Grade Levels: 3-5, 6-8, K-3

In this lesson plan, which is adaptable for grades 2-6, student use BrainPOP and/or BrainPOP Jr. resources to explore the water cycle. Students will use hands-on materials to create and observe their own water cycles.

Lesson Plan Common Core State Standards Alignments

Students will:

  1. Identify each part of the water cycle.
  2. Create a water cycle replica using hands-on materials.


  • Internet access for BrainPOP
  • Materials for experiments below


precipitation, condense, evaporate, water cycle, atmosphere


Preview the BrainPOP and BrainPOP Jr. Water Cycle movies and determine which one is the best fit for your students. Then make photocopies of either the BrainPOP Experiment or the BrainPOP Jr. Activity. You'll also need to gather the materials needed for the experiments.

Lesson Procedure:

  1. Play either the BrainPOP or BrainPOP Jr. Water Cycle movie. Be sure to turn on closed captioning to aid students in comprehension.
  2. Talk about the elements of the water cycle with students and clarify any misconceptions.
  3. Have students work collaboratively to complete either the BrainPOP Experiment or the BrainPOP Jr. Activity.
  4. Challenge students to create their own water cycle! Have partners take a clear plastic container and fill it partway with soil. Then they can plant a seed or a small seedling or plant cutting. Water the plant and then cover the top with plastic wrap or with a clear plastic lid.
  5. Put the container in a sunny place and have students observe what happens. They may want to record, draw, or photograph their observations in a chart and measure their plants' growth. Students should see condensation on the sides of the container.