Unit Overview

Lesson Overview

In Mosa Mack's Water Cycle Unit, students solve two water cycle mysteries, travel through the water cycle as a water droplet to experience water's journey, and then apply their knowledge of the water cycle to design a solution to solve a drought crisis.

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    Solve: Polluted Lakes + Water Park Mystery

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    Make: Travel the Water Cycle

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    Engineer: Engineer a Water Conservation Solution

  • Next Generation Science Standards
    MS-ESS2-4
    Develop a model to describe the cycling of water through Earth's systems driven by energy from the sun and the force of gravity. [Clarification Statement: Emphasis is on the ways water changes its state as it moves through the multiple pathways of the hydrologic cycle. Examples of models can be conceptual or physical.] [Assessment Boundary: A quantitative understanding of the latent heats of vaporization and fusion is not assessed.]
  • Inquiry Scale

    • Each lesson in the unit has an Inquiry Scale that provides directions on how to implement the lesson at the level that works best for you and your students.
    • “Level 1” is the most teacher-driven, and recommended for students in 4th-5th grades. “Level 4” is the most student-driven, and recommended for students in 7th-8th grades.
    • For differentiation within the same grade or class, use different inquiry levels for different groups of students who may require additional support or an extra challenge.
  • Common Misconceptions
    • Students may initially believe that water disappears and reappears. Emphasize that water is conserved in a continual cycle.
    • Students may think that water comes from one particular source. Encourage them to notice that water flows through the cycle along many continual pathways.
    • Students tend to believe that water travels through the water cycle in a predictable circular path. Emphasize that the path of water can be complex and is not always the same.
  • Vocabulary
      • Precipitation
      • Evaporation
      • Transpiration
      • Condensation
      • Sublimation
  • Content Expert
    • Eric Pyle, PhD
      Professor, Department of Geology & Environmental Science James Madison University
  • Leveled Reading

    * To give our users the most comprehensive science resource, Mosa Mack is piloting a partnership with RocketLit, a provider of leveled science articles.

    • Your Very Own Pet Water Drop

      In this article, students read about the basic steps in the water cycle. The article discusses what causes most of the evaporation, how water drops gather together in the sky and why they fall back down to earth.

    • Water Everywhere!

      Water falls from the sky, but then what? This article looks at all the different places that students can find water on the surface of the earth and describes how water moves to and from each of these places.

    • It's Not Magic . . . It's Just a Phase

      In this article, students investigate the concepts of freezing point, boiling point, and melting point through a magic trick. They'll read about how a magician makes water change phase through heating and cooling at each of these temperatures.

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