In this Earth science investigation, students will use sand to build a mountain and then use a straw and watering can to simulate wind erosion and water erosion. Students will make observations and then propose ways to slow the erosion and/or speed the erosion. Students will be able to relate the erosion processes to weathering and sediment deposition.
Students will engage in the higher-order thinking skills of data analysis, model development, and the synthesis of ideas.
Vocabulary words to be reviewed are weathering, erosion and sedimentation.
After doing the activity students should be able to make predictions about how weather will effect the area around the school or their own yard (e.g. where puddles will form after a rainfall). They should also be able to make connections between erosion, weathering, and the development of sedimentary rock.
Context for Use
Resource Type: Activities:Lab Activity
Grade Level: Middle (6-8)
Theme: Teach the Earth:Teaching Environments:K12
Description and Teaching Materials
"Science is..." by Susan V. Bosak
SCHOLASTIC CANADA LTD.
Richmond Hill, Ontario, Canada
Copyright 1991 Lab Handout: Boulders to Bits (Microsoft Word 26kB Sep25 07)
Teaching Notes and Tips
1. Students can be assessed by evaluating their depth of observation and discussion in small groups.
2. They could organize their observations, questions, and results into a lab report.
3. They could do a journal entry describing what they learned.
Student work that could be viewed or handed in may be a chronological drawing of their model before/during/after the erosion and/or a journal entry (summary) of what they knew before the lab, what they learned from the lab, and what additional questions they now have.