Register with GEF for FREE to enjoy these great benefits! 

    • member only contests and raffles

    • sustainability program news and updates

    • significant discounts at GEF Institute

Note: If you have problems registering, contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Taking a GEF Institute Course? Login by clicking here.






Join Us

Sign Up for National Green Week!
Please note: Your privacy is very important to GEF. We do not share or sell any of your data.  It is with the sole purpose of providing you with relevant information that GEF will contact you.

Welcome to the Sustainability Lesson Clearinghouse

Here, you can find free sustainability lessons to use in your class and upload your own lessons to share. Be sure to rate the lessons you use and leave comments for your colleagues!

All of GEF's lessons and programs are offered at no cost.  Become a member to support GEF and enjoy member only benefits! 
Join button_03

Professional Development

GEFinstitute LOGO_WEB GEF Institute offers affordable, online sustainability courses eligible for professional development or academic credit.
Give your resume a boost!

Sponsor a Teacher

Support educators in your community by helping them earn a Certificate in Sustainability or take an online course. Find out more about sponsorship!
Sustainability Lesson Clearinghouse

Teaching the Water Cycle

Lesson Description:
The students will create their own terrarium to connect concepts of precipitation, condensation, and evaporation.
  • Students will be able to name and explain the stages of the water cycle.
  • Students will explain that water on earth moves in a continuous cycle.
  • Students will observe, analyze, and record data in their terrarium chart.
  • Students will access internet data to read fictional literature about the water cycle.

Lesson Type:
  • Discussion
  • Experiment

Sustainability Topic:
  • Water

GEF Program Category:
  • Sustainable Water Challenge

Time Needed:
Build terrariums: 40 minutes. Review water cycle and check terrariums: 20 minutes daily. Terrarium checks: 10 minutes. Assessment: 20 minutes.
Standards Addressed:
12.e.2a identify and explain natural cycles of the earth's land, water and atmospheric systems (e.g., rock cycle, water cycle, weather patterns).

13.a.2a demonstrate ways to avoid injury when conducting science activities (e.g., wearing goggles, fire extinguisher use).

4.a.2b ask and respond to questions related to oral presentations and messages in small and large group settings.
Materials Needed:
-5 Jars or Clear Containers
-Potting Soil
-Small Gravel
-Plastic Wrap
-Rubber Bands
-Computer with Internet Access
-Water Cycle Packet (contains checklist, data sheet, and activities.)
School or Group:
Lesson Plans Page
Contact Email:
Located in: Science

The Sustainability Lesson Clearinghouse is brought to you in partnership with

Center for Green Schools