Soil Percolation: Where Does the Rain Go?

Soil Percolation: Where Does the Rain Go?

This lesson activity has students conduct an experiment that reinforces one component of the water cycle.

Context for Use

Project EXTREMES lessons were intended to be stand alone lessons.

Soil horizon

Soil horizon. Credit: kisforkateatkins

Goals Header
What Students Will Do

  • Students will connect the flow of water in the water cycle to the types of Earth materials. 
  • Students will be able to collect and analyze data that model a component of the water cycle and apply their results to the effects of the water cycle on the Earth’s surface.


User note: To make an editable copy of the teaching materials in Google Drive, select File > “Make a copy”. This will make a copy for you to save to your own drive and edit as you see fit.


  • Part 1 – Engagement (15 minutes) Water movement in the water cycle

Students review the water cycle and are challenged to consider what happens to precipitation when it hits the surface. 

  • Part 2 – Exploration (30 minutes) Water movement through Earth materials

Students collect and analyze data to model the movement of water through different Earth materials.


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