Let's Compare Erosion Design Solutions

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SWBAT compare erosion design solutions.

Big Idea

Erosion can be very destructive, so people create solutions to try to stop it from changing the land. What are some ways that are effective? Let's find out by comparing real-life solutions.

Teacher Notes

Activity Description

In the previous lesson, the class took a mini field trip on the school grounds to find evidence of erosion. Then they created their own erosion solution for one of the problems we had witnessed.

In this lesson, the children will view a Google Slide presentation to help them obtain information about how erosion solutions help hold back either wind or water.  They will take notes on a chart that will help them distinguish between the solutions.  Then they will play a game called Erosion Explosion to help them review the concepts learned.

NGSS Connections

As part of the NGSS the children are expected to compare multiple solutions designed to slow or prevent wind or water from changing the shape of the land.  In this lesson, the children will be obtaining information to determine patterns about the natural and designed worlds.  They will use a comparison chart to help them understand how each of the selected erosion solutions are alike and how they are different.



5 minutes

To begin our discussion I have the children gather on the floor in front of the Smartboard.

Yesterday you found evidence of erosion right here on our school grounds.  Then you designed your own solution to an erosion problem.  What are some ways that people in our community try to stop erosion that you have noticed?  Were the people trying to stop wind or water erosion?  

I try to get the children interested in noticing what they have seen around their neighborhoods or in their own town.  Getting them to think about what is in their own community makes the task relevant to them and they will be more interested in the activity.

Today we are going to find out what solutions people already use to help with erosion problems.  Erosion can be a big problem for many people in the world for many different reasons.  Listen today and you are going to find out about many of the ways that people try to stop both wind and water erosion.




20 minutes

To help explain how people try to control erosion, we watch a Google slide presentation Erosion Solutions. The first part of the presentation tells about many different methods for controlling erosion.  Each slide has a definition and a real-life photo.  Some of them have links to other websites.  Then the end of the presentation is a game for review.

As we watch the slides, the children take notes on the Comparing Erosion Solutions student sheet.  This organizer focuses on five of the main types of erosion controls.  On the organizer the children need to describe the erosion control.  This will help them understand the main parts of the erosion control by thinking about the important ideas and writing them down. In the next box, the children are asked to draw the erosion control.  This will help them visualize the control.  Drawing a quick sketch will help jog their memory for the game that follows.  Lastly, they have to check if the erosion control helps control wind or water.  Being able to distinguish between the different types of erosion controls is very important since it will help the children reach the standard.  By keeping tabs of each of the controls and visually having a reference will aide them in the comparison.

There are other additional erosion solutions explained in the slideshow, so I have put asterisks by the name of the erosion controls that are on the children's papers.  I wanted the children to have enough variety to compare different solutions, but I didn't want to overwhelm them by having every erosion solution on their paper that is in the slide show.  

I make sure when we come across one of the solutions that is on their paper to take a bit of extra time to discuss it.  Then the children write down their notes on the paper in the appropriate columns.  They also need to draw the erosion control in the second column.  In the last column they check if the solution controls wind or water.  I make sure to give them a sufficient amount of time to fill in all three columns.  During this exercise, the children will be obtaining information from media to help them determine evidence about the natural and designed world.  Click for student sample Asample B and sample C.



20 minutes

Continuing after the slideshow is a review game.  I split the children into teams for this game.  My class sits in table groups, so I just use those groups as a team.  The children all get out their white boards, markers and erasers.

You will be playing a game to review what you have learned about erosion solutions.  I will be asking you questions and your team must come up with answers. Each of you will write down your answers, then collaborate and discuss answers as a team as to what your final answer is.  

Your team needs to pick a spokesperson or leader to be the official voice of your team. Your leader will be the person to write down your final answer.  You may chose and discuss who will be your leader.

I like giving the children the opportunity to make decisions such as these as a team without adult guidance.  I think they learn valuable skills needed to work in groups by being allowed to make those decisions on their own.  

To play the game,  I will read the questions and everyone will write down your answers on your own whiteboard  Then you will discuss your answers as a team.  You do not want other teams to hear your answers, so when discussing, you should whisper.  When your team has decided on their final answer your leader will write down the answer on the whiteboard.  The answer must be written on the whiteboard in order for it to count.  Then the leader will raise his/her hand.  After time is up,  I will call on each leader to share his/her team's answer.  We will check the answers by having a quiet student come up to the Smartboard and click on the starburst where it says to click twice.  If your team's answer is correct, your team will score points.  You will need to write and keep track of your own points down on your whiteboard (see video clip to see our class in action).

Playing a review game helps the children have fun and review the important concepts simultaneously.  They are having so much fun that they don't even realize that they are working hard and learning.  For example, look at these boys working like crazy!  It seems like when you throw in a bit of a competitive spirit along with learning they are really hooked in.


5 minutes

To wrap up the lesson, we review the main concepts from the lesson.  I ask the children these questions:

  • How is erosion harmful?
  • Why do people want to stop erosion?
  • What are some solutions that we have learned about that help stop wind erosion?
  • What are some solutions that we have learned about that help stop water erosion?
  • Looking at your notes, how is a windbreak similar to planting vegetation?  How is it different?
  • How are seawalls and dikes similar?  How are they different?

If I feel they have grasped the main ideas of the lesson, so we move on to the next lesson.