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Science Lesson Plan Links: Water, Grades 2-3

Science Lesson Plan Links: Water, Grades 2-3


Science: Discuss water as a renewable resource, and ways we can conserve this universal need. Research the stages of the water cycle -- evaporation, condensation, and precipitation. You may also wish to add the process of plant transpiration, included in this video: http://studyjams.scholastic.com/studyjams/jams/science/ecosystems/water-cycle.htm. Discuss the three states of matter: http://studyjams.scholastic.com/studyjams/jams/science/matter/solids-liquids-gases.htm. List examples of water in each state: solid (snow, ice, frost; crystals); liquid (rain, bodies of water, clouds); and gas (steam, vapor). Conduct some experiments to show the different properties of water, e.g., water tension. Do more research to learn about the different types of clouds and observe/record them.

Math: Make a list together of all of the mathematical and/or measurement words in the text and afterword (see vocabulary list). Make a graph or other visual representation to show how much of the earth is covered in water, and how much of that water is drinkable. Make a similar graph to show how much of the human body is composed of water. If you conduct research about average annual rainfall in some locations, create a graph to show this.

Research: Have children research the aqueducts that carry water into New York City. Have them research to find out what other cities receive their water in this way. Discuss the original aqueducts of ancient Rome, and how important water has been this culture centered around bathhouses, fountains, and indoor plumbing. Research other water carriers, such as canals. Discuss why ice cubes are considered a luxury in many other parts of the world.

Geography: Choose a specific location (or assign one to each group) and research the area in more detail to find out the average annual rainfall, the sources of water, the storage methods, how these affect the culture, etc. Compare/contrast two areas, perhaps including your school’s location.

Vocabulary: Using the vocabulary lists, have children group words into categories: water-related words (sources, storage methods, containers, measurement, etc.), action words, descriptive words, etc. Create word clouds and add to them. You may also include some words children used in their answers or narratives.

Writing: Have children write a short report about something they have learned about water from the text(s) or from their research. Reports may include a graph or drawing. Children may also respond to a writing prompt:

  • Why have civilizations throughout history developed near rivers and other bodies of water?
  • Why do you think ice-cubes are considered a luxury in many parts of the world?
  • Why is water conservation important? What are some ways you can conserve water at home and school?

Poetry: Select a poem about water to read to children from the collection Pick a Poem or another source. Have children write short poems about water.

Art/Photography: Have children draw a picture of people gathering, carrying, storing, or drinking water. They may also draw a source of water -- such as a lake, a well, or a river – or illustrate the stages of the water cycle. If possible, have children take photographs of water to show particular properties or sources/containers, and have them share the images with the class.

Music: Play some relaxing music while children are reading and working, including water sounds. Here is an example: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TNpScM1tYyM.

Drama: Have children act out gathering, carrying, storing, and/or drinking water. Have the class guess the source of the water and/or the type of container.