What is Weathering? A Study of Australia's Twelve Apostles

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Students will be introduced to the concepts of weathering.

Big Idea

Students start to understand the impacts of weathering on an Australian coastline using technology.

Let's Get Thinking!

10 minutes

This is a lesson that connects to me personally which hopefully will hook my students into a fascinating unit about weathering and Earth systems. I know that they are so underexposed to Earth Science in general and many have never traveled beyond two neighboring states. It is my hope through this lesson, they will get a solid introduction to the concepts behind erosion continually changing the Earth's surface. 

To get my student's thinking about the weathering process, I opened up the lesson today with this Smart Board File Earth Science-Weathering. This notebook file contained a short clip from the full version of a Billy Nye movie about weathering and erosion. This short clip is just enough to get their brains moving about erosion and the impact it has on the Earth's surface.

We scrolled through each page of the SB notebook and what we thought weathering meant. We talked about Bill Nye for just a moment and discussed where we have seen rock formations in Wisconsin that are similar. Most of my students are familiar with the Dells and the rock formations there. I passed out Weathering Vocabulary Words to each student.

I had them keep them on their desk in one piece for now, but later they would be cut out and glued on note cards in a form of a Frayer Model . I plan on more in depth work to happen during language arts, the next day before the What Happened to my Soap? lesson.

We made webs together on a web on the White board next to the SB so that I had more room. As we pronounced and looked at vocabulary words, I asked students if they had heard any of these words before. They remembered sediment from the Fossils Unit.

As we closed, I explained that I wanted them to keep their words in their science file for tomorrow. I explained that I wanted to take them with me on a trip on the Great Ocean Road in Southern Australia.

A Great Slide Show to Get Us Really Thinking

10 minutes

I opened up their thinking further as I had them log onto this slide show on their iPads individually. I sat with three of my below grade level achieving students to share the slide show with them.I needed to support these students as they took notes about what they were reading and learning, like I had instructed the rest of the class. That way I was able to support their understanding so that language would not get in their way. This slide show from Dr. Moira Whitehouse, a retired teacher at home is an excellent resource with fabulous slides and commentary. I could not have created a better slide show for my students! 

I asked my students to summarize the slide show with three wonders in their notebook.

They needed to start their sentences with " I wonder"...

When they were finished writing, I brought up the slide show on the SB whole class and asked if I could go over any part of it. We talked about deposition and erosion and what they thought was the most amazing photo. We shared three "I wonders..."

One was, "I wonder if erosion can be stopped?" Another was "I wonder if plants ever hang on to rocks because I seen roots sticking out a rock once."

I told them that I wanted to share an experience I had in Australia. I had some amazing photos to share!  I told them that I saw one of the most amazing wonders in all the world located along the coastline Southern Australia. I explained that I wanted them to observe some photos I had taken and think about what they had already learned and see if they could predict what would be happening to the coastline and why. 

A Personal Slide Show: Independent Work

20 minutes

Independent Study Again: I have created a slide show from Google Docs so that my students can independently study this section of the lesson. I shared the slide show with them and they uploaded them on their iPads. I told them that I wanted them to read each slide, click on links and that the last slide was their assignment. I also told them that I would be available to answer any questions they had along the way. I told them to be ready to share the answers to their five questions. 

Australia's Twelve Apostles: Ever Changing

Closure and Sharing

10 minutes

I asked students to share their answers to their questions in class. Students shared out their notebook answers as we practiced attentive listening.