Why does it rain? (Year 4)

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Why does it rain?

Rain is good for our planet. It gives us fresh water to drink, helps farmers grow crops and is fun to run around in! Rain is made from water. We use water for many different things. Water can be found all around the world. You can find water in all three states of matter: solidliquid and gas.

Liquid water is found in Earth’s oceans, rivers, lakes and streams. Solid water such as ice is found in glaciers and snow. Water vapour which is a gas can be found in Earth’s atmosphere.

  • Make a list of all the different places you can find water?
  • What different ways do you use water?
  • Can you find out how much of the earth is covered by water?

Where does rain come from?

Rain is a part of the water cycle called precipitation. The water cycle is important because it is the way the Earth recycles it water.  Water is always moving, the rain that falls where you live could be water from an ocean. The water cycle is the path that all water follows as it moves around our planet.

There are four important parts of the water cycle;

  • Evaporation
  • Condensation
  • Precipitation
  • Run off

Watch the video to learn more about the water cycle.


The Water Cycle

The heat from the Sun causes water to evaporate from oceans, lakes and streams. Evaporation is when liquid water on Earth’s surface turns into water vapour in our atmosphere.

As the water vapour rises higher and higher, the cool air of the atmosphere causes the water vapour to turn back into liquid water (droplets). This process is called condensation. A cloud is created from the droplets of water.  

When a cloud becomes full of liquid water, it falls from the sky as rain or snow. This part of the water cycle is known as precipitation

The water that returns to Earth as precipitation runs off the surface of the land, and flows downhill into streams, rivers and lakes. The rain and snow that fall from the sky fill lakes, streams and the ocean. Then the water cycle starts all over again.

  • Why does it rain?
  • What would happen if it did not rain?
  • Why do you think rain is important?
  • Why is water important to our plant?
  • Can you draw your own picture of the water cycle?