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Water Cycle Unit Lesson 4, Cloud Formation


Math, Science, Social Studies  



Title – Water Cycle Unit Lesson 4, Cloud Formation
By – Kristy Brooten
Primary Subject – Science
Secondary Subjects – Math, Social Studies 
Grade Level – 4
The Water Cycle Unit Contents:

Lesson 4

Concept being taught: Water vapor separates into droplets in cold air, forming clouds, in condensation, the rate of condensation being affected by number of molecules present and air temperature.

I. Objectives:
Content: TSWBAT explain and demonstrate the process of condensation
Skill: TSWBAT experiment and observe the condensation of water droplets from water vapor to droplets to clouds
TSWBAT infer what variables affect water condensation

II. Materials and Equipment
Glasses or cups, lots of ice, water, wax paper squares, colored water, eye droppers, cool water, hot water, water bottles (with lid), funnels, sweating glass half-sheets

III. Lesson Development
A. Motivation
          Drink story: The other night I was sitting on the couch reading when I realized I was thirsty. So I got up, got a glass of ice water, and set it on a coaster next to the couch. When I went to take a sip a few minutes later, there was water all over the coaster and the outside of my glass! What was happening to my water??

B. Information Getting
          1. With your partner, experiment with glass of water and ice. Can you make water appear on the outside of your glass? Where is it coming from? Is the cup leaking? Add food coloring to water. Is water on outside same color as water on inside? Where else might water be coming from? (What have we been learning about evaporation and water vapor?) We call this condensation: write “condensation” on board.
           All together: Based on our experiment, how could we define condensation? Write students’ definition on board. What might this process look like in nature? How do you think this relates to the water cycle?
          2. Let’s look at this from another angle… What do think will happen if the water inside my glass is hot instead of cold? Pour hot water into water bottle and close lid. Walk around and show bottle to students OR break into groups and pour hot water into each group’s bottle through a funnel. What observations can you make about what’s going on now? Is water condensing on the outside of the container? Is this still condensation? How do you know? (Point back to definition of condensation.) Did this condensation take place faster or slower than the cold water condensation? How do you think air temperature affects condensation? (occurs more quickly in cool air – warm water molecules move faster than cool and are therefore less likely to stick together and from droplets) On board, write variable.
          3. Hand out wax paper squares and eye droppers. Have students use eye dropper to place several drops of colored water on wax paper (spread out). What can you observe about your water drops? What happens when water droplets come close to each other? (They stick together and get bigger – this is a property of water called cohesion.) How does this relate to condensation? Any other ideas? What do we absolutely need to form clouds? What variable of condensation have we discovered here? (number of water molecules present – the more the molecules, the more likely they are to collide and stick together) Write variable on board.

C. Closure
          So what have we learned about condensation today? What is it? What variables affect it? With your partner, draw a picture of condensation occurring (either in nature or like in our experiment today) and explain what is happening to another pair.
          What is condensation? What variables affect the rate of water condensation? (Refer to definition and variables on board.)

D.          Evaluation
          Half-sheet of picture of glass of ice water “sweating” – what was really happening to my water? What variables could affect this?

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