science education resource

For K-12 Students • Educators • Homeschool Families • Naturalists

Water Cycle - Authentic Performance Activity

Authentic Performance Activities facilitate a student's understanding of a lesson's usefulness in real life. They are also an Understanding by Design (UbD) assessment tool. Focus questions act as pre- and post-assessment indicators of the activity's effectiveness.

Focus Questions:

1. Why do we learn about the water cycle?

2. Can you think of any other jobs where knowing about the water cycle would be helpful?

3. Can you think of any ways where knowing about the water cycle could affect your home and property (i.e. swimming pool, garden. etc.)?

Authentic Performance
You bought a tree nursery and are learning about how much you need to water your plant stock to keep it alive and healthy. You discover that on hot, sunny days the plants need more water, more often than on cool or cloudy days. Study the diagram of the water cycle below and explain why your watering schedule is driven partly by the heat and sun and partly by the plants’ own actions.

Water Cycle Authentic Performance
Exploringnature.org has more than 2,000 illustrated animals. Read about them, color them, label them, learn to draw them.