Mini Lesson/Activity

Energy and Matter: Water Cycle & The Ocean's Temperature (Student Activity)

Mini Lesson

Review the NASA video below.  


Answer the following questions:

  1. What is the water cycle?  
  2. What drives the movement of air and water in the Earth System? 
  3. Where does this visualization begin in the water cycle?
  4. Describe what happens to the sun's heat as you progress through the video. 
  5. How does the Sun and the Hydrosphere's oceans interact in this video? 
  6. Describe what happens in the night to the ocean with respect to energy. 
  7. Describe what happens to the land's temperature over the course of the day and night. 

This is the first of a four-part series on the water cycle. The other videos are available online:

The Water Cycle: Following The Water:

The Water Cycle: Steaming The Air:

The Water Cycle: Watering The Land

Teacher Note

Teachers, these mini lessons/student activities are perfect "warm up" tasks that can be used as a hook, bellringer, exit slip, etc.

Teachers who are interested in receiving the answer key, please contact MND from your school email address at  We verify that requestors are teachers prior to sending access to the answer keys as we’ve had many students try to pass as teachers to gain access. To receive the keys please provide the following:

  1. The link to the school/institution’s teacher directory where you are employed so we can verify that you are a teacher
  2. Ensure that the school email address is provided in your response as we are unable to send to personal email accounts