Hydrologic Cycle Lesson Plan

Instructor: Sharon Linde
Use this lesson plan to teach your students about the hydrologic cycle. Students start by watching an educational video explaining the water/hydrologic cycle and explaining how water is stored and moved, then take a closer look at evaporation and transpiration. Hands-on activities and quizzes make learning stick.

Learning Objectives

After this lesson, students will be able to:

  • explain the hydrologic cycle
  • describe how water is stored and moved on Earth
  • define and explain evaporation and transpiration


1 - 1.5 hours for the lesson plus time for the experiment


  • Glass jars
  • Plastic wrap
  • Warm water
  • Plants
  • Plastic bags
  • Observation logs
  • Poster paper
  • Art materials

Key Vocabulary

  • Water cycle
  • Hydrologic cycle
  • Reservoir
  • Condense
  • Precipitation
  • Infiltrate
  • Runoff
  • Evaporation
  • Transpiration
  • Photosynthesize
  • Stomata

Curriculum Standards

  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RST.6-8.2

Determine the central ideas or conclusions of a text; provide an accurate summary of the text distinct from prior knowledge or opinions.

  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RST.6-8.3

Follow precisely a multistep procedure when carrying out experiments, taking measurements, or performing technical tasks.

  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RST.6-8.4

Determine the meaning of symbols, key terms, and other domain-specific words and phrases as they are used in a specific scientific or technical context relevant to grades 6-8 texts and topics.

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