Erosion in our World
In this environmental science filed lab, students investigate erosion around the schoolyard. The students will work in a group of 2-4 to observe evidence of erosion in a chosen area. After observations, students record their findings in their science journals.
As students particpate in this lesson they will be reviewing the concept that erosion is all around and can be caused by different factors including wind and water. Students will also be able to identify evidence of deposition which was studied in a previous lesson.
Students should have a thorough understanding of the following vocabulary words: erosion, deposition, sediment, canyon, and delta.
Context for Use
Students should have some prior knowledge identifying erosion and deposition through the use of stream tables in the classroom. This activity is meant to connect students learning to the world around them. This could be used as a final activity with erosion and depositon. Students are also required to complete a science journal on their observations. Students should know the expectations for completing science journals.
Evidence of erosion is all around, so this would be an easy lesson to adapt to your school's setting. If you are close to a river or creek, it is especially convenient as this is what was used to study erosion in the classroom.
Resource Type: Activities:Field Activity, Classroom Activity
Special Interest: Field-Based Teaching and Learning
Grade Level: Intermediate (3-5)
Theme: Teach the Earth:Enhancing your Teaching:Teaching in the Field, Teach the Earth:Course Topics:Geomorphology, Sedimentary Geology
Description and Teaching Materials
1. The lesson begins by the teacher bringing in mystery objects and objects related to erosion. Students should look at the objects and pictures and make observations orally.
2. Make an OKWHL chart as a class on chart paper about erosion.
3. Pass out nature journals and explain assignment:
a. With group of 2-4, choose an area where you think erosion may have occurred and explain why you chose the area.
b. Observe the area for 4-5 minutes without talking.
c. Write your observation in the "I observe..." box in your journal.
d. In your group, discuss any evidence of erosion you may have observed. Try to identify the cause of erosion (wind, water, etc.)
e. Draw what your site looks like in your journal.
f. Connect what you have learned today with our previous lesson of the indoor stream tables. Fill in your "connections" box in your journal.
g. Circle up and discuss observations as a class.
h. Take a mini hike and have students show where they found erosion.
i. Go inside and complete the OKWHL chart as a class.
Landform Jeopardy (PowerPoint 3.1MB Aug3 09)
Teaching Notes and Tips
In the Landforms FOSS-kit, the students do not go outside to observe erosion and deposition. This lesson would allow students to make the connection that erosion is all around us, and occurrs in many different places by having them go outside and observe.
The student should be prepared to hand in his/her journal entry at the end of the lesson. This could be used to assess whether or not the concepts are clear.
An extension activity could include having students make a poster or clay model of the landfrom terminology discussed throughout the unit.