You may save this lesson plan to your hard drive as an html file by selecting
"File", then "Save As" from your browser's pull down menu. The file name extension
must be .html.
This lesson helps students learn the differences between physical and chemical weathering. Students will complete various activities in which they identify and describe the type of weathering that is taking place.This lesson plan was created as a result of the Girls Engaged in Math and Science, GEMS Project funded by the Malone Family Foundation.
National Academy of Sciences, National Science Education Standards:NS.5-8.4: As a result of activities in grades 5-8, all students should develop understanding of the structure of the earth system.NS.5-8.1: As a result of activities in grades 5-8, all students should develop abilities necessary to do scientific inquiry; understandings about scientific inquiry.
Primary Learning Objective(s):
Students will:1. Compare and contrast physical (or mechanical) weathering and chemical weathering.2. Identify examples of physical (or mechanical) weathering and chemical weathering.
Additional Learning Objective(s):
91 to 120 Minutes
Materials and Resources:
Group Materials:carbonated water tap water 1-2 baby food jars4 rock samples2 pieces of limestone or chalkpermanent marker2 pennies2 antacid tabletssteel wool2 sugar cubesgravel5 measuring cups or beakers10 clear plastic cups vinegar (white and brown)Individual Student Materials:gogglesapron activity sheetspencils
Technology Resources Needed:
computerLCD projectorPowerPoint (see attachment)
Background: This lesson is intended to be used as part of a unit or in conjunction with other lessons on weathering and erosion. It assumes that students have already been introduced to weathering and that they understand that there are two forms of weathering: physical (also referred to as mechanical or chemical). As students complete these activities, they will learn more about what happens during each type of weathering. In physical weathering, rocks are broken down into smaller pieces without changing their chemical makeup – tearing a piece of paper into smaller pieces. An example of physical weathering would be a cracked sidewalk. In chemical weathering, rocks are broken down by chemical actions that change their makeup – burning a piece of paper and having it change into ashes. An example of chemical weathering is rust on outdoor furniture. The activities in this lesson follow the scientific method; therefore, students should be familiar with its steps.Preparation: Before beginning, the teacher will need to prepare a set of colored index cards (or construction paper cut to card size) to be used for grouping. You will need 4 cards each of 5-6 different colors (depending on the number of students). In the upper left of each card, write a number from 1-4; in the upper right, write a letter from A-D; in the lower left, draw a shape (circle, triangle, square, or rectangle); and in the lower right, write a direction (north, south, east, or west). Vary the way the cards are set up – for example, all of the red cards should not have the same numbers, letters, or shapes, etc. The cards may be laminated for durability.After passing out the cards, you can then quickly group and/or regroup students by color, number, shape, letter, or direction.
Review and/or grade the students’ activity sheets.
Have students design and conduct their own experiments (activities) using the new questions from their activity sheets.
Pair students with stronger students and allow them to redo activities that they didn't understand.
Each area below is a direct link to general teaching strategies/classroom
for students with identified learning and/or behavior problems such as: reading
or math performance below grade level; test or classroom assignments/quizzes at
a failing level; failure to complete assignments independently; difficulty with
short-term memory, abstract concepts, staying on task, or following directions;
poor peer interaction or temper tantrums, and other learning or behavior problems.