Water Cycle Mixed Media

watercycle Students will create a mixed media poster of the entire water cycle.


  • To reinforce a science lesson on the water cycle through art
  • To further understand concepts of evaporation, condensation, precipitation and accumulation
  • To encourage creativity

Before You Start: Prepare all necessary materials for activity, i.e. large heavy white paper (watercolor paper works well), crayons, paint relief crayons, watercolor paint and brushes, tissue paper, pom-poms or cotton balls, glue, craft cups and glitter.

Let's Get Started! Step 1. Have students lay the white paper horizontally in front of them. With crayons, have them draw a large hill that comes down into a field. Have students also leave a place on the left to paint the ocean and a river flowing down the hill into the ocean.

Step 2. Let students use watercolor paint to color their ocean and river (per step 1).

Step 3. Have them tear or cut their tissue paper into thin strips. Glue strips so they appear to be flowing up from the ocean into the air. This will symbolize the concept of evaporation.

Step 4. In the sky, above the tissue strips and the hill, have students glue pom-poms or cotton balls as clouds. This will symbolize the water collecting and the concept of condensation.

Step 5. Have students use a white crayon relief crayon to draw dots or short streaks (as raindrops) in the sky to look like they are coming from the clouds towards the hill. Then, have them paint over the streaks/dots with watercolor paint. The paint will allow the crayon relief raindrops to show up. (If you do not have paint relief crayons, you may simply use regular crayons or paint to create the raindrops.)This will symbolize the concept of precipitation.

Step 6. Finally, have students brush lines or streaks of glue in the river down towards the ocean and cover with glitter. This will show the movement of water from the land back into the water table and source. This will symbolize the concept of accumulation.

Step 7. Allow pictures to dry and then display in the classroom or center.

Furthermore: This activity provides opportunity for more discussion about the environment and conservation of water and other precious natural resources. You may also have the students label the different actions that are taking place (as shown in the photo).

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