Beacon Lesson Plan Library

Water Cycle - A SiteMaker Presentation

Sandi King
Bay District Schools


The student researches and writes a report on a specific element of the water cycle. The final draft of this report is published using SiteMaker, a Web page multimedia program available free from Beacon Learning Center.


The student uses a variety of reference materials, including indexes, magazines, newspapers, and journals, and tools, including card catalogs and computer catalogs, to gather information for research topics.

The student uses basic computer skills for writing, such as basic word-processing techniques such as keying words, copying, cutting, and pasting; using e-mail; and accessing and using basic educational software for writing.

The student uses electronic technology, including word-processing software and electronic encyclopedias, to create, revise, retrieve, and verify information.

The student understands the stages of the water cycle (for example, evaporation, condensation, precipitation).

The student understands how the water cycle is influenced by temperature and land features.


-Reference material, including Internet sites, CD Roms, encyclopedias, (both software and print-based), and student texts for research on the water cycle conditions and elements
- Access to SiteMaker
Contact Beacon Learning Center, ( for access information.
-Computers with Internet access


1. Collect reference materials for students to research the elements of the water cycle. Include materials that contain information on various types of clouds, the sun, various types of precipitation, various types of storms (tornados, hurricanes, thunder, lightning), and rainbows.
2. Gain access to SiteMaker by contacting Beacon Learning Center, at the following address: (
3. View various reports submitted to SiteMaker to become familiar with format of the finished product. Go to Beacon's Homepage, choose Student Resources, then choose SiteMaker.
4. Access the Topics portion of SiteMaker to become familiar with the graphics available for use in the area of weather.
5. Complete the procedures for registering students on SiteMaker.
6. Download and duplicate the Water Cycle Report form, Student Permission form, and Water Cycle Rubric from the attached file.


NOTE: Explore SiteMaker, which is a program online that allows students to create reports with pictures, sound effects, and movies to be posted to the Internet through Beacon Learning Center. Parents and Grandparents can then view the report (via the Internet). At all times, the teacher controls what appears on the site in the report.

1. Allow students or groups of students to select the specific element of the water cycle that they are most interested in learning more about. The elements that have corresponding graphics on Sitemaker should be made available for this choice.

2. Distribute the Water Cycle Report information and direction sheet which contains an outline of the specific information that is to be included in each report. Hand out assessment rubric and discuss with students. (See attached file.)

3. Distribute the Student Permission forms. (See attached file.)

4. Students, either individually or in groups, use reference materials made available by the instructor to research their specific elements of the water cycle.

5. Drafts of the reports are to be presented to the instructor for review, conferencing, and feedback.

6. Reports will be edited and a copy of the report will be presented to the instructor for final approval or further editing.

7. Upon receiving final approval of their water cycle reports, students use a word processor to type their reports, or type them directly in the SiteMaker program. Those reports typed on a word processor can be copied and pasted into SiteMaker.

8. The SiteMaker presentation is completed by adding a graphic, sound, movie, or referenced Web sites as appropriate and available through SiteMaker.

9. The finished presentation is sent to the instructor, via SiteMaker, for review.

10. Review the finished presentation and either approve it for display on the Web, or return it to the student for further editing.

11. The SiteMaker URL is sent home to encourage family and friends to access the presentations to learn more about the water cycle and to celebrate the completion of this activity.

12. Assess the activity. (See attached file.)


Assessment of the scientific value of the report and the language arts skills can be achieved using the attached Water Cycle Rubric. Download it from the attached files. This should be a formative assessment, especially if students are using SiteMaker for the first time. Corrective and affirmative feedback should be given to students prior to teacher approval on SiteMaker (Internet). This same rubric can be amended for other scientific content when the topic is changed.


If no Internet access is available, this lesson can be completed using a word processor. The student's printed copy serves as the published copy of the report.

Instead of the various individual elements of the water cycle being researched and reported, the entire water cycle can be the focus of the research. Assessment can be done using the Water Cycle Rubric from the associated file list below.

Web Links

This site provides information about local weather.
National Weather Service Forecast

Return to the Beacon Lesson Plan Library.