Science - 4th Grade
Standard 3 Objective 2
Students work through stations exploring the erosive effects of waves, streams, glaciers, and wind.
Sand, by Ellen J. Prager; ISBN 0-7922-7104-1
Kids Discover: Glaciers, by Stella Sands; ISSN 1054-2868
What Happens to Rock big book by Fred & Jeanne Biddulph; ISBN 0-7802-2794-8
"Rock Stars", by Beth Geiger. National Geographic Explorer, National Geographic Society; Vol 7, No. 5, March 2008; pp. 10-17; ISSN 1541-3357
"Earth Movers", by Lesley J. MacDonald. National Geographic Explorer, National Geographic Society; Vol 6, No. 2, Oct 2006, pp. 18-23; ISSN 1541-3357
Organizations Minerals Management Service, 1849 C Street, NW Washington, D.C. 20240, http://mms.gov/mmshome.htm
When water, wind and ice move rock, soil or another material it is called erosion. Erosion is the mover and weathering is the breaker. Helping students understand the differences between erosion and weathering is important.
The three simplest causes of erosion are wind, water, and glaciers. Wind carries away loose bits of soil and rock, particularly in dry areas with no plants to cover and protect the land. Water can erode in several different ways. Flowing water carries soil and rock particles down streams, rivers and into lakes and oceans. Ocean waves pounding the shore and ocean currents can also carry particles away. Finally, glaciers, massive slow moving rivers of ice, gouge the land beneath them and scrape away particles and rocks away.
The scientific investigations in this activity will demonstrate three different types of erosion. They can either be presented as individual whole class investigations or as centers with small rotating groups. Four plastic boxes will be used: the stream and wave box will demonstrate water erosion, and the wind and glacier boxes will represent their respective types of erosion.
The following activities will allow the students to simulate the four types of erosion listed above. Students will follow the directions on task cards at each station and record their observations in their student journals.
1. Observe simple objects and patterns and report their observations.
2. Compare things and events.
3. Conduct a simple investigation when given directions.
Invitation to Learn
Two volunteers will act out a skit that illustrates the differences between weathering and erosion. Each actor will wear a hard hat labeled with "Weathering" or "Erosion." Different types of cookies representing the different types of rocks--sandwich cookies to represent sedimentary rocks, gingersnaps to represent metamorphic rocks and chocolate chip cookies to represent igneous rocks--will be used to illustrate how the rocks are broken up and transported away. A toy dump truck will represent erosion and a toy hammer will represent weathering. Write the analogy "Weathering is to a hammer as erosion is to a dump truck."
Read to the students from the book What Happens to Rock. Emphasize throughout the reading that weathering is the breaking action of rocks and erosion is the moving action of the particles.
Prepare Erosion Boxes
Group the students so that 3 to 4 of them will be at a station at a time. Explain that they will need to follow the Investigation Procedure listed on the card and then discuss with their small group the Investigation Questions on the opposite side of the card. Have them complete the required questions, and if time permits, the optional questions.
Curriculum Extensions/Adaptations/ Integration
Chesbro, R., (2006). Using Interactive Science Notebooks for Inquiry-Based Science. Science Scope. 29(3) 30-34.
The interactive science notebook is an opportunity for students to create and use a notebook that represents their science learning throughout the year. Interactive science notebooks enhance learning by encouraging students to write across the curriculum and promote personal connections to learning.
Klentschy, M., (2005). Science Notebook Essentials. Science & Children.
This article focuses on the effective components of student science notebooks and their use as an effective teaching tool to assist students in developing a deeper understanding of science content.