In this lesson, the children will examine water as it evaporates over time.
Earth, Water and Air
This lesson will help toddlers and preschoolers meet the following educational standards:
- Explore concepts and information related to the Earth
- Explore changes related to the weather and seasons
After this lesson, toddlers and preschoolers should be more proficient at:
- Observing and describing characteristics of water and air
- Observing and discussing changes in the weather using common vocabulary
Lesson plan for toddlers/preschoolers
Step 1: Gather materials.
- Clear jar
- Permanent marker
- Chart paper
Note: Small parts pose a choking hazard and are not appropriate for children age five or under. Be sure to choose lesson materials that meet safety requirements.
Step 2: Introduce activity.
- After a rainy day, go for a walk outside to look at puddles.
- While on the walk, ask the children where the puddles came from and where they will go.
- Discuss with the children what happens when it rains and ask them if they have any ideas about where the rain will go when the puddles become dry.
- Explain that we can perform an experiment in the classroom to observe how water changes as it evaporates.
Step 3: Engage children in lesson activities.
- Fill a clear jar with water.
- Invite the children to mark the water level with a permanent marker on the outside of the jar.
- Invite the children to make predictions about what will happen to the level of the water each day.
- Write these predictions down on a piece of chart paper.
- Invite the children to observe the water jar on a daily basis.
- Ask: “What changes have happened to the water since yesterday? What changes do you think will happen by tomorrow?”
- Mark the water level each day to track the evaporation progress.
- After the experiment, discuss with the children how the water has dried and evaporated into the air, discussing the evaporation process to the degree that children may understand based on their age. Make connections to weather patterns and rain.
Step 4: Vocabulary.
- Predict: To guess what might happen next
- Evaporate: The process of liquid turning into a vapor
- Weather: The state of the atmosphere at a specific time and place, such as sunny, rainy, snowy, dry or humid.
- Experiment: To test out a prediction to find out if a prediction is correct or not
Step 5: Adapt lesson for toddlers or preschoolers.
Adapt Lesson for Toddlers
- Be interested in playing with water and puddles
- Be engaged for shorter periods of time
Child care providers may:
- Incorporate water play indoors and outdoors with connections to clothes getting wet and dry to explore water drying
- Use a small amount of water to show how the water dried and evaporated in two or three days
Adapt Lesson for Preschoolers
- Be interested in measuring water levels
- Want to display the levels on a bar chart
Child care providers may:
- Provide measurement tools to measure the water levels
- Assist the children in displaying these daily measurements on a bar chart
- A Cool Drink of Water by Barbara Kerley
- A Drop Around the World by Barbara Shaw McKinney
- All the Water in the World by George Ella Lyon
- Hey Water! by Antoinette Portis
- Water is Water by Miranda Paul
Music and Movement
- Observe rain and how it evaporates on a sunny day
- Play in puddles after a rainfall!
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