Materials List: Down Comes the Rain by Franklyn Branley or other literature resource materials, shallow pan, deeper pan, rulers, science learning log, materials for small group investigations, Evaporation Investigation BLM
Share the book, Down Comes the Rain or another book that explores evaporation. Facilitate a discussion about the concept of evaporation and the students’ experiences with evaporation. Place two pans of water in the room (one shallow and one deeper). Have students make predictions about what will happen to the water in the two pans. Will they evaporate at the same rate? How would they know? Lead students to determine that the water levels need to be marked. This can be done using measurement tools (inch or cm rulers) or by simply marking the containers. Have students explain what happens to water when it evaporates. Introduce the term water vapor. Pose the question “What role does the Sun play in evaporation and in the water cycle?”
Investigation Task: Have students design an experiment that involves evaporation. Discuss what steps should be included and how measurements will be made. Have students make a prediction of the outcome of their experiment and write it in their science learning logs (view literacy strategy descriptions). This log is a notebook that students keep in content classrooms in order to record ideas, questions, reactions, new understandings, or visual representations such as diagrams, charts, etc. Documenting ideas in a learning log about content being studied forces students to “put into words” what they know or do not know. This process offers a reflection of understanding that can lead to further study and alternative learning paths. It combines writing and reading with content learning.
Students will conduct the experiment and record the results of their evaporation investigation. Students are to discuss their predictions and their results and write why they think the experiment yielded those particular results. Once students have shared their ideas, facilitate a discussion to address any misconceptions noted or further the understanding of the process of evaporation.
Upon completion of the investigation, students can be assessed using the Evaporation Investigation BLM.
http://coreknowledge.org/CK/resrcs/lessons/2.htm (Scroll down to Around We Go With the Water Cycle