Standard textbook illustrations of the water cycle can lead students to believe that the pathways in which water travels through the water cycle are simple and circular when in reality, such pathways are long, indirect and often complicated by human interferences. Many students do not have the ability to transfer the concepts portrayed in these diagrams to their own communities and lives.
The following activities replace the traditional way of teaching the water cycle by identifying how surfaces in the schoolyard influence the pathways water takes after a precipitation event. By exploring the water cycle as it occurs at their school, the learning becomes place-based and relevant to the culture of the school.
*This lesson was adapted from the work of the MSP Water Strand which has had numerous contributors.
For more information, contact: Andrew Warnock
B321 Natural & Environmental Sciences
1231 East Drive
Colorado State University
Fort Collins, CO 80523-1802
p: (970) 491-1700
f: (970) 491-2005