Home » Resources » Conceptionary


These resources are made available for and by teachers for helping students learn about the water cycle.


How to play USAUS-H2O Conceptionary

Materials needed: 

  • Blank paper
  • Colored pencils
  • Conceptionary cards (click example card below for a PDF of all cards)
  • Timer


Participants organize into groups of 3-5 people and one team member is designated as the ‘science illustrator’. Only the ‘science illustrator’ is given a card with a water concept and 3 key words identified. The team then attempts to guess the key words and water concept as the ‘science illustrator’ draws. The drawing portion is typically 2 minutes, but the time can be lengthened if teams are struggling to guess the water concept and key words.


The most fun is when each of the drawings that the ‘science illustrator’ produces is projected and reviewed by the entire group. A variety of technologies can be employed to project the drawings including ipad photo and connection to a data projector, directly to a document camera or photograph and upload to a computer. 

What participants learn:

  1. Players realize that complex concepts can be effectively communicated with rudimentary tools with a few minutes.
  2. Players appreciate that artistic talent is not needed to be an effective communicator. Some of the most effective drawings are not artistic, but use creative linkages and good caricatures.
  3. Effective use of colors can highlight important features, by providing realism or by drawing attention to key processes.
  4. A diversity of approached can be employed to communicate a specific concept.
  5. There are some iconic symbols which are useful in developing conceptual diagrams.

Created by: AdrianJ USAUS-H2O

Post Comment

To leave a comment, you must be signed in