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TeachNet NYC: Lesson Plans

The Water Cycle: A Repeating Pattern in Nature

Project URL:
http://teachnet-lab.org/goldstein/watercycle/index.htm

How it works:
This project is an engaging way for students to learn about an important cycle in nature. Upon completion, they understand that some events in nature have a repeating pattern; and that water can be a solid, liquid, or gas and can go back and forth from one form to another. They use Inspiration/Kidspiration or a chalkboard to create a wordsplash; utilize the Internet to collect information and view video presentations; answer a list of questions and use new vocabulary to describe the water cycle and write a report; and create their own PowerPoint presentation. For additional credit, they write a story, using personification, about how a cloud feels as it goes through the water cycle. The time frame for this unit is 3-6 weeks, depending on how many of the activities you wish to complete.

Standards addressed:  
Students use technology to enhance learning and increase productivity and creativity; employ a variety of media and formats to communicate information and ideas effectively to multiple audiences; read, write, listen, and speak for information and understanding, and for critical analysis and evaluation; and understand the natural cycles of Earth’s land, water, and atmosphere.

Materials used:
Required materials include at least one computer with an Internet connection,  Microsoft Word or other word processing software, PowerPoint, Inspiration, and a projector.

The students:
The Water Cycle: A Repeating Pattern in Nature is suitable for grades 3-4 and is adaptable to small groups or entire classes. Students with no computer skills can be introduced to word processing and Internet research, and advanced students are able to go on to more sophisticated PowerPoint projects.

Overall value:
This project-based learning program offers both teachers and students the ability to develop many new technological skills including word processing, Internet usage, PowerPoint, and Inspiration. Lessons on the necessary technical skills are provided at various sites that can be reached throughout the program.
 
Tips: 
If this
program is carried out in a lab setting with a class unfamiliar with the use of computers, simple word processing skills should be taught first. Teaching children how to make a heading and then how to lay out a report gives them almost all of the basic word processing skills within two lessons. This can be followed by Internet search techniques and a lesson on note-taking using a word processing program. Modeling is always important.

  

 

About the teacher:
Ben Goldstein runs the Macintosh lab at PS 161, where he teaches parents, teachers, and students. Originally trained as a kindergarten teacher, he has taught on all elementary grade levels and also served on the faculty of Western Connecticut State College teaching film and video to teachers and students. Over the past twenty-five years Ben has written, produced, and directed many educational film and recording projects, and is an award-winning playwright, filmmaker, and songwriter whose works have been shown at the Museum of Modern Art and on television throughout the world. 

E-mail: 
bgoldst7@nycboe.net

Subject Areas:                        
Science 
Technology

Grade Levels: 
3-4



 

 

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