This short unit is based on the Year 4 Australian national science curriculum. It is designed to build on students' prior knowledge of the states of matter while introducing a basic understanding of the water cycle. Time is also spent discussing the importance of water to all living things, our reliance on water, and some of the risks to the water cycle and our water supply. The unit has also been designed to help teach and reinforce the 'Science Inquiry' and 'Science as a Human Endeavour' skills outlined in the curriculum by incorporating experiments and scientific thinking throughout. These experiments are optional; you can either remove them to shorten the unit's running time or put them in their own time block to stretch the unit through a whole term.

4 x 1 hour lessons
Cross curriculum
13x resources/worksheets
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Australian Curriculum - (QLD/SA/WA/NT/TAS/ACT)


Identify sources of water and describe key processes in the water cycle, including movement of water through the sky, landscape and ocean; precipitation; evaporation; and condensation



Questions, plans and conducts scientific investigations, collects and summarises data and communicates using scientific representations


Selects and uses materials, tools and equipment to develop solutions for a need or opportunity


The key concepts in this unit include:


  • Water is essential to every living thing on the planet.
  • The availability of this water is provided thanks to the water cycle.
  • The water cycle's 4 stages (evaporation, condensation, precipitation, and collection) are created through changes in energy which causes changes in state.
  • The water cycle is a balanced system.
  • Human action is risking the balance of the water cycle and the health of our essential water supply.
Learning Intention
  • We are learning to identify sources of water and describe the parts of the water cycle (precipitation, evaporation and condensation), including movement of water through the sky, land and ocean.
Linked Worksheets