Water cycle video
The water cycle video for kids – What is a water cycle ? In this animated video on the water cycle, children will learn the following: information about the water cycle, processes in the water cycle, infiltration, precipitation, runoff, underground water, lakes, facts about the water cycle etc. This activity is suitable for children in 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th grades.
The water cycle explained
The water cycle is also referred to as the hydrologic cycle. It entails the repeated movement of water on the Earth’s surface, in the atmosphere and beneath. It functions on the principle that the amount of water available is fixed and only moves from one reservoir (e.g. ocean, atmosphere, rivers etc) to another in different states (solid, liquid or gaseous). The physical processes through which water moves are: evaporation, condensation, precipitation, infiltration, sublimation, runoff and surface flow.
The driving force of the water cycle is the sun which heats up surfaces. These could be directly on oceans, rivers, earth’s surface and trees; in short any surface that contains water and that is exposed to the heat of the sun. When these heat up, water is converted to water vapor through the process of evaporation. Equally, water vapor could originate from sublimation when ice is directly converted to vapor without first melting to liquid. Another source of water vapor in the atmosphere is evapotranspiration. Once water vapor gets into the air, it is carried into the sky by rising winds. It subsequently reaches a very cold area in the atmosphere and condenses into small liquid droplets which become visible as clouds. Condensation is the process whereby water vapor is transformed from gas to liquid when cooling. Water droplets within clouds collide and form larger water bubbles which fall back as precipitation. This could be in the form of rain, hail stone, fog, mist or snow. Water that falls on the Earth might get directly into the ocean, river, fall on trees, bare soil surfaces and any imaginable surface on the Earth. Some water might get underneath the Earth through a process called infiltration. This process is facilitated by tree roots that dig deep into the ground, providing inlets through which water gets underground. Once underground, water might move in a horizontal direction towards lakes, rivers or oceans in a process referred to as percolation. Back to water that fell on the surface as precipitation; some might fall on hard surfaces and flow towards rivers. Such overland flow is referred to as runoff or surface flow. Once more the sun heats up these surfaces and the process begins all over again: evaporation from (liquid to gaseous state) from all surfaces and evapotranspiration from plants. This gets into the atmosphere, condenses, falls back as precipitation and the whole process is similar.
This process has been made visually easy for children to understand through the animated cartoon diagram at the top of this page. This diagram is very colorful and contains all the components of the water cycle which were explained earlier on. It also summarizes the processes with sound effects in real life that kids can connect to. This diagram can be used in the classroom by teachers who wish to teach the water cycle and by kids at home.
How to teach children about the water cycle
First of all teach kids about common daily phenomena which they are used to seeing like rainfall, snow, clouds and runoff. Also teach lessons on the various states of water (gaseous, liquid and solid). With this done, you could use the heat from a stove with water boiling in a test tube or pot above it to show how the sun heats up water and transforms it into vapor. Water vapor could be trapped in a bottle and cooled with tap water to demonstrate condensation. Water could be poured from a bucket on a hard surface to demonstrate runoff. With these done, the animated video could be shown and all the processes that were done practically could be explained. After this exercise, a worksheet containing all the processes of the water cycle could be given for kids to watch and label. Interactive online games on the water cycle could also be used to test several skills learnt. A relevant game on this topic is also available here: Online game about water >>> Hope you found this page useful. Please share ! The water cycle video for kids, what is water cycle ?, Precipitation, evaporation, runoff etc.