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The Water Cycle

The Water Cycle

Introduction: A raindrop falls from a cloud. Where does the drop of water go? Maybe it collects with water in an ocean or lake. Perhaps it falls on a paved road and runs into a storm drain. It could land on the soft ground and sink into the soil. But none of those would be the end of the journey for that drop of water! Under the right conditions, it may absorb enough energy to change into water vapor, the gas form of water. The water vapor rises into the atmosphere. Here it cools and changes into a water droplet. That droplet collects with other droplets to form a cloud. When the droplet becomes too heavy, it falls back to the ground, starting its journey again! This is the water cycle.

The water cycle is an endless process by which water changes between liquid, solid, and gas forms. It describes how water moves from the Earth's surface, into the atmosphere, and back to the Earth again. There are many different pathways that water can flow through the water cycle, each of which is important to supporting life. The diagram illustrates the major processes of the water cycle.

The Water Cycle

Directions for This Lesson: In this lesson, you will learn about the water cycle. First, try the practice questions to determine what you already know. Then, watch the video lesson and try the activity to further explore the water cycle.


Required Video:

Explore this interactive water cycle diagram to learn more about the water cycle. Scroll over each term on the diagram to learn more about it.

Extend your learning with the worksheets and additional resources.

Related Worksheets:

Additional Resources: