WEST BANDUNG, WEST JAVA – Dedah Juwaedah, a social studies teacher at MTs Al-Mukhtariyah, held up a glass of water. "Children, what am I holding"? The students answered in unison: "Water ...". The teacher asked again, "On this earth, why does water never run out?" The students offered a variety of answers.
"Water is a basic need of living beings, which should always be available. Every day we use water for various purposes, whether for drinking, bathing, washing, and other things. However, water is always available and seems inexhaustible. From the variety of answers you gave, you can conclude that the water does not disappear but changes form by way of circulation," he explained.
Then the teacher provided each group with worksheets on the hydrological cycle. Students were asked to study the depiction of the water cycle on the worksheet. Then the teacher asked the students questions related to the graphic. What makes water evaporate? What is the process causing rainfall? The students themselves also asked several other questions. That was the 'observe and ask' stage.
Students then sought information from various sources regarding the short cycle (evaporation, condensation, and precipitation), the medium cycle (evaporation, transpiration, condensation, precipitation, infiltration), and the long cycle (evaporation, sublimation, and infiltration).
They collected this information and then wrote it up into a brief report. In addition to the written reports, the students in the group made a three-dimensional model of the short-long hydrological cycle along with an explanation. They used simple equipment including old plastic bags, cotton, styrofoam, cardboard, colored paper, glue, and markers. Students succeeded in making a cross section of the hydrological cycle using these materials.
Once completed, representatives from each group presented the results of their work, while other groups make their comments and and suggested additions. At the end of the lesson the teacher asked the students to make a display of their work. (YH)