ALEX Lesson Plan

     

Investigating Erosion

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  This lesson provided by:  
Author:Stephanie Carver
System: Blount County
School: Hayden Elementary School
The event this resource created for:ASTA
  General Lesson Information  
Lesson Plan ID: 34666

Title:

Investigating Erosion

Overview/Annotation:

In this inquiry-based lesson, students will investigate how rainfall changes the land and causes runoff.  The students will simulate a stream table to show how rainfall erodes the land.

This lesson results from a collaboration between the Alabama State Department of Education and ASTA.

 Associated Standards and Objectives 
Content Standard(s):
Science
SC2015 (2015)
Grade: 4
14 ) Explore information to support the claim that landforms are the result of a combination of constructive forces, including crustal deformation, volcanic eruptions, and sediment deposition as well as a result of destructive forces, including erosion and weathering.

Insight Unpacked Content
Scientific And Engineering Practices:
Obtaining, Evaluating, and Communicating Information
Crosscutting Concepts: Cause and Effect
Disciplinary Core Idea: Earth's Systems
Evidence Of Student Attainment:
Students:
  • Support the claim that landforms can be the result of a combination of constructive forces, including crustal deformation, volcanic eruptions, and sediment deposition.
  • Support the claim that landforms can be the result of destructive forces, including weathering and erosion.
Teacher Vocabulary:
  • landform
  • crustal deformation
  • sediment
  • deposition
  • erosion
  • weathering
  • topography
  • volcanoes
  • earthquakes
  • continental boundaries
  • trenches
  • ocean floor structures
  • constructive forces
  • destructive forces
  • eruption
  • geological processes
Knowledge:
Students know:
  • Continents and other landforms are continually being shaped and reshaped by competing constructive and destructive geological processes.
Skills:
Students are able to:
  • Compare and/or combine information across complex texts and/or other reliable sources to support the claim that landforms are the result of both constructive and destructive forces.
Understanding:
Students understand that:
  • Changes in Earth's surface are caused by both constructive and destructive forces.
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.4.14- Identify relationships between landforms and both constructive (volcanic eruptions and sediment deposition) and deconstructive (erosion and weathering) forces


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.


Local/National Standards:

Scientific and Engineering Practices:

  • Analyzing and Interpreting Data 
  • Obtaining, Evaluating, and Communicating Information

Crosscutting Concepts

  • Cause and Effect

Primary Learning Objective(s):

Learning Targets

I can:

  • identify that changes in the Earth's surface are caused by destructive forces.
  • support the claim that landforms can be the result of destructive forces, such as erosion.

Additional Learning Objective(s):

 
 Preparation Information 

Total Duration:

61 to 90 Minutes

Materials and Resources:

Per class:

picture of the Grand Canyon with the Colorado River running through it

Per group of 4 students:

2 small plastic rectangular containers

4 cups of soil/sand mixture (equal parts of soil and sand)

2 foam cups

24-inch string

ruler

paper clip

graduated cylinder

2 small wooden blocks or 1 textbook (will be used for elevation)

water

Per student:

Investigating Erosion Activity Sheet

Technology Resources Needed:

Background/Preparation:

Students should have some background knowledge of erosion. Erosion is the wearing away and movement of weathered materials from one place to another. Erosion can be caused by wind, water, or ice.

  Procedures/Activities: 

Engage

  1. Show the students a picture of the Grand Canyon with the Colorado River running through it. 
  2. Think/Pair/Share 
    • What are some of your observations about this picture?  What are some things that stick out to you?  Why are the sides of the canyon so steep? 

Explore

  1. Distribute materials to each group and the Investigating Erosion Activity Sheet.
  2. Place 2 cups of the soil mixture into each plastic container.  Create a slight slope ending in a steep cliff.  Make sure you leave room at the end of the cliff for water runoff.
  3. Use the paper clip to create two small holes 1 inch apart in the center of one foam cup.  Create two larger holes 1 inch apart in the center of the other foam cup. 
  4. Elevate the plastic containers using wooden blocks or a textbook.
  5. Allow the students time to make predictions about what will happen to the soil mixtures when the water rains from the cup with the small holes and the cup with the large holes.
  6. One student will hold the cup with the small holes on the edge of one of the elevated plastic containers.  Gently pour 60mL of water into the cup.  Record your observations on the chart.  Repeat same steps with the cup with the larger holes.

*Use the string to follow the path of the stream.  Measure the string to find accurate measurements.

Container

Small holes/large holes

Description or drawing of the stream

Length of the stream

Width of the stream

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Explain

  1. Ask the students to share their results with the class.
  2. Encourage the student to share what the water did to each soil mixture.  Guide the discussion with the following questions:
    • How did the rain water change the land?
    • Were the changes in the land similar or different with more or less rainfall?
    • Were the lengths and widths of your streams similar or different with more or less rainfall?
    • What caused the difference between the stream lengths and widths?

Elaborate

Add clay and gravel to the soil mixture and repeat the investigation.  Have students compare the erosion effects with the two different types of soil mixtures. 

  • Were the changes in the land similar or different with the soil/sand/clay/gravel mixture compared to the soil/sand mixture?
  • Were the lengths and widths of your streams similar or different with the two types of soil mixtures?
  • Does the type of soil affect the amount of erosion on the land?

Evaluate

The student responses on the Investigating Erosion Student Activity Sheet can be used as a formative assessment.  Teacher observation should be ongoing throughout the lesson. 



Attachments:
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  Assessment  

Assessment Strategies

Watch the video below that of time-lapse photography, which captures on film the effects of erosion over time.  

http://www.stuff.co.nz/business/farming/79549608/timelapse-photography-captures-erosion-over-six-months

Have the students answer the following questions in their science notebook:  

  • Describe the changes caused on the Earth's surface by the water.
  • How did the erosion effect the coastal area?

The student responses on the Investigating Erosion Student Activity Sheet can be used as a formative assessment to determine if students can:

  • identify that changes in the Earth's surface are caused by destructive forces.
  • support the claim that landforms can be the result of destructive forces, such as erosion.

Teacher observation should be ongoing throughout the lesson. 

Acceleration:

Have the students place a flat rock in the center of their soil mixture and ask them to rain on the rock with the cups with the small holes then the cups with the larger holes.  How did the rock affect the results?  Compare these results with the other investigations.

Intervention:

It may be helpful to preview the vocabulary that will come up in the lesson. Providing the terms on cards would help them to visualize the word as they hear you say it during the lesson (erosion, rainfall, runoff, stream).

The students may also draw what they see instead of writing to answer the discussion questions.


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.