Geography KS1/KS2: The water cycle

A short animation for KS2 pupils explaining the water cycle.

It follows the journey of water and how it starts in rivers, lakes and oceans, evaporates and condenses, then falls as precipitation and runs back into rivers, lakes and oceans.

The film illustrates the journey and will help pupils to visualise the continuous water cycle that is essential to life on Earth.

Teacher Notes

This short film could be used to introduce pupils to the water cycle.

As you watch the film, you could stop it and develop discussion points around each step of the water cycle.

Pupils could take notes on an illustration of the water cycle, showing what happens at each stage, and then discuss what they think would happen if one phase of the cycle did not take place.

Points for discussion:
· What is condensation?
· What is evaporation?
. What is precipitation?
. What is run-off?
· Can you describe the water cycle?
· How does the water cycle affect you?
. How might climate change affect the water cycle?
· Can you find out how salt water becomes fresh water?

Suggested activities:
After watching the film, you could do a practical demonstration of the water cycle. Can pupils re-create a mini water cycle in the classroom to show the key points of the process?

Pupils could investigate the water cycle and how it works in different parts of the world.

Can pupils use their knowledge of the water cycle to explain why some parts of the world are wetter than others, while other parts are drier than others?

Using their knowledge of the water cycle, can pupils develop an enquiry into how climate change might impact on the water cycle, and how this could affect their lives?

Curriculum Notes

Suitable for teaching geography at KS1 and KS2 in England and Wales, Early and 1st and 2nd level in Scotland and Foundation and KS1 in Northern Ireland.

More from this series:

Cities, towns and villages
The United Kingdom
The world
The seasons