The water cycle is how water moves from the land into the atmosphere, and then back to the land and ocean. It consists of three parts: evaporation, condensation, and precipitation. The water cycle is driven by the sun.

Illustration by John M. Evans, USGS

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Earth Encyclopedic Entry

Best For
6 - 12 and up

Earth science, Geography

Appropriate For

  • Educators
  • Families
  • Students

Earth is the planet we live on, the third of eight planets in our solar system and the only known place in the universe to support life.

Earth's Water Cycle
Earth's Water Cycle Activity

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3 - 5

Earth science, English Language Arts, Geography

50 seconds

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  • Educators

Students work together to illustrate the water cycle as a class. Each student writes an imaginary story about the journey of one drop of water going through the water cycle. Then students discuss some of the reasons why our ocean is important.