Water is essential to life on Earth. All of our water has been here for hundreds of millions of years. Water never leaves our planet, and no new water is ever made. The water cycle is the process that moves water around the Earth, recycling it so that it can be used over and over again.
Only 2.5% of the water on Earth is fresh water. The rest is sea water and is stored in the oceans. Most of the fresh water is trapped in ice/snow or is underground. Less than 1% of all of the water on Earth is available for all of the animals and humans to use!
Teach your children about the water cycle using our handy topic guide!
- Set up a mini water cycle in your classroom to see what happens.
- Try this selection of activities to help children learn about evaporation.
- Use photographs of clouds to teach your class about the different types of clouds and the Water Cycle.
- Tom McLaughlin’s wonderful picture book about a boy who can see new worlds developing in the clouds is a great starting point for learning. Use it in your classroom with our suggested teaching ideas.
- Try out some of these fun water cycle activities and experiments in your classroom.
- Help your children to understand the water cycle with our PDF and Powerpoint topic guide. The pack also includes an image pack, labelling activity, glossary, wordsearch and display banner.
- This primary resource from National Geographic features 25 ways that pupils can help save water, keep our oceans, rivers and streams clean, and protect our planet’s aquatic animals.
- The Geographical Association have put together a great range of resources and teaching ideas for investigating rivers and the water cycle.
Water Cycle Knowledge Organiser
Members of Teaching Packs can download a comprehensive knowledge organiser to accompany this topic. It includes key information that your children can use for reference and research, along with labelled diagrams and a glossary of key vocabulary.
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Water Cycle Facts
- Water is constantly being recycled so the water you drink today could be the same water dinosaurs drank millions of years ago.
- A small thunderstorm can generate an average of 2000 tons of rain.
- The water cycle describes the movement of water throughout Earth’s surface, atmosphere, and underground.
- The Sun is the driving force of the water cycle.
How does rain form and what is the water cycle?
This video from the Met Office is a great introduction to the water cycle. It covers rainfall, evaporation, condensation and more.
Running time: 1:47
The Science of Clouds
This animated video teaches children about clouds. It explores how clouds are formed, the different types of clouds and has a number of interesting facts!
Running time: 5:42
The Water Cycle Song
This song by Have Fun Teaching introduces the water cycle to your children and includes information about evaporation, condensation and precipitation.
Running time: 3:41
Ethan is a young raindrop living a very content life floating in a cloud with his brothers and sisters. But a trip over the big blue ocean brings a huge event that changes his life forever.
Without rain the well in the village will run dry and the crops will fail. Lila is so worried that when her grandfather whispers to her the secret of rain, she decides to go and talk to the sky herself.
Are you teaching your children about other topics? Explore our full collection of guides!