Climate Change and the Water Cycle - A 10-Hour Curriculum Unit for 6-12 Grade Students

Welcome!  Thank you for your interest in the USDA Southwest Climate Hub’s curriculum unit on Climate Change and the Water Cycle.  Increased temperatures and altered precipitation will make water, a limited resource in the arid southwestern United States, even scarcer in many locations. We partnered with the Asombro Institute for Science Education ( to design an engaging, fun, and scientifically rigorous education unit aligned with Common Core State Standards and Next Generation Science Standards.

The Climate Change and the Water Cycle curriculum unit consists of nine activities and was designed to be conducted over 10 days (or 10 hours).  Each activity can also stand alone, however, and the unit need not be completed in its entirety.

You may download the entire curriculum at the link below, choose the resources you need from the list below, or click on the day pages in the left column, which contain links to the supporting materials for each activity organized by day taught.


To download curriculum:

  • Select day/lesson from left column, or
  • Download Climate Change and the Water Cycle Unit complete guide (in PDF), or
  • Download Spanish Version of the Climate Change and the Water Cycle Unit (en Espanol), or
  • Select from the list of educator guides and digital resources by day listed below


Additional documents:


Interested in learning more about teaching these activities?  Please help us organize an educator workshop in your area!  Email for more information about this opportunity.




List of educator guides and digital resources by day


Day 1 - Insulating You, Insulating Earth


Day 2  - Weather or Climate? You Decide!

  Understanding the Difference

  Evaporation Investigation setup


Day 3  - The Water Cycle Game


Day 4 - Streams and Steam: Effects of Climate Change on the Water Cycle


Day 5 - Ready, Set, Grow


Day 6 - Rainout Shelters


Day 7 - 10 - Climate Data Jam