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The Water Cycle Precipitation

1. Learning Outcomes:
Throughout this lesson, the students will take a more in depth look at the water cycle step of
precipitation. The lesson will focus on the definition and characteristics (the four main types
of rain, snow, sleet, and hail) of precipitation. Students will also be making a personal
connection (via written language) to one of the four main types of precipitation, and sharing
their connection with a peer.

2. Common Core Standards:


4.2.1.A: Explain the path water takes as it moves through the water cycle.
CC.1.5.1.A: Participate in collaborative conversations with peers and adults in small and
larger groups.
CC.1.5.1.C: Ask and answer questions about what a speaker says in order to gather
additional information or clarify something that is not understood.
CC.1.5.1.G: Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English when speaking
based on grade 1 level and content.
CC.1.4.1.O: Include thoughts and feelings to describe experiences and events.

3. Lesson Objectives:
Students will be able to define the water cycle step of precipitation and identify the four
main types of precipitation when prompted to do so by the teacher.
Students will be able to perform a movement representing the water cycle step of
precipitation when prompted to do so by the teacher.
Students will be able to identify and describe a personal experience they have had with one
of the four main types of precipitation via written language when prompted to do so by the
teacher.
Students will be able to share and discuss their personal precipitation experience when
prompted to do so by the teacher.

4. Anticipatory Set:
1. Before the students come into the classroom, the teacher will darken the classroom
atmosphere. He/she can do this by dimming/turning off the classroom lights, closing some/all
of the classroom shades, etc. In addition to this, the teacher will have the sound of rain
playing in the background. He/she can use the audio from the following video:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0AE_DeeW9bw. This will work to heighten the
students senses, and to prepare/engage them for the content of the days lesson
(precipitation).
2. As the students enter the classroom, they will take their usual seats. During this time, the
teacher will work to keep the students talking/volume at a minimum, so that they can focus
on the dark and rainy atmosphere that has been created, and on the sound of the rain.
3. Once all of the students come into the classroom and take their seats, the teacher can start
speaking. He/she will lower the volume of the rain audio, and talk in a whisper/light tone that
fits the atmosphere.
4. The teacher will begin: Right now, boys and girls, I want you to close your eyes and listen.
The teacher will wait for the students close their eyes, and will give them time to listen.
He/she may also want to increase the audio volume at this time. What can you hear? The
teacher will allow for students to respond, but the goal should be for the students to identify
that they are listening to the sound of rain. Thats right! We are hearing the sound of rain,
and rain is one of the four main types of precipitation!
5. Yesterday we learned about the water cycle step of condensation, and four different types of
clouds. Condensation is the step in the water cycle that happens before precipitation, and
precipitation is the water cycle step that we are going to be learning about more today
6. At this point in time, the teacher will move on to the procedures portion of the days lesson.

5. Procedures:
1. Before introducing any new content regarding precipitation to the students, the teacher will
provide them with a brief brainstorming opportunity, in order to see what their current
knowledge level is: Boys and girls, before we begin learning any new information about
precipitation, lets talk about what you may already know, or what ideas you may have. What
are some things that come to mind when you hear the word precipitation? I want you to take
a moment to think about it, and then I want you to share your thoughts with your partner.
2. The teacher will provide students with some thinking/sharing time. As the students are
discussing their ideas with their partners, the teacher will circulate around the room and listen
in. Once the students have finished up with their discussions, the teacher will have the class
come back together as a whole, and will ask students to share what they talked about. As
students provide responses, the teacher will create a list on the board.
3. Once the students have finished sharing, the teacher will begin talking about the water cycle
step of precipitation in more detail. In doing so, he/she can also call to attention some of the
ideas previously offered by the students that may apply.
4. First the teacher will begin by telling the students about the definition/characteristics of
precipitation: Boys and girls, precipitation is water that comes down from the clouds. It
occurs when so much water has condensed that the air cannot hold it anymore. The clouds
get heavy and water falls back to the earth. This water can be in the form of rain, snow, sleet,
and hail. These are the four main types of precipitation.
5. The teacher will then expand upon the four main types of precipitation.
a. Rain: precipitation in the form of a liquid
b. Snow: precipitation in the form of (white or clear) snowflakes, or ice crystals
c. Sleet: precipitation that is a mixture of rain and snow
d. Hail: precipitation in the form of balls or lumps of ice
i. Definitions obtained from the following sources:
http://www.primermagazine.com/2010/field-manual/the-difference-between-
snow-freezing-rain-sleet-and-hail
http://glossary.ametsoc.org/wiki/Main_Page
http://glossary.ametsoc.org/wiki/Rain
6. The teacher will use a PowerPoint to facilitate the delivery of this information. Each slide
will have the type of precipitation, the corresponding definition, and two picture examples.
7. Once the teacher has gone over each of the four main types of precipitation with the students,
as well as each ones corresponding definition and picture examples, the teacher will have
additional PowerPoint slides to help the students identify the four main types.
8. For this step, there will be eight PowerPoint slides, each one containing an image
representing one of the four main types of precipitation. As the teacher shows each
PowerPoint slide, the students will be instructed to use their individual student whiteboards
in order to identify the type of precipitation that is being shown.
9. Next, the teacher will give each student a sheet of paper that has been divided into four
different sections. Each section will contain a label and a definition for each of the four main
types of precipitation.
10. After the students have been given this paper, they will work to create their own visual
representation for each main type of precipitation. At this point in time, the teacher will
circulate around the classroom and check in with his/her students. In doing so, he/she will be
able to ensure that all students are remaining on task, and can also provide any additional
support/assistance that may be needed on a more individual basis.
11. Once each student has filled out his/her paper, the class will come back together as a whole.
At this point in time, the teacher will show the students a movement that represents the water
cycle step of precipitation, and can help them to remember the steps definition.
12. First, the teacher will show the students the movement (twice). In doing so, he/she should
explain to the students that the movement represents the way in which precipitation falls
from the clouds, and eventually reaches the ground. He/she will then have the students stand
up and complete the movement with him/her (three times). The students will then complete
the movement without the teacher (three times). The steps for completing the movement are
as follows:
a. Stand up straight and tall
b. Raise both of your arms/hands straight up above your head
c. Begin wiggling your fingers
d. Start to lower your arms and hands, while still wiggling your fingers
e. Continue doing this, until you reach the point where you can crouch down and your
hands reach the floor
13. Once the movement activity has been completed, the teacher will have students sit back
down, and will begin explaining the next portion of the lesson to them: Boys and girls, now
that we have talked about precipitation a little bit, we are going to think about the types of
precipitation that we might have encountered in our own lives. How many of you have a
favorite type of precipitation? The teacher will pause in order to allow students to raise their
hands. He/she will then call on some students to share what their favorite type of
precipitation is, and a brief reason for why it is their favorite. How many of you have a least
favorite type of precipitation? Again, the teacher will pause in order to allow students to raise
their hands. He/she will then call on some students to share what their least favorite type of
precipitation is, and a brief reason for why it is their least favorite.
14. Okay, thank you for sharing, boys and girls! So, as you can see, there are certain types of
precipitation that some of us really like, and there are certain types of precipitation that
some of us really dont like. What I want you to do right now is think about a story you can
tell about one of the four main types of precipitation that you have encountered. It can be a
story about your favorite type of precipitation, or it can be a story about your least favorite
type of precipitation. We are each going to pick a story that we can tell, and then we are
going to write about it. Then, once we have finished writing, we can share our stories with
each other.
15. At this point in time, the teacher will give the students a few moments to think about the
story that they would like to write about/share. In the meantime, he/she can pass out the
necessary materials to the students in the class (see differentiation section).
16. Once the students have been given time to think, and the necessary materials have been
handed out, the teacher will provide the students with writing time. As the students are
writing, the teacher will be free to circulate around the classroom in order to check in with
his/her students, and provide any necessary assistance/support.
17. After the students have finished writing about their personal connections to precipitation, the
teacher will have the class come back together as a whole.
18. At this point in time, the teacher will have students pair up with a partner, and share their
stories. The teacher should also ensure that each partner is given a chance to share.
19. Once each partner has been given a chance to share, the teacher can provide students with the
chance to share with the class (if time permits).
20. The teacher will then move on to the closure portion of the days lesson.

6. Differentiated Instruction:
For struggling learners: During the writing portion of this lesson, these students will be
given additional support. In order to write about their personal precipitation connections, the
teacher will have these students write down responses to predetermined questions. This will
help these students to more successfully recall the details of their story. The paper given to
these students with the predetermined questions and response spaces will also contain a spot
for them to draw an image representing their story, in order to not only engage them further,
but also in order to help them focus on their storys details. When orally sharing their story
with (a) peer(s) later on, these students will be able to refer to their question sheet in order to
guide them.
For on-level learners: During the writing portion of this lesson, these students will be given
a Beginning, Middle, End graphic organizer in order to help them with the organizational
structure of their personal precipitation experience. The actual details of their experience,
however, they will need to recall on their own. Thus, while there is still some level of support
present, these students are not being provided with as much support as the struggling
learners. As with the struggling learners, however, these students could use their graphic
organizers to aid them in orally sharing their stories later on, should they choose to do so.
For advanced learners: During the writing portion of this lesson, these students will be
given more independence. Rather than providing them with additional support as they work
to write about their personal precipitation connections, they will be provided with additional
independence. In order to facilitate this independence, the teacher will provide these students
with blank lined paper. Thus, these students will not only need to recall the actual details of
their experience on their own, but will also need to independently create the organizational
structure of their experience.

7. Closure:
1. In order to provide closure for the days lesson, the teacher will begin by reviewing the
content that was covered. First, the students will be asked to recall the definition of
precipitation.
a. Precipitation is water that comes down from the clouds.
b. It occurs when so much water has condensed that the air cannot hold it anymore.
c. The clouds get heavy and water falls back to the earth.
2. Next, the teacher will prompt students to recall the four main types of precipitation.
a. Rain
b. Snow
c. Sleet
d. Hail
3. The teacher will then ask students to recall and perform the movement that represents the
water cycle step of precipitation.
4. Next, he/she will ask students to think about the days lesson, and take a look at the list that
was generated at the beginning of the class. In doing so, the teacher will ask the students to
identify any items/ideas on the list that were/are accurate, as well as any items that could be
changed or removed.
5. Lastly, the teacher will have students turn and talk with a partner, and share one new thing
that they have learned throughout the lesson. The teacher should ensure that both students are
given enough time to share their thoughts.
6. The teacher will conclude the lesson by telling students that tomorrow they will be learning
more about the water cycle step that comes after precipitation evaporation.

8. Assessment (Formative and Summative):


Formative Assessment: The students will be formatively assessed throughout the entire
duration of the lesson.
o The first instance of formative assessment will take place when the teacher asks the
students to turn and talk about what they may already know/any ideas they may have
about precipitation. As the students are talking with their partners, the teacher will be
circulating around the room in order to listen in. In addition, once the students have
finished talking with their partners, they will be given the opportunity to share their
ideas with the entire class. As the students offer their input, the teacher will actively
listen and respond. He/she will also write the students responses down on the board
for all to see, and this list will be referred to later on in the lesson. As students talk
with their partners, and as they engage in a whole group discussion, the teacher will
be able to assess his/her students current understandings and misconceptions about
the water cycle step of precipitation. The teacher can use the observations and
information gathered during this portion of the lesson in order to inform his/her
instruction moving forward.
o The next instance of formative assessment will take place as the students use their
individual student whiteboards to identify the different types of precipitation that are
being shown to them. As the teacher shows an image, and as the students work to
identify the type of precipitation being shown, he/she will be able to assess whether
or not the students are capable of identifying the four main times of precipitation.
Whether the students are successful, or whether they struggle, with this identification
process, the teacher will be able to gather information that can help to inform his/her
instruction for the remainder of the lesson. In addition to this, the teacher will be able
to assess each students ability to identify the four main types of precipitation based
upon the drawings that they individually create to represent each of the four main
types of precipitation. As students work to create their visual representation of each
type of precipitation, the teacher will be circulating around the classroom. This will
allow him/her to observe and interact with the students on a more individual basis,
and provide additional assistance/support as needed.
o The next instance of formative assessment for this lesson will take place as students
work to perform the precipitation movement. The teacher will model the movement
for the students two times. He/she will then perform the movement with the students
three times, before having the students independently perform the movement three
more times. During the both the three times that the teacher performs the movement
together with the students, and the three times that the students perform the
movement without the teacher, he/she can formatively assess the students ability to
accurately complete the movement. If students are struggling, this will inform the
teachers instruction, and he/she will be able to provide any struggling students with
additional assistance/support.
o The next instance of formative assessment will take place during the writing portion
of this lesson. As students are independently working to write down the details of
their personal precipitation connection/experience, the teacher will be circulating
around the room in order to observe, and conference with individual students if
needed. This will allow the teacher to assess whether or not each student was able to
identify and describe a personal experience they have had with one of the four main
types of precipitation. The teacher will also be able to assess each students ability to
meet this objective, as well as the lessons last objective regarding sharing and
discussing their individual experience, as they tell a partner their story. This will be
possible due to the fact that, as students are paired up and talking with their partners,
the teacher will again be circulating around the classroom in order to listen in.
Additionally, if any sharing via the whole group takes place, the teacher will be able
to assess these objectives further.
o The last instances of formative assessment will take place during this lessons
closure. As students work to recall the definition/characteristics of precipitation, the
four main types of precipitation, and the precipitation movement, the teacher will be
actively listening and responding, and observing. Such assessment will also take
place as the students evaluate the items on the list created at the beginning of the
lesson. In addition to this, the teacher will be circulating around the classroom as the
students talk with their partners to discuss something new that they were able to learn
throughout the days lesson. Thus, the teacher will be provided with several
opportunities to assess whether or not the students have retained the lessons main
content, and will also be able to inform his/her instruction further.
Summative Assessment:
o The summative assessment for this lesson will occur during the closure portion, as the
students work to respond to the various prompts offered by the teacher (regarding the
definition/characteristics of precipitation, the four main types of precipitation, the
precipitation movement, the evaluation of the list items, and the turn and talk
pertaining to new information that has been learned. The information gathered by the
teacher throughout the lessons closure while it will be used to inform his/her
current instruction will also be used by him/her to plan for future instruction
throughout the remainder of the unit.
o Summative assessment will also occur at the end of the overall unit.

9. Materials/Equipment:
Device (i.e. computer/phone/tablet/etc.) that is equipped to play audio and has an internet
connection
Video for sound of rain: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0AE_DeeW9bw
Classroom whiteboard/blackboard/chart paper
Dry erase marker/chalk/marker
PowerPoint for the different types of precipitation
Interactive whiteboard/projector
Individual student whiteboards and dry erase markers
Precipitation depiction handout
Pencils
Crayons (optional)
Personal precipitation experience question/drawing handout
Personal precipitation experience graphic organizer
Blank lined paper

10. Technology:
Device (i.e. computer/phone/tablet/etc.) that is equipped to play audio and has an internet
connection
Video for sound of rain: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0AE_DeeW9bw
PowerPoint for the different types of precipitation
Interactive whiteboard/projector

11. Reflection on Planning:


When planning for this lesson, we thought that a good way to excite and engage the students
before beginning would be to alter the usual classroom environment. Being that the
classroom environment will be changed prior to the students entering, we feel that their
senses will be heightened, and that they will be eager to find out more about what is going
on/the days lesson. By darkening the classroom and playing the sound of rain, our goal is to
recreate the atmosphere associated with a rainy day. Being that this lesson will focus on
precipitation, and that rain is one of the four main types of precipitation, we thought this
would be an effective way to begin our lesson.
One aspect that we struggled with when planning for this lesson was incorporating the GRR
model (I do, we do, you do), due to the fact that this lessons focus is on science content,
rather than on mastery of a specific skill. Thus, we had to become a little more creative in
order to incorporate such scaffolding throughout. The first way we chose to incorporate this
model was through the focus on the four main types of precipitation. First, we decided that
the teacher would introduce the content and review it with the students via the PowerPoint
presentation containing titles, definitions, and pictures (I do). Next, we decided that the
teacher and students would work together to identify the different types of precipitation via
images shown on the remaining PowerPoint slides (we do). Although the students will be
working to identify the type of precipitation being represented on their own via their
individual student whiteboards, they will be working in unison as a class, and the teacher will
be readily available to help them as/if needed. Lastly, we decided that the students would
individually work to draw a picture representing each main type of precipitation via the
precipitation depiction handout (you do). This time, while the teacher will be circulating
around the classroom, and can still offer additional support on an individual basis, the
students will have to work to independently generate their own images. For the I do
portion, the students are being told/given all of the information. For the we do portion, the
students are being given some of the information (images), but must come up with the rest on
their own, but with the teachers assistance as/if needed. For the you do portion, the
students will need to come up with and create images on their own. Thus, although this is not
the exact structure that the GRR model would typically follow, we feel that we were able to
make use of it in a useful manner. In addition, we also tried to utilize the structure of this
model via the precipitation movement activity within the lesson. We began by having the
teacher model the movement twice (I do). We then chose to have the students work to
complete the movement in unison with the teacher a total of three times (we do). And,
finally, we opted to have the students perform the movement on their own without any
guidance from the teacher (you do), both three times within the procedures portion of the
lesson, and then again during the lessons closure.
The last portion of this lesson that we would like to reflect on is the differentiation section.
While we knew that we wanted to have all students make a personal precipitation connection
and write about it, we felt that we would need to differentiate the way in which we did so.
For our struggling students, we opted to provide more support in the area of recalling and
picking out story details via answering questions and drawing a picture. For our on-level
students, while we still wanted to provide some support, we also wanted to provide some
more independence. As a result, we chose to provide them with a graphic organizer that
would allow them to come up with their own details, but would provide them with an
organizational structure for their personal precipitation connection. Lastly, for our advanced
students, we wanted to provide them with as much independence as possible. As a result, we
opted to utilize blank lined paper, so that they would be given the opportunity to come up
with their own details, as well as their own organizational structure. Overall, we wanted to
make the writing activity interesting and relevant for all students, and we feel that our
differentiation techniques will help us to do so.

12. Reflection on Instruction (once the lesson has been taught):


Not applicable for this lesson.