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Understanding the water cycle

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Age group

Students ages 6 and 7


April and May

Tine required

8 hours and 15 mi

Broad areas of learning

Environmental Awareness and Consumer Rights and Responsibilities (QEP 2011)

Activity summary

Students will learn about the water cycle and how their actions can have an impact on the environment. They will participate in 2 activities about protecting the environment: an awareness campaign and a clean-up activity. Then they will conduct a self-evaluation of their engagement during the clean-up activity.

Financial and cooperatives skills

  • Learn the difference between competition and cooperation
  • Learn how to work as a team
  • Learn how to consume more responsibly


Subject-specific competencies



Progressions of learning

Language arts

To read and listen to literary, popular and information-based texts. (QEP 2019)

Students will learn to identify key characteristics in texts related to word choice, images, and sounds:

  • Slogans

  • Advertising messages

Science and technology: the Earth and space

To communicate in the languages used in science and technology. (QEP 2019)

Students will learn to describe different types of precipitation (rain, snow, hail, etc) and the primary stages of the water cycle (evaporation, condensation, precipitation etc.)

Visual arts

To produce media works in the visual arts. (QEP 2019)

  • Students will create media artwork with a specific message and target audience

  • Students will sketch their ideas

Non-disciplinary competencies

  • Uses information (QEP 2019)
  • To cooperate with others (QEP 2019)


Students learn about the stages of the water cycle and that their actions have an impact on the environment.


Time required

75 minutes

Task 1

Stages of the water cycle

Task 1 objective

By the end of this task, students will be able to recognize and name the primary stages of the water cycle.


  • Together with students, create a list of vocabulary words related to water. Write down all student ideas that are related to water.
  • Divide students into groups and have each group create a concept map that groups all related vocabulary words.
  • Hand out The Water Cycle sheet
  • Engage with students' previous knowledge of the water cycle and ask them to describe in their own words, any part of its cycle. (clouds, rain, groundwater, and the watercourse).
  • Together as a class, complete The Water Cycle worksheet and allow ideas to lead the discussion before giving out any answers
  • Explain the water cycle and specify the state of the water (solid, liquid, gas) at each stage.


Task 2

Understanding how actions affect the environment

Task 2 objective

By the end of this task, students will understand how society’s actions (polluting, recycling, reducing, reusing) affect the environment.


  • Create groups of 3 or 4 students using the sociogram test. Assign each group a scenario found on The Effects of Our Actions on the Environment to each group. Several groups may be assigned the same scenario
  • Ask students to fill out the worksheet with their group. Have them prepare a response for their scenario. You may help students use the Internet as a resource if they are having trouble coming up with possible solutions.
  • Once all the groups have filled out the worksheet and have prepared a response, have each group do a short presentation of their scenario to the rest of the class.
  • With the class, discuss how our actions can impact water quality and possible positive actions to help promote water quality.


Students help protect the environment by organizing an awareness campaign and cleaning up a public space like the banks of a stream or river


Time required

3 hours

Teaching material

Task 1

Raising awareness of water pollution

Task 1 objective

By the end of the task, students will have organized a school-wide pollution awareness campaign.


  • Ask students if they believe that society has adopted good behaviors when it comes to protecting the environment. Remind students of what was discussed in the previous task.
  • Ask students if they know of any situations where people were not respecting the environment. Have students provide examples.
  • Discuss different ways students can promote awareness and help people change their impact on the environment.
  • Choisir un moyen de sensibilisation.
  • Form teams of 2 to 3 student.
  • Hand out the Clean-Up sheet to each group. Tell students that they need to create an awareness poster for other students in the school.
  • Assign a specific amount of time for students to complete their posters in groups.
  • Ask students to strategically hang their posters around the school.


Time required

2 hours

Task 2

Oganize a clean-up activity

Task 2 objective

By the end of the task, students will have organized and participated in a cooperative activity to improve the environment by cleaning up a public space.


  • Ask students what they could do as a group for the environment.
  • Suggest that students work together to organize a clean-up activity to actively help protect the environment.
  • Focus on the cooperative aspect of the task: working together to achieve a collective goal. To learn more, see the Cooperative Values poster
  • Discuss with students possible community spaces that need to be cleaned up.
  • Select a location and organize a clean-up activity.
  • With students, make a list of required material.
  • As a class, gather materials. For example, students could bring containers or gloves from home to collect garbage.
  • Form teams and make each member responsible for one type of container.
  • With students, come up with a list of ways they can cooperate together properly.
  • After the clean-up, discuss the types of garbage collected and categorize them. Make sure plastic containers are recycled.


Students will self-assess their commitment during the clean-up activity.


Time required

30 minutes

Teaching material

Task 1

Reflecting about their cooperation

Task 1 objective

By the end of the task, students will have engaged in self-assessment about their cooperation on the clean-up team.


  • Hand out the self-assessment questionnaire of the Clean-Up sheet
  • Have students fill out the self-assessment questionnaire.
  • As a group, discuss students’ commitment during the clean-up activity.


Students will put into action what they learned by adopting good environment habits in their daily lives.


Time required



  • Suggest that students continue their efforts in spreading awareness and participating in clean-up initiatives.
    • Hang posters in cleaned-up areas to create awareness and inform the public that a clean-up activity was held in that area.
    • Organize a clean-up activity several times during the school year.
    • Organize an event such as a news conference or small gathering in the clean-up area to inform and encourage the public to protect their local environment.
    • Write an article for the local newspaper.
  • Based on what they have learned, have students challenge themselves by keeping a journal of the things they are doing to protect the environment.