Science
Strand V
Use Scientific Knowledge from the Earth and Space Sciences in Real-World Contexts

 

Science/Strand V
Content Standard 3
All students will investigate and describe what makes up weather and how it changes from day to day, from season to season, and over long periods of time; explain what causes different kinds of weather; and analyze the relationships between human activities and the atmosphere. (Atmosphere and Weather)

 

Science/Strand V/Content Standard 3
Middle School

 

Science/Strand V/Content Standard 3/Middle School
Benchmark 3
Explain the behavior of water in the atmosphere.

Benchmark Clarification

Water moves through the atmosphere in a pattern called the water cycle. As it moves through the atmosphere, water changes states from a solid to a liquid, from a liquid to a gas, and from a liquid to a solid.

Students will:

  • Investigate various forms of water in the atmosphere
  • Explain how water changes states as it moves through the water cycle by using the terms evaporation, condensation, and precipitation

Key Concept / Real World Context / Instructional Example / Assessment Example / Resources

 

Science/Strand V/Content Standard 3/Middle School/Benchmark 3
Key Concept
Water cycle:

  • evaporation
  • water vapor
  • warm air rises
  • cooling
  • condensation
  • clouds

See Changes of State (SCI.IV.2.MS.1).

See Water on the EarthÕs Surface (SCI.V.2.MS.2)

Precipitation:

  • rain
  • snow
  • hail
  • sleet
  • freezing rain

 

Science/Strand V/Content Standard 3/Middle School/Benchmark 3
Real World Context
Aspects of the water cycle in weather:

  • clouds
  • precipitation
  • evaporating puddles

 

Science/Strand V/Content Standard 3/Middle School/Benchmark 3
Instructional Example

Benchmark Question: What form does water take as it moves through the water cycle?

Focus Question: What different forms will water take when it is heated or cooled?

Students will observe a demonstration that introduces the concept of water changing forms through condensation, evaporation, and precipitation, which are processes of the water cycle.

In the demonstration, water is heated by a hot plate. This represents the Sun heating water from the lakes, rivers, streams, and the ocean. Students will observe the process of evaporation, draw diagrams of the movement of water molecules, explain what happens to the water molecules in captions under the diagrams, and give examples of the process of evaporation.

The steam from the heated water represents the process of condensation as water vapor in the air cools. Students will observe that water droplets or ice crystals are formed from the water vapor that is cooled by the air. They will observe the process of condensation, draw diagrams of the movement of water molecules, explain what happens to the water molecules in captions under the diagrams, and give real-world examples of the process of condensation.

Finally, students will observe droplets that fall to the floor and compare them to the rain or other forms of precipitation that fall back to the oceans and ground. They will observe the process of precipitation, draw diagrams of the movement of water molecules, explain what happens to the water molecules in captions under the diagrams, and give real-world examples of the process of precipitation.

Last, students will draw pictures that illustrate real-world examples of evaporation, condensation, and precipitation.

Constructing: (SCI.I.1.MS.1), (SCI.I.1.MS.2).

Reflecting: (SCI.II.1.MS.2), (SCI.II.1.MS.3), (SCI.II.1.MS.5).

 

Science/Strand V/Content Standard 3/Middle School/Benchmark 3
Assessment Example

Students will create diagrams that accurately illustrate all processes (evaporation, condensation, and precipitation) and varying forms that water takes as it moves throughout the water cycle. Diagrams must include short written descriptions of real-life examples. Processes and states of matter must be labeled correctly.

(Give students rubric before activity.)

Scoring Rubric

Criteria

Apprentice

Basic

Meets

Exceeds

Diagram of water cycle

Diagrams the water cycle with arrows; attempts to correctly connect and label processes and/or states of matter.

Diagrams the water cycle using illustrations; attempts to correctly connect and label the processes and three states of matter.

Diagrams the water cycle using illustrations, correctly showing and labeling all relationships between processes and states of matter.

Diagrams the water cycle with detailed illustrations, correctly and clearly showing relationships between all processes and states of matter.

Correctness of real-world examples

Correctly gives a real-world example of a state of matter and a process related to the water cycle.

Correctly describes two to three real-world examples of a state of matter and processes related to the water cycle.

Correctly describes four to five real-world examples of at least two states of matter and processes related to the water cycle.

Correctly describes six or more real-world examples of processes and states of matter related to the water cycle.

 

Science/Strand V/Content Standard 3/Middle School/Benchmark 3
Resources

Webliography.
http://mtn.merit.edu/mcf/SCI.V.3.MS.3.html

Follow a Drip Through the Water Cycle.
http://www.epa.gov/students/clean_water_basics.htm

The Water Cycle.
http://www.epa.gov/students/clean_water_basics.htm

Smith, P. Sean. Project Earth Science: Meteorology. NSTA,1999.