SECOND-GRADE STUDENTS at Flemingsburg Elementary School in Flemingsburg, Ky., are using technology to help them grasp basic concepts of the water cycle. This lesson also integrates various hands-on activities from several subject areas — including science, language arts, art and technology — which address a variety of learning styles through the use of literature selections and activities.
Lesson description: This series of three lessons will help students understand the major concepts related to the water cycle including evaporation, condensation, precipitation and the natural cycles that occur as weather. A culminating activity allows students to participate in an activity of choice that addresses multiple intelligences and learning styles ranging from singing or painting to charades or creating a Venn diagram.
The three lessons:
1. Where’d You Get that Water?
2. Where Did the Puddle Go?
3. Cloud, Cloud, How I Wonder What You Are . . .
The first lesson helps students understand the water cycle as one of the natural cycles found in nature. Students learn to identify the cycle and sequence sentences describing it, too. The second lesson is completed during three class times in the computer lab. Students act as detectives to discover what happened to the puddle on the playground after the morning rain shower yesterday. The third lesson is focused on observing weather and includes content and activities surrounding cloud types.
Subject area: This is a science lesson for second-grade students.
Standards: This lesson correlates to two Kentucky state science standards: SC-M-2.1.5, which addresses the water cycle, and SC-E-2.3.2, which addresses weather changes. The lesson also meets two National Educational Technology Standards for Students set by the International Society for Technology in Education:
1. Use a variety of media and technology resources for directed and independent learning activities.
2. Work cooperatively and collaboratively with peers, family members, and others when using technology in the classroom.
Resources: Students will need access to a computer lab; handouts; paper; pencil and crayons; poster board or tag board; one clean, clear bottle with a small mouth; ice cubes; and several books.
After each lesson, students are evaluated, but there is also a final written test to measure student understanding of unit objectives after the culminating activity has been completed. The three interim evaluations include an experiment worksheet, temperature and precipitation chart, and final project (chosen by student), which are evaluated on a scale of 1-3 with one being fair, two being great, and three being awesome. A combined score of 1-4 is a C-, a score of 5-7 is a B, and a score of 8-9 is an A.
• The WebQuest used calls for access to Brainpop, a subscription Internet site, but teachers can sign-up for a free trial subscription for 14 days and access the movie.
• Prepare an easy weather chart ahead of time for students to keep a temperature record of the three cities they choose.
• If a student is not enthusiastic about using the computer, pair him or her with another student. Working together always motivates students.
Angela Jackson teaches second grade at Flemingsburg Elementary School in Flemingsburg, Ky.