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USGS Water Cycle GameUSGS

Earth's water is always in movement, and the water cycle, also known as the hydrologic cycle, describes the continuous movement of water on, above, and below the surface of the Earth. This game can be played in groups of nine students or the class as a whole can track one molecule of water through the Water Cycle Game. At each point in the cycle a student will roll a die, and depending on the number rolled, the "water molecule" will move to a different location in the cycle. At the end of the game each student/group can create their own water cycle map and the class can compare all of the different paths water can take around the cycle.

Make Your Own Water Cycle Game...

Draw your own version of the water cycle on the blackboard and review it with students. Here are some sample rules, or you can make up your own!

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  1. Players are grouped into gas, liquid, or solid based on the role of a die.

  2. Players take turns "becoming" a stage in the water cycle. (Each stage must make sense for the group that chooses it. For example, a solid can not "become" rain and fall until it has melted and been evaporated.)

  3. Players are awarded 1 point for each state change they make. (For example, gas recieves 1 point when it condenses and falls as rain, but liquid recieves 0 points for flowing to the sea as a river.)

  4. Players can not repeat stages without visiting another stage in between.

  5. Play continues until a player earns 10 points to win the game.

  6. Game can be added to or modified to provide variation.