This is a fun way to have kids learn about the matter cycles. I usually introduce it with the water cycle (which most students are comfortable with), but my main objective is to teach the Carbon cycle. For advanced students I push them to learn the Nitrogen cycle. You can adapt it to the water cycle or the nitrogen cycle by making different cards.
Tape the cards around the room and give each student a cycle story worksheet.
Explain that they are going to be Carbon atoms (or water molecules).
Each card has a location, a form that the Carbon atom is in, and options for next steps.
You will assign students to different starting cards. Their job is to write down their location, their form, and the process that takes them to the next station.
Then they journey to the next station and record that information.
Once they have visited 10 stations they can return to their seats and work on a first person narrative explaining what it was like to be the Carbon atom traveling that path.
Once everyone has finished traveling the path you can either let them keep working on their stories or discuss what they noticed about the cycle.
I have also attached a sample Nitrogen cycle that you can project and have the students write about. This saves time and makes sure that they learn about the effects of fertilizer on aquatic ecosystems.