Today's lesson is brought to us by Bill and Merilee Clifton. They will be talking with us about the water cycle. They have this great activity to help us understand what the water cycle is and what it represents. You can read more about Bill and Merilee Clifton at the website they founded in 2000, Science Partners. Be sure to check into their classes and field trips that they offer! Now on to the water cycle!
We refer to our planet as “planet earth,” but we should probably call it “planet ocean.” It is, after all, 70% covered with water, mostly saltwater. Water is essential to all life. Without it, plants and animals could not exist. In fact, most living organisms consist primarily of water. Humans are about 60% water and jellyfish are about 95% water. That is the same water content of a cloud!
God created the waters even before the land (Genesis 1:2, 9). That same water that God created in the beginning is still here. We do not “lose” or “gain” water. It is simply recycled. Some water has been lost from the earth as a result of man’s space explorations. But, that accounts for very little loss. And we don’t have a pipeline coming to earth from some far away planet to replenish our water. So the water we now wash our hands with is the same water Pilate used to wash his hands. We drink the same water that Napoleon drank. Water is water. It is used and then recycled as it evaporates from the earth and then returns in some form of precipitation. Vast quantities of water evaporate from seas and lakes to form clouds that move over the earth, rise, cool, and condense back into a liquid to be released onto the earth.
This is “fresh” water since it contains no salt. It falls to earth, soaks into the ground, and eventually runs back into the seas. We will never run out of water. We have all the water we could ever use. But there is one little problem with ocean water - it contains about 3.5% salt. We cannot use it until all the salt has been removed. And desalinating water can be very expensive.
To teach students to conserve water and use it wisely, we make a “water cycle bracelet” to illustrate the recycling principle.
Water Cycle Bracelet
All the rivers run into the sea; yet the sea is not full; unto the place from whence the rivers come, there they return again. Ecclesiastes 1:7. This verse describes the water cycle that God put in motion to provide us with an unending source of life-giving water. This bracelet reminds us of God’s plan and care for us.
Supplies Needed: Elastic cord or string and two beads of each color listed below.
Directions: Thread one set of beads onto cord in the order listed. Repeat to represent the water cycle repeating over and over. Tie knot in cord and trim excess. Wear the bracelet proudly, and share the information about God’s plan for water!
Color - Represents - Description
Yellow - Solar energy - The sun, where the water cycle begins.
Blue - Evaporation - Vapor that rises when bodies of water are heated by the sun.
Green - Transpiration - Moisture given off by trees and plants as vapor.
White - Condensation - Clouds where vapor gathers, cools, and water droplets form.
Clear - Precipitation - Rain, snow, and hail that fall back to earth when clouds are full.
Brown - Percolation - Water filtering down through the ground.
If you’d like to learn more about water and the awesome animals that God made to live in it, our book The Complete Aquarium Adventure includes lots of information as well as reproducible activities and projects to help you!
Bill and Merilee Clifton