Leaf It to Me

In the water cycle, there are two ways water moves from the ground to the atmosphere: evaporation and transpiration. During evaporation, water changes from a liquid to a gas state. Transpiration is basically evaporation of water from plant leaves. Transpiration accounts for about 10 percent of the moisture in the atmosphere — with oceans, seas, and other bodies of water providing nearly all the rest.


Water moves from Earth’s surface to the atmosphere and then returns to the surface. This process is nearly always depicted in water cycle diagrams by arrows drawn in a circular direction.

However, the actual path water may take in its cycle is far more complicated. In this activity, you will discover multiple cycles by acting as water molecules and traveling through parts of the overall water cycle. In the end, your water cycle will look nothing like the conceptual model but will represent a more realistic cycle.

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