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water cycle

This collection contains a selection of content from NG Education about the water cycle. Use search to find more.

In Stone Town, Zanzibar, Tanzania, a girl plays in the rain. Water absorbed into the atmosphere cycles back to Earth again through rain. Zanzibar, a tropical archipelago in the Indian Ocean, experiences long rains in April and May.

Photograph by Issa AlKindy, My Shot

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Earth
Article
EDUCATION

Earth

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.

  • Best for: Grades 6+ (ages 11+)
  • Concepts: atmosphere, axes, biosphere, carbon cycle, core, crust, earth, geology, hydrosphere, lithosphere, mantle, moons, rotation, water cycle
Will There Be Enough Fresh Water?
Lesson
EDUCATION

Will There Be Enough Fresh Water?

In this lesson, students will explore the distribution and uses of fresh water on Earth. They will examine models of porosity and permeability, run experiments with computational models, and hear from a hydrologist working on the same question. At the end of the lesson, students will be able to expl...

  • Best for: Grades 7+ (ages 12+)
  • Concepts: aquifers, freshwater, groundwater, permeability, porosity, precipitation, water cycle
Availability of Fresh Water
Activity
EDUCATION

Availability of Fresh Water

Students explore how water moves above and below Earth's surface by using interactive computational models. Then they examine the supply and demand issues around their local water source(s), and they meet a hydrogeologist who introduces students to some of the issues around the sustainability of...

  • Best for: Grades 7-12 (ages 12-18)
  • Concepts: aquifers, evaporation, freshwater, groundwater, human water use, precipitation, water cycle
Freshwater
Quiz
EDUCATION

Freshwater

To learn more, check ou our resources on freshwater. 

  • Best for: Grades K-12 (ages 5-18)
  • Concepts: freshwater, water cycle
Local and Global Effects of Deforestation in the Amazon Rain Forest
Activity
EDUCATION

Local and Global Effects of Deforestation in the Amazon Rain Forest

Students analyze a map to identify and describe multiple landscapes in the Amazon rain forest, the organisms that inhabit those landscapes, and the role of the forest in the water cycle and nutrient cycle. Then they construct a scientific argument for the effects of deforestation on the local ecosys...

  • Best for: Grades 6-8 (ages 11-14)
  • Concepts: amazon, argument, climate change, conservation, deforestation, ecosystems, indigenous territories, rain forests, water cycle
Water in the Namibian Desert
Video
EDUCATION

Water in the Namibian Desert

Where does water in the Namibian desert come from? Namibia's geography and the water cycle play key roles in how water reaches this dry place.

  • Best for: Grades 3+ (ages 8+)
  • Concepts: climate, deserts, destination wild, namibia, nat geo wild, skeleton coast, water, weather
dew
Article
EDUCATION

dew

Dew is the moisture that forms at night when objects or the ground outside cool down by radiating, or emitting, their heat

  • Best for: Grades 4+ (ages 9+)
  • Concepts: condensation, dew, liquids, precipitation, temperature, water, water cycle, weather
Hydrology of the New Orleans Region
Activity
EDUCATION

Hydrology of the New Orleans Region

Students learn about hydrology, explore the hydrological features of a landscape in National Geographic's FieldScope tool, and apply their knowledge during a role-playing activity about natural resource management.

  • Best for: Grades 6+ (ages 11+)
  • Concepts: bioblitz, delta, fieldscope, gis, hydrology, natural resource management, water cycle
Earth's Water Cycle
Activity
EDUCATION

Earth's Water Cycle

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.

  • Best for: Grades 3-5 (ages 8-11)
  • Concepts: condensation, evaporation, ocean, precipitation, water cycle
water cycle
Article
EDUCATION

water cycle

The water cycle describes how water is exchanged (cycled) through Earth's land, ocean, and atmosphere.

  • Best for: Grades 3+ (ages 8+)
  • Concepts: atmosphere, condensation, earth, evaporation, precipitation, water, water cycle
Ocean and Water Cycling
Article
EDUCATION

Ocean and Water Cycling

Watch this brief, video picture of practice that captures everyday classroom life and provides real-life examples of how students learn and think about ocean topics.

  • Best for: Grades 3-8 (ages 8-14)
  • Concepts: environmental literacy, freshwater, ocean, water cycle
What Is Groundwater?
Article
EDUCATION

What Is Groundwater?

Watch this brief, video picture of practice that captures everyday classroom life and provides real-life examples of how students learn and think about freshwater topics.

  • Best for: Grades 3-8 (ages 8-14)
  • Concepts: environmental literacy, freshwater, groundwater, water cycle, water scarcity
What Is Water Pollution?
Article
EDUCATION

What Is Water Pollution?

Watch this brief, video picture of practice that captures everyday classroom life and provides real-life examples of how students learn and think about freshwater topics.

  • Best for: Grades 3-8 (ages 8-14)
  • Concepts: environmental literacy, freshwater, pollution, runoff, water cycle
The Urban Water Cycle
Article
EDUCATION

The Urban Water Cycle

Watch this brief, video picture of practice that captures everyday classroom life and provides real-life examples of how students learn and think about freshwater topics.

  • Best for: Grades 3-8 (ages 8-14)
  • Concepts: environmental literacy, freshwater, pollution, runoff, water cycle
Learning About Evaporation
Article
EDUCATION

Learning About Evaporation

Watch this brief, video picture of practice that captures everyday classroom life and provides real-life examples of how students learn and think about freshwater topics.

  • Best for: Grades 3-8 (ages 8-14)
  • Concepts: condensation, environmental literacy, evaporation, freshwater, water cycle
Strange Rains
Article
EDUCATION

Strange Rains

“Animal rain” happens when little critters get swept up in waterspouts and fall down with raindrops.

  • Best for: Grades K-10 (ages 5-16)
  • Concepts: animal rain, storms, waterspouts, weather, wind
Physical Geography of Europe
Lesson
EDUCATION

Physical Geography of Europe

Students are introduced to the physical geography of Europe and delineate major drainage basins in Europe.  

  • Best for: Grades 6-8 (ages 11-14)
  • Concepts: beyond borders, borders, drainage basins, europe, mountains, physical features, regions, rivers, vegetation
lake
Article
EDUCATION

lake

A lake is a body of water that is surrounded by land. There are millions of lakes in the world.

  • Best for: Grades 7+ (ages 12+)
  • Concepts: basins, freshwater, glaciers, lakes, limnology, pollution, water cycle, watersheds
frost
Article
EDUCATION

frost

Encyclopedic entry. Frost is water vapor, or water in gas form, that becomes solid. Frost usually forms on objects like cars, windows, and plants that are outside in air that is saturated, or filled, with moisture.

  • Best for: Grades 5+ (ages 10+)
  • Concepts: atmosphere, condensation, frost, ice, precipitation, vapor, water cycle
sleet
Article
EDUCATION

sleet

Encyclopedic entry. Sleet is rain or melted snow that freezes into ice pellets before hitting the ground. Sleet only happens under very specific weather conditions.

  • Best for: Grades 4+ (ages 9+)
  • Concepts: ice, precipitation, rain, sleet, water, water cycle, weather
rain
Article
EDUCATION

rain

Rain is liquid precipitation: water falling from the sky. Raindrops fall to Earth when clouds become saturated, or filled, with water droplets.

  • Best for: Grades 6+ (ages 11+)
  • Concepts: acid rain, atmosphere, clouds, condensation, liquids, meteorology, precipitation, rain, water cycle
mist
Article
EDUCATION

mist

Encyclopedic entry. Mist is tiny droplets of water hanging in the air. These droplets form when warmer water in the air is rapidly cooled, causing it to change from invisible gas to tiny visible water droplets.

  • Best for: Grades 5+ (ages 10+)
  • Concepts: atmosphere, clouds, fog, mist, precipitation, water cycle
precipitation
Article
EDUCATION

precipitation

Precipitation is any type of water that forms in the Earth's atmosphere and then drops onto the surface of the Earth. Water vapor, droplets of water suspended in the air, builds up in the Earth's atmosphere.

  • Best for: Grades 4+ (ages 9+)
  • Concepts: atmosphere, clouds, hail, precipitation, rain, sleet, snow, storms, water, water cycle
cloud
Article
EDUCATION

cloud

Clouds are visible accumulations of tiny water droplets or ice crystals in the Earth’s atmosphere

  • Best for: Grades 5+ (ages 10+)
  • Concepts: air masses, atmosphere, climate, clouds, precipitation, storms, water cycle, weather