ALEX Lesson Plan

     

Weathering and Erosion

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  This lesson provided by:  
Author:Ruth Liddell
System: Informal Education Partner
School: Informal Education Partner
And
Author:Debbie Payne
Organization:ResultSearch Consulting
And
Author:Shirley Scarbrough
Organization:Alabama State University Math-science Pa
  General Lesson Information  
Lesson Plan ID: 33802

Title:

Weathering and Erosion

Overview/Annotation:

This module includes seven hands-on, inquiry-based activities that will model the effects of weathering and erosion on Earth’s surface. Students will investigate the effects of weathering, erosion, and deposition using various materials such as aquarium gravel, square pretzels, chalk, vinegar, modeling clay, sand, and a hairdryer. This module will provide instruction on the effects of water on land; the effects slope has on flooding; the effects of the wind on land; the effects of different wave actions on land; the effects of glaciers on land; and the effects of mechanical and chemical weathering. In addition, the students will create a model that will demonstrate how groundwater can cause a sinkhole.

 Associated Standards and Objectives 
Content Standard(s):
Science
SC2015 (2015)
Grade: 4
15 ) Analyze and interpret data (e.g., angle of slope in downhill movement of water, volume of water flow, cycles of freezing and thawing of water, cycles of heating and cooling of water, speed of wind, relative rate of soil deposition, amount of vegetation) to determine effects of weathering and rate of erosion by water, ice, wind, and vegetation using one single form of weathering or erosion at a time.

Insight Unpacked Content
Scientific And Engineering Practices:
Analyzing and Interpreting Data
Crosscutting Concepts: Cause and Effect
Disciplinary Core Idea: Earth's Systems
Evidence Of Student Attainment:
Students:
  • Analyze and interpret data to determine effects of weathering by water, ice, wind, and vegetation.
  • Analyze and interpret data to determine rate of erosion by water, ice, wind, and vegetation.
Teacher Vocabulary:
  • sediment
  • weathering
  • erosion
  • vegetation
  • angle of slope
  • transported
  • variables
  • relative steepness
  • analyze
  • interpret
  • data
Knowledge:
Students know:
  • Effects of weathering.
  • The rate of erosion of Earth's materials.
  • The kind of weathering or erosion to which the Earth material is exposed.
  • The change in shape of Earth materials as the result of weathering or the rate of erosion by motion of water, ice, wind, or vegetation.
Skills:
Students are able to:
  • Represent data about weathering and erosion in tables and/or other graphical displays to reveal patterns.
  • Analyze and interpret data to make sense of weathering and erosion.
  • Compare and contrast data collected by different groups.
Understanding:
Students understand that:
  • Events like weathering and erosion have causes that generate observable patterns and can be used to explain changes in Earth's landforms.
AMSTI Resources:
AMSTI Module:
Water and Landforms

NAEP Framework
NAEP Statement::
E4.3: The surface of Earth changes. Some changes are due to slow processes such as erosion and weathering, and some changes are due to rapid processes such as landslides, volcanic eruptions, and earthquakes.



Alabama Alternate Achievement Standards
AAS Standard:
SCI.AAS.4.15- Identify the effects of weathering by water, ice, wind, or vegetation.


Science
SC2015 (2015)
Grade: 6
Earth and Space Science
8 ) Plan and carry out investigations that demonstrate the chemical and physical processes that form rocks and cycle Earth's materials (e.g., processes of crystallization, heating and cooling, weathering, deformation, and sedimentation).

Insight Unpacked Content
Scientific And Engineering Practices:
Planning and Carrying out Investigations
Crosscutting Concepts: Energy and Matter
Disciplinary Core Idea: Earth's Systems
Evidence Of Student Attainment:
Students:
  • Plan an investigation that demonstrates the chemical processes that form rocks and cycle Earth material.
  • Plan an investigation that demonstrates the physical processes that form rocks and cycle Earth material.
  • Carry out an investigation that demonstrates the chemical processes that form rocks and cycle Earth material.
  • Carry out an investigation that demonstrates the physical processes that form rocks and cycle Earth material.
Teacher Vocabulary:
  • Rock
  • Melting
  • Sedimentation
  • Crystallization
  • Chemical change
  • Physical change
  • Deformation
  • Interior energy
  • Cycling
  • Weathering
  • Erosion
  • Solar energy
  • Sedimentary rock
  • Igneous rock
  • Metamorphic rock
Knowledge:
Students know:
  • Rocks are the solid mineral materials forming part of the surface of the Earth and other similar planets.
  • Different Earth processes (melting, sedimentation, crystallization) drive matter cycling (from one type of Earth material to another) through observable chemical and physical changes.
  • Chemical changes are changes that result in the formation of new chemical substances.
  • Physical changes involve changes into new forms or shapes in which the chemical identity of the substance is not changed.
  • Melting is a physical change in which a solid changes to a liquid as a result of exposure to heat.
  • Sedimentation is a process in which material (like rock or sand) is carried to the bottom of a body of water and forms a solid layer. Sedimentary rock consists of cemented sediment.
  • Crystallization is the process of the formation of crystals from a liquid. Igneous rocks are the result of crystallizing magma.
  • Deformation is a physical change in a rock's shape or size. Rocks become deformed when the Earth's crust is stretched, compressed, or heated.
  • Metamorphic rock was once one form of rock but changed to another under the influence of heat or pressure.
  • Energy from Earth's interior and the sun drive Earth processes that together cause matter cycling through different forms of Earth materials.
  • The movement of energy that originates from the Earth's hot interior causes the cycling of matter through the Earth processes of melting, crystallization, and deformation.
  • Energy from the sun causes matter to cycle via processes that produce weathering, erosion, and sedimentation (e.g., wind, rain).
  • Weathering is the chemical or physical breaking down or dissolving of rocks and minerals on Earth's surface.
  • Erosion is the act in which Earth is worn away, often by wind, water, or ice.
Skills:
Students are able to:
  • Identify the phenomena under investigation, which includes the chemical and physical processes of Earth.
  • Identify the purpose of the investigation, which includes demonstrating the chemical and physical processes that form rocks and cycle Earth materials.
  • Develop a plan for the investigation individually or collaboratively.
  • Describe factors used in the investigation including appropriate units (if necessary), independent and dependent variables, controls and number of trials for each experimental condition.
  • Perform the investigation as prescribed by the plan.
  • Use data from the investigation to provide an causal account of the relationship between chemical and physical processes and the formation of rocks and the cycling of Earth materials.
Understanding:
Students understand that:
  • All Earth processes are the result of energy flowing and matter cycling within and among the planet's systems. This energy is derived from the sun and Earth's hot interior. The energy that flows and matter that cycles produce chemical and physical changes in Earth's materials.
AMSTI Resources:
AMSTI Module:
Exploring Plate Tectonics

NAEP Framework
NAEP Statement::
E8.5a: Rocks and rock formations bear evidence of the minerals, materials, temperature/pressure conditions, and forces that created them.

NAEP Statement::
E8.5b: Some formations show evidence that they were deposited by volcanic eruptions.

NAEP Statement::
E8.5c: Others are composed of sand and smaller particles that are buried and cemented by dissolved minerals to form solid rock again.

NAEP Statement::
E8.5d: Still others show evidence that they were once earlier rock types that were exposed to heat and pressure until they changed shape and, in some cases, melted and recrystallized.



Alabama Alternate Achievement Standards
AAS Standard:
SCI.AAS.6.8- Identify the physical process (sedimentation, heat and pressure, weathering, cooling) that results in the formation of rocks; use a model to demonstrate the rock cycle.


Local/National Standards:

 

Primary Learning Objective(s):

1. Students will identify and describe the process of weathering, erosion, and deposition.

2. Students will identify different types of erosion.

3. Students will investigate to demonstrate the

  • effects of water on land and the effect slope has on flooding.

  • effects of the wind on land.

  • effects of wave actions on land.

  • effects of glaciers on land.

  • effects of mechanical weathering.

  • effects of chemical weathering.

  • effects of groundwater in causing sinkholes.

Additional Learning Objective(s):

 
 Preparation Information 

Total Duration:

Greater than 120 Minutes

Materials and Resources:

Student Materials (per student)

Pencil or pen

Pre-/Post-Test (see attached document)

Activity 1

Activity 1 Handout: Instructions (see attached document)

Activity 1-B Handout: Data Table (see attached document)

Activity 1-C Handout: Reflection Questions (see attached document)

Pea size aquarium gravel

Small square pretzels

Small glass jar with lid

Timer

Ziploc bags

Activity 2

Activity 2 Handout: Instructions (see attached document)

Activity 2-B Handout: Data Table (see attached document)

Activity 2-C Handout: Reflection Questions (see attached document)

2 pint glass jars

8 oz. bottle of water

Pint bottle of vinegar

Ziploc bag of pebble-size pieces of chalk

Timer

Two plastic spoons

Activity 3

Activity 3 Handout: Instructions (see attached document)

Activity 3-B Handout: Data Table (see attached document)

Activity 3-C Handout: Reflection Questions (see attached document)

Modeling Clay (not Play-Doh)

Large ice cubes

Tray or cutting board

Ziploc bag of sand

Activity 4

Activity 4 Handout: Instructions (see attached document)

Activity 4-B Handout: Data Table (see attached document)

Activity 4-C Handout: Reflection Questions (see attached document)

2 large tinfoil pans

2 Ziploc bags of sand

2 8-oz. bottles of water

Aprons

Activity 5

Activity 5 Handout: Instructions (see attached document)

Activity 5-B Handout: Data Table (see attached document)

Activity 5-C Handout: Reflection Questions (see attached document)

Three 9” x 12” x 2” aluminum pans

Three Ziploc bags of aquarium sand

Three Ziploc bags of pea size aquarium gravel

Six 1” x 2” x 12” wooden blocks cut from a standard 1” x 2” board

Three 12 oz cups with a pencil-sized hole in the center of the bottom (punch a pencil through the bottom of the cups from the outside)

Activity 6

Activity 6 Handout: Instructions (see attached document)

Activity 6-B Handout: Data Table (see attached document)

Activity 6-C Handout: Reflection Questions (see attached document)

Plastic container with poster board prepared by teacher

Ziploc bag of white aquarium sand

1/3 cup measuring cup

Two-speed hair dryer

Two timers

Yardstick

Activity 7

Activity 7 Handout: Instructions (see attached document)

Activity 7-B Handout: Data Table (see attached document)

Activity 7-C Handout: Reflection Questions (see attached document)

Four labeled cups prepared by teacher (Sand, Gravel, Clay, and Sand-Gravel-Clay)

Four 8½ oz styrofoam cups

4 larger containers (at least as deep as the cups are tall and somewhat larger in diameter)

3” x 3” “Sticky-Notes” pad

Ziploc bag of Extra Super Fine Granular sugar

Ziploc bag of aquarium sand

Ziploc bag of pea size aquarium gravel

Ziploc bag of clay (dug from a clay bank and pulverized)

Ziploc bag of sand, clay, gravel mixture

Eight 8-oz. bottles of water

Funnel

Timer

2 tablespoons--one labeled A (for Sugar) and one labeled B (for other Materials)

For Acceleration Activity: Moving by the Numbers Handout (see attached document)

Teacher Materials

Teacher Preparation Guide (see attached document)

Pre-/Post-Test Answer Key (see attached documents)

Weathering Presentation (see attached PowerPoint presentation)

Moving by the Numbers Answer Key (see attached document)

For Demonstration A:

Two bars of soap of the same brand (one bar unused and one bar worn down by repeated use)

For Demonstration B:

Bucket of sand

Cookie sheet or tray

For Activity 6 Preparation:

Black marker

Plastic or cardboard container at least 12” wide by 20” long by 10” deep

Colored poster board (not black or white)

For Activity 7 Preparation:

¼” thick Scotch-Brite abrasive pad

Sharp thin-blade knife

Scissors

Heavy-duty tape

Technology Resources Needed:

Teacher Technology Resources

Teacher computer

Interactive whiteboard or projector

Background/Preparation:

Student Background: As this lesson will introduce students to the processes of weathering and erosion, students do not need to possess background knowledge about these concepts prior to participating in the lesson’s activities. However, the teacher can provide a quick introduction to these topics by showing students the following video clip: Scholastic Study Jam-Weather and Erosion. A seven-question online quiz follows the video clip. 

This lesson will require students to participate in hands-on, inquiry-based lab activities. The students will need to be able to follow multi-step procedural instructions in order to complete the experiments. Students should follow all appropriate safety precautions including wearing safety goggles.

Teacher Background: The teacher should preview the Teacher Preparation Guide prior to teaching the lesson to ensure that the lab activities are prepared for the students before beginning instruction on the module. This module includes seven activities that will demonstrate the effects of weathering and erosion. The teacher may decide to combine these activities and complete several in one class period, or the teacher may wish to complete one activity per class period.

The teacher can view the Weathering Presentation for additional background information about the concepts taught in this lesson. The teacher should review lab safety precautions with students and ensure students follow these procedures for the duration of the lesson.

Several of the module activities will require advanced preparation by the teacher:

Teacher Preparation for Activity 2: Crush several pieces of chalk into small pebbles and place them in a Ziploc bag.

Teacher Preparation for Activity 3: Roll the modeling clay into a 1 to 2-inch diameter ball.

Teacher Preparation for Activity 6: Cut the piece of poster paper to fit the bottom of the container. Use the black marker to draw a 5” diameter circle in the center of the poster paper and place it in the container.  

Teacher Preparation for Activity 7: Use a knife to cut an opening the size of a quarter in the bottoms of the styrofoam cups. Label one cup SAND, one cup GRAVEL, one cup CLAY, and one cup SAND-GRAVEL-CLAY. Fill each cup with the labeled material, using equal amounts, approximately 1/3 cup of each). Use scissors to cut squares of the abrasive pad the same size as the bottom diameter of the styrofoam cups Use a single ¼” wide strip of heavy-duty tape to attach the abrasive squares to the bottom of cups.

  Procedures/Activities: 

Before Strategy/Engage: 50 minutes

1. The teacher should give each student a copy of the Pre-/Post-Test (see attached document). The teacher should give students approximately ten to fifteen minutes to complete the pre-test. The teacher should stress to students that the purpose of the pre-test is to demonstrate the student’s background knowledge about the concepts of osmosis and diffusion.

2. After students complete the pretest, the teacher should check students’ answers to determine their current knowledge base of the concepts using the Pre-/Post-Test Answer Key (see attached document). Alternatively, the teacher could allow students to check their own paper or check a partner’s paper.

3. After all students complete the pre-test, the teacher should perform the following demonstrations to engage student interest on the concepts that will be taught during this module.

Demonstration A

4. The teacher should display two bars of soap of the same brand (one bar unused and one bar worn down by repeated use).

5.  The teacher should post the following questions on the board:

  • What could cause the new bar of soap to look the way the old bar of soap looks?
  • Why is the old bar smaller and more rounded? Where did the rest of the soap go?
  • Are there any forces in nature that would produce similar situations? What are they?
  • Where in the world has this happened? In the U.S.? In Alabama?
  • What problems does this cause?
  • What scientific term is used to describe this process?

Demonstration B

6.  The teacher should pour a large bucket of sand on a cookie sheet or tray.

7.  The teacher should hold a hair dryer in one hand and a garden hose in the other hand, with both hands pointed toward the sand. The hair dryer should not be turned on.

8.  The teacher should post the following questions on the board:

  • What would happen if I turned on either the hair dryer or the hose?
  • Are there any forces in nature that would produce similar situations? What are they?
  • Where in the world has this happened? In the U.S.? In Alabama?
  • What problems does this cause?
  • What scientific term is used to describe this process?

During Strategy/Explore & Explain

Note: The following activities may be completed together as a single lab or completed as individual labs. Detailed instructions are provided in the teacher preparation guide and the student lab sheets. The students can perform the following investigations individually or in collaborative groups.

Activity 1: Investigating Mechanical Weathering

Activity 2: Investigating Chemical Weathering

Activity 3: Investigating Glacial Erosion

Activity 4: Investigating Wave Erosion

Activity 5: Investigating Water Erosion

Activity 6: Investigating Wind Erosion

Activity 7: Investigating Sinkhole Formation

After Strategy/Explain & Elaborate: 50 minutes

1. After all groups have completed the seven lab activities on weathering and erosion, the teacher should lead a class discussion among all of the groups to compare each group’s data.

Note: If the teacher identifies that students need additional review before the summative assessment, the teacher may show students the attached Weathering Presentation to review the concepts demonstrated during the lab activities.

2. The teacher should give the students the Pre-/Post-Test, that students completed as a pre-test at the beginning of the lesson. The teacher should explain to students that this post-test will allow students to demonstrate the knowledge they acquired during the lab activities.



Attachments:
**Some files will display in a new window. Others will prompt you to download.
  Assessment  

Assessment Strategies

Formative Assessment: The teacher will informally assess student’s background knowledge by administering the Pre-/Post-Test prior to teaching the lesson. The teacher should carefully monitor students as they complete the lab activities with their groups to certify that students are correctly following the lab procedures. The teacher should review each student’s Handout B for each activity to ensure that students are collecting accurate data during the lab investigations.

Summative Assessment: The teacher will formally assess students at the conclusion of each lab experiment by reviewing each student’s answers to the reflection questions on the Handout C that accompanies each activity. The teacher will administer the Pre-/Post-Test as a summative assessment at the end of the lesson.

Acceleration:

Students can further explore the concepts taught in this lesson and incorporate math skills by completing the Moving by the Numbers Handout (see attached document). An answer key is attached for the teacher to assess student work.

Intervention:

Students who require additional preparation prior to the lesson or review after the lesson can view the Weathering Presentation which succinctly summarizes the concepts demonstrated during this lesson’s lab activities (see attached PowerPoint presentation).


View the Special Education resources for instructional guidance in providing modifications and adaptations for students with significant cognitive disabilities who qualify for the Alabama Alternate Assessment.