My Life as a Drip


Think about the water you drank from the school fountain today. Where do you think it came from? How far do you think it traveled in a day? A week? A year? How long do you think it's been around? In this Write Away, you'll tell the life story of a single drop of water.


You'll need:
A six-sided die

What to Do:
In this activity, you'll imagine that you're a drop of water, and write a short story about your life. We'll give you the beginning and the ending; your job is to tell what happened in between.

To choose your beginning, roll the die and take the sentence that matches the number you rolled:

1) "Once I was floating around inside a cloud?"
2) "Once I was just a drop of water in the middle of the ocean?"
3) "Once I was a little flake of snow on the top of a mountain?"
4) "Once I was trapped in the ground underneath a river?"
5) "Once I was part of a huge, thundering waterfall?"
6) "Once I was lying in a puddle in the middle of a parking lot?"

Now choose your ending. Roll the die again and pick the sentence that matches the number you rolled.

1) "?and that's how I ended up in this lake."
2) "?and then some fifth-grade kid drank me up."
3) "?and now I'm just part of an iceberg."
4) "?and then a dandelion sucked me up with its roots."
5) "?and now I'm stuck here in this sewer."
6) "?and I've been floating around in this swimming pool ever since."

Make sure it takes at least three steps to get from your beginning to your ending. In other words, at least three different things should happen to your drop of water in between the beginning and the ending we've given you.

Need more info? No problem! Just see below.


Now think again about that water you drank today. How long do you think it's been around? The answer is, pretty much as long as the Earth has! It just keeps moving from place to place, and from solid, to liquid, to gas.

If you've got your Case Journal, go ahead and answer the questions in it now!

More Info

There are all kinds of ways that water moves around and changes its form. Here are some of them:

Evaporation: When lakes, rivers, and oceans get heated up, the water rises off the surface as vapor and into the air.

Condensation: If water vapor gets high enough in the Earth's atmosphere, it can clump together and form clouds.

Precipitation: Also known as rain, snow, sleet, or hail! That's when water falls from the clouds in liquid or solid form.

Collection: There are all kinds of places where water can be stored for a long time: in lakes, rivers, oceans, and other bodies of water; in the snow on mountaintops, in the ice of icebergs and glaciers, or in the ground, where it?s known as groundwater. Eventually, the water can escape these places by evaporating, melting, or trickling out to another place.

Animals and Plants drink water (or absorb it through their roots). Later on it comes out, either through sweat, urine, or transpiration (something plants do that?s like sweating through their leaves).

Water can also flow from one place to the next. For example, most rivers flow into oceans. Water can melt off the top of a mountain and flow into a lake. Groundwater can trickle out of the ground and into a body of water.

And don?t forget irrigation: man-made systems of sewers, water pipes, and plumbing. That?s how water gets into your house, school, or a public fountain. Usually the water comes from a lake, river, or man-made body of water called a reservoir.

If you want to learn more about the water cycle, check out these Web sites:

KidZone's Water Cycle Page

The EPA's Water Cycle Page

"Follow a Drip through the Water Cycle" (from the U.S. Geological Survey)

"Water: A Never Ending Story"