Interactive Science: Water Cycle Bracelets with The Incredible Journey

Do you teach the Water Cycle in your classroom?  One of the ways that I do this is with an activity called The Incredible Journey. In the Incredible Journey, my students pretend that they are droplets of water.  They go through a series of stations based on the roll of a die.  As they travel to each station they collect a bead to make a bracelet.  The stations include Cloud, Animals, Plants, Stream, Soil, Ocean, Mountain, Glacier, and Rivers. Depending on the number that they roll, they either stay in that station and collect a bead or journey to another station and collect a new bead there.

The Set-Up
The interactive activity is pretty easy to set up.  I bought a set of 1000 pony beads from Amazon for $2.95, and divided the beads by color.  I used these awesome containers that I found a Staples a few years ago.
I use cards that show each station.  The cards coordinate the journey with the a number rolled on the dice.  This made it easier than creating a cube with a picture of where students should go next.  

I use a small cup to contain the die. I cut a piece of string a little longer than the circumference of my wrist, and we knotted one end to hold the beads as we traveled on the journey.  I started students at all of the different stations.. seven in all which was a great way to spread them out.  

Cross-Curricular-- Writing in Science Class
I also have students keep track of their journey in their Interactive Notebooks for science.  They write down where they are and then where they are traveling to next.  I usually have them do about 12-15 station rolls.  This helps them to get through several stations within the journey.  The kids get so excited as they travel through the Water Cycle!

When we have finished the 12-15 rolls I have students color code their notebooks with the same colors as the beads.

Then we use the information gathered from the stations to write a story about our journey through the water cycle.  I also have students color code within the story.  I expect them to use water cycle wording as well.  Things like "Next, I evaporated into a series of storm clouds," or "I traveled as precipitation onto the Mighty Alps and skied my way down."  I like to challenge them to use as many science vocabulary words as possible from the units.

It's a perfect way for me to combine writing skills in the content areas.  I would love to hear how you add writing activities to your content areas!  If you want to try completeing The Incredible Journey with your class you can go to Project Wet {HERE} and read an overview of the component lesson.

Have a great weekend!

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