Lesson Plan

The Power of Water

Two children sit at the edge of a waterfall
Water shapes every aspect of our lives

NPS Photo - Andrea Willingham

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Grade Level:
Fourth Grade-Eighth Grade
Climate, Climate Change, Earth Science, Environment, Hydrology, Meteorology, Oceanography
20-30 minutes
Group Size:
Up to 12
National/State Standards:
Alaska State Standards: (6)SD2.3;  (7)SD1.2;  (4)SD2.2;  (5)SD2.1
water, climate change, erosion


Water shapes our everyday lives in many ways.  We use it to cook.  We use it to bathe.  We depend on it for food.  When it rains or storms it also affects our lives.  Let's find out what role water plays in climate change!


The student will be able to explain what happens when it storms and how that can affect our lives.


  1. Review the water cycle with students. Discuss how precipitation can cause changes in the Earth's surface. As part of the climate change traveling trunk there are posters of the water cycle with all of its components and some that are missing. Use these as you review the cycle.
  2. Secondly, review erosion with the students. Make sure they know that erosion is a wearing away of the soil from a patch of land. It can happen quickly or over a longer period of time.
  3. Ask the students to tell you what role wind plays in both the water cycle and erosion. Emphasize that wind can be causative factor in erosion. (Show pictures of the tors from Serpentine Hot Springs.) It also helps move water around in the water cycle.


  1. Modeling clay or Play-Doh
  2. Marshmallows
  3. Large flat container with raised sides (i.e. top of a Rubbermaid storage container or large roasting pan.)
  4. Food coloring
  5. Water
  6. Fan



  1. Have students review the water cycle once again.
  2. Have students review erosion.
  3. Ask students to list ways that water impacts their physical environment

Park Connections

In Bering Land Bridge National Preserve, the power of water can be seen in the way it has eroded away the tors at Serpentine Hot Springs with wind and rain.

A tor at Serpentine, an example of erosion

Additional Resources


Water cycle
Storm Surge
Ground water