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ERIC Number: EJ1145403
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2017-Apr
Pages: 4
Abstractor: ERIC
ISSN: ISSN-0036-8148
Are Clouds a Solid, Liquid, or Gas?
Kroog, Heidi; Ruiz-Primo, Maria Araceli
Science and Children, v54 n8 p41-44 Apr 2017
The "Next Generation Science Standards" ("NGSS") state that by the end of fifth grade, students are expected to understand the water cycle, also called the hydrologic cycle, and the three states of matter in which water can exist (NGSS Lead States 2013). Logically, many educators choose to teach these topics concurrently or back-to-back. Therefore, students need to reconcile the three phases of water with the three stages of the water cycle--not a straightforward marriage of ideas. In this article, the authors describe some problematic aspects in the teaching of the water cycle and states of matter, which they observed during the implementation of these units in two fifth-grade classes. The authors highlight these student misconceptions, describe how the confusions may have arisen, and make instructional suggestions to help students with their conceptual understanding of these complex topics. The two teachers mentioned, Jake and Sandy, were part of a project funded by the Institute of Educational Sciences.
National Science Teachers Association. 1840 Wilson Boulevard, Arlington, VA 22201-3000. Tel: 800-722-6782; Fax: 703-243-3924; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Elementary Education; Grade 5; Intermediate Grades; Middle Schools
Audience: Teachers
Language: English
Sponsor: Institute of Education Sciences (ED)
Authoring Institution: N/A
IES Funded: Yes
Grant or Contract Numbers: R305A100571