Evaporation Lesson Plan for Elementary School

Instructor: Joanne Abramson

Joanne has taught middle school and high school science for more than ten years and has a master's degree in education.

This lesson plan illustrates the concept of evaporation for elementary students. Students observe a demonstration, discuss their observations, watch a video and then conduct a hands-on experiment.

Lesson Objectives

By the end of this lesson, students will be able to:

  • Define the term 'evaporation'
  • Explain what causes water to evaporate
  • Describe what happens to water molecules during evaporation


1-1.5 hours

Curriculum Standards


Explain events, procedures, ideas, or concepts in a historical, scientific, or technical text, including what happened and why, based on specific information in the text.


Determine the meaning of general academic and domain-specific words or phrases in a text relevant to a grade 4 topic or subject area.


Engage effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grade 4 topics and texts, building on others' ideas and expressing their own clearly.


  • Water
  • Large Erlenmeyer flask
  • Hot plate
  • Two different colors of white board markers
  • Clear jars with lids (such as mason or jam jars)
  • Labels
  • Rulers
  • Pencils
  • Notebooks for journaling


Warm-up Activity

  • Begin the lesson by adding some water to a large Erlenmeyer flask and placing the flask on a hot plate. Ask students to predict what will happen. Why do they think this?
  • As the water begins to boil, have students make observations and discuss what is happening.
    • What do they see?
    • What do they hear?
    • What would they feel if they touched the side of the flask?
    • Where is the water going?
    • What are the different parts of the system they are observing?
  • Record their observations onto the white board with one color of marker.
  • Once students have finished making their observations, ask them to group similar ideas together and re-word them into a single phrase.
  • Write their new phrases onto the board. Using another color of marker, label the phrases with relevant vocabulary words (such as 'liquid water,' 'water vapor,' 'water molecule,' 'evaporation,' 'heat' and 'energy.')
  • Explain to students that they were just discussing the process of evaporation and that they will be learning more about evaporation in today's lesson.

Video Lesson

  • Begin the video Evaporation Lesson for Kids: Definition & Facts. Pause at 0:56. Ask the following questions:
    • What is evaporation?
    • What happens in the water cycle?
  • Return to the video, this time pausing at 1:49. Ask students the following question:
    • How are the water molecules in our beaker similar to the water molecules in the puddle from the video?
  • Watch the video until the end. Ask the following questions:
    • How does our body use evaporation to keep us cool?
    • What causes humid weather?
  • To check for understanding, project and complete the lesson quiz.

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