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Water Distribution Lab and Close Reading Unit NGSS 5-ESS2-2

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  • PDF
50 pages
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Students will love these engaging labs on water distribution on Earth! This unit offers an engaging and visual way to compare the quantities and proportions of water in all its forms on Earth. Water is distributed in oceans, lakes, groundwater, the atmosphere, and ice.

This resource includes:

  • two hands-on Labs
  • five pages of nonfiction text
  • water distribution lab
  • groundwater lab
  • graphing and measurement activities
  • response pages
  • interactive notebook flaps
  • QR Code Research
  • task cards
  • sorting cards
  • answer keys
  • a quiz

If you use all of the pieces of this unit, it will take about two weeks to complete. See more details about this unit on my blog Water Distribution Unit

This resource addresses NGSS Earth Systems 5-ESS2-2. Describe and graph the amounts of saltwater and freshwater in various reservoirs to provide evidence about the distribution of water on Earth.

In the first lab, students will explore water distribution on Earth making a model and then graphing their results.

The second lab explores groundwater and students will make a model to show how groundwater gathers in the aquifer.

This resource is also aligned with the CCSS for Reading Informational Text for 5th Grade. This resource integrates science and literacy, Reading Informational Text for 5th grade nicely.

Students will understand that different amounts of saltwater and freshwater are distributed on Earth in various reservoirs.

This resource also aligns with

Utah SEEd standard 5.1.2

Use mathematics and computational thinking to compare the quantity of saltwater and freshwater in various reservoirs to provide evidence for the distribution of water on Earth. Emphasize water on Earth in oceans, lakes, rivers, glaciers, groundwater, and polar ice caps.

NJSLS • 5-ESS2-2 Describe and graph the amounts of salt water and fresh water in various reservoirs to provide evidence about the distribution of water on Earth.

Science Concepts Include:

Water on Earth

Water Distribution


Saline Water

Fresh Water

Frozen Water


Ice Sheets



Sea Ice

Surface Water

Water Cycle





Distribution of Water on Earth

Water Vapor


Recording Data


Science and Engineering Practices used by student:

1. Asking questions (for science)

2. Developing and using models

3. Planning and carrying out investigations

4. Analyzing and interpreting data

5. Using mathematics and computational thinking

6. Constructing explanations (for science)

7. Engaging in argument from evidence

8. Obtaining, evaluating, and communicating information

Please leave feedback for this resource!

Save 20% by purchasing in the Utah SEEd 5th-grade Bundle.

Save 20% by purchasing in the NGSS 5th Grade Bundle

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By Lynda R. Williams

Visit my blog

Teaching Science With Lynda

See more ideas about teaching Water Distribution on Earth

If you have questions about my resources please contact me lywilliams1@gmail.com

* My resources are secure and not editable for copyright reasons. 

These resources are created by Lynda R. Williams at Teaching Science

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Please see some of my other resources aligned with 5th-grade NGSS

Elephant’s Toothpaste Integrate Lessons

Gravity STEM Challenge

Copper Tape and Electrical Circuits

Chemical Reaction With Pennies

Lava Lamp Density Lesson

Density column Lesson NGSS Aligned

Total Pages
50 pages
Answer Key
Teaching Duration
2 Weeks
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to see state-specific standards (only available in the US).
Describe and graph the amounts of salt water and fresh water in various reservoirs to provide evidence about the distribution of water on Earth. Assessment is limited to oceans, lakes, rivers, glaciers, ground water, and polar ice caps, and does not include the atmosphere.
Integrate information from several texts on the same topic in order to write or speak about the subject knowledgeably.
Explain how an author uses reasons and evidence to support particular points in a text, identifying which reasons and evidence support which point(s).
Draw on information from multiple print or digital sources, demonstrating the ability to locate an answer to a question quickly or to solve a problem efficiently.
Analyze multiple accounts of the same event or topic, noting important similarities and differences in the point of view they represent.


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