Water Cycle: A Repeating Pattern in Nature
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.
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 include at least one computer
with an Internet connection, Microsoft Word or
other word processing software, PowerPoint, Inspiration, and a projector.
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
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.
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