Music

The Water Cycle

Print Lyrics Lyrics

The Water Cycle
copyright 1995 by Tim Griffin

Well, we’re starting close together, moving kind of slow
Just a drop in the ocean, but that’s the way it goes
Do the water cycle, do the water cycle
We’re feeling really great, we’re in a liquid state
Do the water cycle

Now the Sun comes out, shining in the sky
We’re getting hotter and faster, and then we start to fly
Do the water cycle, do the water cycle,
It’s a molecular sensation, it’s called evaporation
It’s the water cycle.

(bridge) In the scientific paper, they call me water vapor,
just a molecule dancing in the sky
I’m moving so fast, I’m not a liquid, I’m a gas
And pretty soon I’m ten thousand feet high!

I’m cooling down a little, because of the height
So I think I’ll be a cloud now, all fluffy and white
Do the water cycle, do the water cycle
A cloud’s just water droplets; I never want to stop, let’s
Do the water cycle.

I’m floating in a cloud now, but the cold is so intense
That we’re bunching up together, we’re starting to condense
Do the water cycle, do the water cycle,
I find that condensation takes all my concentration
In the water cycle.

(bridge) The drops are gaining weight and we’re all precipitating
We’re the raindrops falling on your head
If you’re a lucky fella, we’ll land on your umbrella
Then we’ll fall right off into a riverbed

Now we’re in a river, we’ll pick up some dirt and then
We’ll run down to the ocean and we’ll do the dance again
Do the water cycle, do the water cycle
We’ll take it from the top because we never want to stop
Doing the water cycle.

Print Notes Notes

This is the very first learning song I wrote for my students.

Suggestions for the classroom…
There are other arts one can use for cementing understanding on this topic. Drawing pictures of the water cycle (maybe while listening to this song) is fairly straightforward, but another thing you might want to try here is dance. You or your students choose a piece of music for each stage of the cycle and do some simple choreography to show what the water molecules are doing! Here are some suggested pieces:

For liquid water drifting in the ocean, Pancham Se Gara by Anoushka Shankar.
For evaporation, Ride Of The Valkyries by Wagner.
For molecules floating free in the air and condensing into clouds, Alone In Kyoto by (appropriately enough) Air.
For precipitation, Riders On The Storm (instrumental version) by The Doors.
For water running in a river, Foggy Mountain Breakdown by Earl Skruggs.

Some of these are pretty long, so you should probably just play the first minute or two of each. If you find another piece of music you or your students like better for any stage, use it.

One option is to play the pieces for the kids without telling them which stage of the water cycle you think each goes with. Invite your students to discuss which piece should go with which stage and why.

Here are some standards from the NGSS, the NRC’s Framework for K-12 Science Education, the Common Core, and the state of California addressed by this song.

Kindergarten
K-PS3-1. Make observations to determine the effect of sunlight on Earth’s surface.
K-ESS2-1. Use and share observations of local weather conditions to describe patterns over time.
ESS2.D: Weather and Climate. Weather is the combination of sunlight, wind, snow or rain, and temperature in a particular region at a particular time. People measure these conditions to describe and record the weather and to notice patterns over time. (K-ESS2-1)
Patterns in the natural world can be observed, used to describe phenomena, and used as evidence. (K-ESS2-1)
Use observations (firsthand or from media) to describe patterns in the natural world in order to answer scientific questions. (K-ESS2-1)
CA PS.K.1.b. Students know water can be a liquid or a solid and can be made to change back and forth from one form to the other.
CA PS.K.1.c. Students know water left in an open container evaporates (goes into the air) but water in a closed container does not.
(Note from Tim: for the engineering standards below, this is a good opportunity to look at dams, irrigation, and other human efforts to regulate the water cycle for agriculture, safety, etc.)
K-2-ETS1-1. Ask questions, make observations, and gather information about a situation people want to change to define a simple problem that can be solved through the development of a new or improved object or tool.
K-2-ETS1-2. Develop a simple sketch, drawing, or physical model to illustrate how the shape of an object helps it function as needed to solve a given problem.
K-2-ETS1-3. Analyze data from tests of two objects designed to solve the same problem to compare the strengths and weaknesses of how each performs.

First Grade
CA PS.1.3.c. Students know the sun warms the land, air, and water.
(Note from Tim: for the engineering standards below, this is a good opportunity to look at dams, irrigation, and other human efforts to regulate the water cycle for agriculture, safety, etc.)
K-2-ETS1-1. Ask questions, make observations, and gather information about a situation people want to change to define a simple problem that can be solved through the development of a new or improved object or tool.
K-2-ETS1-2. Develop a simple sketch, drawing, or physical model to illustrate how the shape of an object helps it function as needed to solve a given problem.
K-2-ETS1-3. Analyze data from tests of two objects designed to solve the same problem to compare the strengths and weaknesses of how each performs.

Second Grade
2-PS1-4. Construct an argument with evidence that some changes caused by heating or cooling can be reversed and some cannot.
2-ESS2-2. Develop a model to represent the shapes and kinds of land and bodies of water in an area.
Make observations (firsthand or from media) to construct an evidence-based account for natural phenomena. (2-PS1-3)
Scientists search for cause and effect relationships to explain natural events. (2-PS1-4)
Matter can be described and classified by its observable properties. (2-PS1-1)
Patterns in the natural world can be observed. (2-PS1-1)
Scientists look for patterns and order when making observations about the world. (2-LS4-1)
RI.2.3 Describe the connection between a series of historical events, scientific ideas or concepts, or steps in technical procedures in a text. (2-ESS1-1)
SL.2.2 Recount or describe key ideas or details from a text read aloud or information presented orally or through other media. (2-ESS1-1)
2-ESS2-2. Develop a model to represent the shapes and kinds of land and bodies of water in an area.
ESS2.A: Wind and water can change the shape of the land. (2- ESS2-1)
ESS2.C: Water is found in the ocean, rivers, lakes, and ponds. Water exists as solid ice and in liquid form.
(Note from Tim: for the engineering standards below, this is a good opportunity to look at dams, irrigation, and other human efforts to regulate the water cycle for agriculture, safety, etc.)
K-2-ETS1-1. Ask questions, make observations, and gather information about a situation people want to change to define a simple problem that can be solved through the development of a new or improved object or tool.
K-2-ETS1-2. Develop a simple sketch, drawing, or physical model to illustrate how the shape of an object helps it function as needed to solve a given problem.
K-2-ETS1-3. Analyze data from tests of two objects designed to solve the same problem to compare the strengths and weaknesses of how each performs.
CA ES.2.3.e Students know rock, water, plants, and soil provide many resources, including food, fuel, and building materials, that humans use.

Third Grade
3-ESS2-1. Represent data in tables and graphical displays to describe typical weather conditions expected during a particular season.
ESS2.D: Weather and Climate. Scientists record patterns of the weather across different times and areas so that they can make predictions about what kind of weather might happen next.
Climate describes a range of an area's typical weather conditions and the extent to which those conditions vary over years.
3.MD.A.2 Measure and estimate liquid volumes and masses of objects using standard units of grams (g), kilograms (kg), and liters (l). Add, subtract, multiply, or divide to solve
one-step word problems involving masses or volumes that are given in the same units, e.g., by using drawings (such as a beaker with a measurement scale) to represent
the problem.
CA PS.3.1.a. Students know energy comes from the Sun to Earth in the form of light.
CA PS.3.1.e. Students know matter has three forms: solid, liquid, and gas.
CA PS.3.1.f. Students know evaporation and melting are changes that occur when the objects
are heated.

By the way, here’s a good page for kids about the water cycle.

Chords: E, A, B. Simple.