Submitted by: Lorraine Magee

Grade Levels: K-3

In this lesson plan, adaptable for grades K-3, students use BrainPOP Jr. resources to explore the water cycle, specifically the concepts of precipitation, evaporation, and condensation.



Students will:

  1. Explain how precipitation, evaporation, and condensation are parts of the water cycle.
  2. Describe how water on earth cycles in different forms and in different locations, including underground and in the atmosphere.
  3. Define and give examples of precipitation, evaporation, and condensation.


  • Internet access for BrainPOP Jr.
  • Interactive whiteboard


condense, evaporate, precipitation


Preview the BrainPOP Jr. movie Water Cycle to plan for any adaptations.

Lesson Procedure:

  1. Activate interest and assess student's prior knowledge of the water cycle topic by inviting pairs take the Easy Quiz. The results of the quiz will enable you to adapt your instruction.
  2. Write the words "precipitation," "evaporate," and "condense" on the board. If the results of the Easy Quiz indicate that students do have background knowledge of these concepts, then ask them to share their schema around these words. Jot their ideas on the board, next to the appropriate term.
  3. Show the BrainPOP Jr. movie Water Cycle on the whiteboard. Pause at time code 1:30. Ask students to share their observations of water getting hot. For example, they might describe making hot chocolate or boiling water for pasta. Discuss the steam that appears when heating water.
  4. Now have pairs open the movie from within Make-a-Map and instruct them to select the vocabulary map template. Explain that they will watch the movie again, this time using the vocabulary map to define the words evaporate, condense, and precipitation. For each word, they should add a relevant video clip from the movie, using the camera tool. They should also use a blank node to explain each term in their own words. Using another node, students are to give an example of where the process happens in our world. For example, hail is an example of precipitation; heating water on the stove is an example of evaporation; and clouds are an example of condensation.
  5. Next, either print out the vocabulary maps or have students display them on their screens, and do a gallery walk to see how definitions and terms compare.
  6. Come together as a class to develop class definitions for each of the terms: precipitation, evaporate, and condense.
  7. Have students show what they know about the concepts by taking the Hard Quiz. The results will inform instruction and follow up.