Fifth Grade

Life as a Water Molecule

It's time to be turned into a water molecule! Students know what the water cycle is, now they take a deep dive into the hydrologic cycle. First students will watch the introduction video, then interact with the USGS water cycle map so they are ready to label the hydrologic cycle poster. All this will get them ready to interact with Project WET's Discover Water activity, which will turn them in to water molecules as they go through this dynamic journey. Lastly, students can tell their story through writing or a graphic cartoon, using their creativity to demonstrate their deep knowledge of this important part of our world.

To complete the Zone 7 lesson be sure to do all of the following:

  1. Watch the introduction video to learn about this lesson and get as excited about water as your Zone 7 teachers are.

  2. Click on the blue bar labeled "Life as a water molecule worksheet link" then click "make a copy." Either print out the 3 pages or fill them out online, write your name in the title, and share it with your teacher. Use the materials on this website to help you complete the pages.

  3. Click on the blue bar labeled "USGS Interactive water cycle poster link," to learn the definitions for the intricate parts of the water cycle.

  4. Click on the blue bar labeled "Drag and drop label activity link," and make a copy. When you are done with the activity, write your name in the title and share it with your teacher.

  5. Click the play button on the embedded Project WET activity then pick a water droplet and follow its journey. Use the worksheet from step 2.

Bonus Materials - follow the directions to see transpiration and plant uptake.

Welcome and Instruction Video

Take the time to watch this video to learn about Zone 7 Water Agency and how to complete this lesson. Trust us, the lesson will be much easier if you start here.

2. Activity work along sheet

Click on the link below then click "make a copy." Either print out the 3 pages or fill them out online, write your name in the title, and share it with your teacher.

Hint: If you are filling out the pages online, split your screen so you can have this website open and the Google Doc open at the same time.

3. Interact with USGS water cycle

Clink on the link to see the definitions of the dynamic water cycle.

4. Label the Water Cycle

Now that you know what the words mean, put them to work by clicking the above link and press "make a copy." Then drag the words to label the hydrologic cycle. When you're done, write your name with the title and share it with your teacher.

Hint: you might need to widen your viewing screen to see all the words.

5. Project WET Discover Water Activity

Travel through the water cycle just like a water molecule. Where will you go?

Don't forget to have your work along sheet from step #2 ready so you can answer questions as you go along your journey.

Examples of a water cycle story

Example of a poem about a student's water journey:

Example of a story written from the Project WET activity:

A Water Droplet's Journey

I'm a little water droplet,

The ocean was big,

Little as can be.

And I met a new friend.

I'll tell you about my cycle,

We flowed onto land,

But you must listen carefully.

Inside a plant yet again.

I first was in a plant,

I stayed here a long time,

Far, far from the sky.

Then I felt a happy sensation.

Then suddenly I left it,

I exited the plant,

The sun's heat made me fly high.

Through transpiration.

It was strange out in the open,

The same feeling hit me,

Still rising in the air.

Just like it had before.

I saw I was water vapor,

I turned into water vapor,

Hit the clouds and waited there.

And began to rise once more.

In the clouds it was cold,

I was next up in the clouds,

My form changed yet again.

Now feeling quite great.

This time I was back to a droplet,

But then before I knew it,

Then I fell into the ocean.

I began to precipitate.

Examples of story from

The Journey of Molly the Water Molecule

Hi. My name is Molly the water molecule. Let me tell you a little bit about myself. I"m short, stout, and full of water! I am also exhausted because of my long journey of the water cycle! I would like to tell you about my journey.

I was minding my own business, sitting in a lake, and all of the sudden, I started rising into the air. I was evaporating! Up into the sky I went, with other water molecules following me. We all decided to grab a dust particle and we condensed into a cloud. I was getting a little squidish and bored so the other molecules and I started to precipitate. Down, down, down we fell - ahhhhhhhhhhhh! We fell down as snow and I fell on to a solid ice. Splat! Boy, that hurt! I spent a long night shivering.

The next day I finally felt myself warming up. The heat from the sun was turning me into water vapor. Back up into the air I was going. Yes, I was evaporating again. I formed another cloud with some of my other water molecule friends. Condensing again was very tiring but I got through it. Soon it was time for me to precipitate. With a limited amount of water coming down, we fell out as rain.

That is the story of me, Molly, as a water molecule during the whole entire process of my trip in the water cycle.

Example of a graphic illustration of a student's water journey:

Example of graphic illustration from a student in Ms. Wafler's class around 2015.

Great job completing the Zone 7 Lesson!

Make sure that you shared steps 2 and 4 with your teacher.

Want to learn more? Do the experiments below.

Bonus Material


Watch transpiration in action with this easy to do activity.

Bonus Material

Plant Uptake

Watch plant uptake in action with this easy to do activity.