Education Technology

Earth Science: The Water Cycle

by Texas Instruments - Simulation Lesson


  • Students will discover that the hydrologic cycle is an interaction among the atmosphere, the hydrosphere, and the lithosphere.
  • Students will identify which of the three states of water exist in the different phases of the hydrologic cycle.
  • Students will change the average global atmospheric temperature to observe resultant effects on sea level and the number of heavy precipitation (storm) events.


  • hydrosphere
  • lithosphere
  • atmosphere
  • condensation
  • evaporation
  • precipitation
  • infiltration
  • runoff
  • phases

About the Lesson

In this lesson, students will use an interactive model of the hydrologic cycle to observe which states of water exist in each phase. Students will change average global atmospheric temperature using a slider to observe the effects on sea level and storm events. A guided lesson video(optional) is also available for this activity. The video is targeted at students and designed to help guide them through the interactive exploration and the concepts covered within. (It may also be helpful for teachers who may be using the activity for the first time.) 

As a result, students will:

  • Be able to identify which states of water could be present in five phases of the hydrologic cycle.
  • Understand that the amount of water in the hydrologic cycle remains constant.
  • Understand the consequences of global warming on sea level and storm events.