Teaching the Water Cycle: Tips, Vocabulary Words, & Free Isometric Infographic

seamless water drop pattern with repeating icon

Are you teaching your class about the water cycle? Searching for water-related words or ways to incorporate lessons about rainfall, cloud formation, surface water, or ground water; you’re in luck. Just keep scrolling to find tips, water-cycle-related words, and a free isometric infographic!

In this post:

50 Water-Related Vocabulary Terms

Whether you’re teaching a Geography, Ecology, or English lesson related to the water cycle, this list of vocabulary words can come in handy. Use it to create word search puzzles, creative writing prompts, or to build a glossary as a supplementary educational resource for a science class.

  • Atmosphere
  • Aqueduct
  • Aquifer
  • Body of Water
  • Climate
  • Cloud Formation
  • Condensation
  • Conservation
  • Dam
  • Desalination
  • Distribution
  • Distillation
  • Droplet
  • Drought
  • Effluent
  • Evaporation
  • Filtration
  • Groundwater
  • Groundwater Depletion
  • Groundwater Storage
  • Global Warming
  • H2O
  • Humidity
  • Ice
  • Infiltration
  • Irrigation
  • Lakes
  • Liquid
  • Moisture
  • Non-renewable Resource
  • Ocean
  • Precipitation
  • Pond
  • Potable Water
  • Rainfall
  • Rain Gauge
  • Renewable Resource
  • River
  • Runoff
  • Salinity
  • Snow
  • Surface Water
  • Transpiration
  • Treatment Facility
  • Vapor
  • Water Availability
  • Water Cycle
  • Water Reservoirs
  • Water System
  • Weather Pattern
Illustration of Stickman Family Under an Umbrella Sheltering From the Rain

5 Tips for Teaching Students About the Water Cycle

Looking for ways to teach students about the phases of the water cycle beyond a word wall? If you’re searching for tips or a hands-on activity, just keep scrolling. You’ll find 5 ways to help students learn about precipitation, condensation, runoff, evaporation and more!

1. Read scientific texts about the water cycle.

The first and perhaps the most helpful tip we can offer is to use scientific resources when explaining the water cycle, water conservation, evaporation or any related concept. To get the entire class involved, consider assigning scientific texts. This can take the form of your issued textbooks or supplemental reading material such as magazine. Just keep in mind the grade levels you instruct and make sure the resources are digestible for them.

2. Simulate the water cycle in a plastic sandwich bag.

Searching for a simple solution to teach students about condensation and evaporation? Grab a box of plastic sandwich bags, some markers, and a cup of water. Once you gather your supplies, draw the water cycle on the outside of the sandwich bag, put some water inside, seal, then tape it to a window in the classroom. Over the following days, observe the bag with your class and help students learn all about condensation and evaporation.

3. Create water cycle models or dioramas.

Whether you’re teaching about weather patterns, the water cycle, or cloud formation; creating dioramas can be a fun and immersive activity to engage students in. So, give it a try in your class. Dioramas can have a mix of 2D and 3D elements, be made from recycled materials, or anything you’d like. Be creative – just remember that goal is to get students interested in learning about water!

4. Make a poster board about the different cloud types as a group.

Do you have a small class or one that can be divided into small groups? Create a water-cycle-centric poster board with your class! On it, create your own own clouds using cotton ball and include facts about cloud formation and label the cloud types. Use the poster board(s) to decorate the classroom or have students present their group work.

5. Study water cycle vocabulary and facts from flashcards.

Instructors or tutors can encourage students to take their education into their own hands and extend the lessons at home with the use of flashcards. Students just need index cards and a writing instrument to get started. The flashcards can cover water cycle vocabulary terms, scientific facts, geographical information about ocean and other water bodies; or anything educators have presented in class.

Free Isometric Water Cycle Infographic

isometric illustration of the water cycle


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