Water Cycle Activity:

Materials list:

1 large glass bowl 2 250 ml beakers 1 graduated cylinder

1 500 ml beaker 25 ml salt hot water

plastic wrap spoon ice cubes or ice bag

timer/stop watch blue food coloring


Heat the water but do not boil.  Add 4 drops of food coloring to the large beaker and fill with very warm water. Pour 500 ml of water into the bowl.  Use the graduated cylinder to measure out 25 ml of salt.  Stir the salt into the hot water until it dissolves.  Place the 250 ml beaker into the center of the bowl.  Make sure that none of the water from the bowl gets into the beaker.  Tightly cover the bowl with plastic wrap and make sure it is sealed.  Place the ice cubes in a ziplock plastic bag and place it in the center of the plastic wrap. Set the timer for 10 minutes and start it.

You have made a model of the water cycle.  Explain how the water cycle works by answering the following questions.

1. What do you observe happening in the bowl?

2. What does the plastic wrap represent?

3. What does the 250 ml beaker represent?

4. What does the water in the bowl represent?

5. What does the water forming on the plastic represent?

6. What does the water dripping into the small beaker represent?

7. Do you think there is any difference between the water in the bowl and the water forming in the beaker?  If so, what difference and why?

Part 2:

Remove the beaker from the bowl, being careful NOT to get any water from the bowl into the beaker.  Take the second 250 ml beaker and add a small amount of the water from the bowl to it.  The amount of water in each beaker should be about the same.  Label each beaker with a dry erase marker.  Put both beakers in a safe place for two days.

4. Check the beakers.  What are your observations?

Explain any differences.