the water cycle is evaporation. Evaporation occurs when water changes from a liquid to a gas, and moves into the atmosphere. It's almost as if the water just disappears. Have you ever noticed a large puddle left after a rainstorm? Once the Sun comes out, it affects the water left behind. Later, if you check the puddle again, it may be almost all gone. Where did the water go? It evaporated. Here's an activity in which you will observe and record water evaporating.

1. Use two identical clear containers, one with a top that closes. Fill both containers with the same amount of water (you may want to use a measuring cup to be exact). Close the top of one container and leave the other open. Place a piece of masking tape on the side of each container. Mark and date the water levels.

2. Predict what you think will happen to the water in each container, on each day, for a week. Write whether the water level in each container will be lower, higher, or the same each day. Include how the water levels in the two containers will be similar or different. Use the chart below to list your predictions.
 Water in Open Container I predict: Day 1 ________________________________ Day 2 ________________________________ Day 3 ________________________________ Day 4 ________________________________ Day 5 ________________________________ I observe: Day 1 ________________________________ Day 2 ________________________________ Day 3 ________________________________ Day 4 ________________________________ Day 5 ________________________________ Water in Closed Container I predict: Day 1 ________________________________ Day 2 ________________________________ Day 3 ________________________________ Day 4 ________________________________ Day 5 ________________________________ I observe: Day 1 ________________________________ Day 2 ________________________________ Day 3 ________________________________ Day 4 ________________________________ Day 5 ________________________________
1. Observe the water levels every day for one week, marking the tape at the water level and writing the date each time. Add your observations to the chart above. How close were your predictions to your observations? Discuss your findings with a friend.

2. To find out more about the water cycle and evaporation, visit the Water, A Never-Ending Story Web site at http://www-k12.atmos.washington.edu/k12/pilot/water_cycle/. Explore the Web site pages for diagrams and information that will help you complete the activities.

Home Connection

You can explore water by downloading a lesson page on the Water Cycle at http://faldo.atmos.uiuc.edu/w_unit/LESSONS/water.cycle.html. This page will tell you how to build your own terrarium and watch the processes of evaporation, condensation, and precipitation — right in your own home.

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