Erosion Expert Panels

1 teachers like this lesson
Print Lesson


SWBAT present their results and conclusions about their erosion station.

Big Idea

Students learn how waves or wind can change a beach or run-off can change a mountainside.

NGSS Connections and Class Preparation

30 minutes

Because my students did not have the opportunity to explore each erosion station, students will prepare and present what they learned at their erosion station to an 'expert panel'.

NGSS Standards

Disciplinary Core Ideas - DCI

- ESS2 A: Earth's Materials and Systems: Wind and water can change the shape of the land

Students listen to their classmates presentations to learn how wind and water can change the shape of the land.

Science Practices

- Analyzing and Interpreting Data (SP 4)

Teams share observations and analyze their observations to describe a pattern to explain how erosion can change a land form in the natural world.

- Construction Explanations and Designing Solutions (SP 6)

Teams use observations to construct an evidenced based account for how erosion may change the landscape.

- Engaging in Argument from Evidence (SP 7)

Teams present their conclusion, claim, which is based on their lab observations.

Cross-cutting Concepts - Appendix G

- Cause and Effect

Teams share observations on how waves, wind or run-off (cause) change the landscape (effect0

Lesson Preparation

Have chart paper and markers available to create a 'Presentation Anchor Chart'

Print copies of the photos students took when they worked at their 'erosion station'

Prepare a 'mini-presentation' to model the components of a presentation

Arrange desks in 2 expert panel groups

Copy the "Erosion" form that students will fill out during presentations

Question for the Day

5 minutes

Science starts with a question, usually written on the board, which provides an opportunity for students to consider today's topic before the lesson has officially begun. 

Students know when they return from lunch, we meet on the rug to read our 'science question for the day'. This routine helps keep transition time short and effective and redirect student's attention back to content while allowing time for focused peer interaction.

Today I direct students to take their Erosion lab observations from the last lesson and to sit with their erosion team. 

Question for the Day: What did you learn about erosion from your erosion lab?

I point to the question and ask the class to read it aloud. "Today, you will discuss your answer with your team. Your discussion will help you think about what you may share with the other erosion teams who did not do your station."

As teams discuss, I listen to conversations. I ask questions to help students focus on how the 'landform' in their erosion model changed and how they know this.

As most students indicate that their discussion is complete by turning to face me, I signal for students' attention.

"Scientists use models to help them understand events that happen in the natural world, like erosion.  2 teams tested one cause of erosion, with 3 different causes of erosion tested in all."

I call on volunteers to share which erosion model they tested and what this model represents in nature.

"Scientists share what they learn, with each other, to help them understand the topic better."

"Because teams did not get to observe what happened at the other 2 erosion labs, teams will share their results and conclusions about their lab. There will be 2 expert panels, with a team from each station represented."

"The first half of science time will be used to prepare your presentation and the 2nd half of the time will be used for you to meet in your expert panel and present your findings."

I number tables to correspond with teams to indicate where the teams are to work. I place the teams that worked on the same erosion station next to each other so they can collaborate if needed.

Setting a Presentation Anchor Chart

15 minutes

To develop my students' schema for what should be in their presentation, I model a 'scientist presenting'. Afterwards students share what they noticed about my presentation. I write their ideas on an anchor chart for them to refer to while working on their presentations.

Providing students with an example and allowing them to identify the main parts of the presentation, encourages them to take ownership of their learning rather than me telling them what should be in their presentations. Together we set the criteria for their work.

I start my mini presentation by explaining my erosion model and what it represents in nature.  I chose to do a model on a glacial erosion. I used ice and a sand hill.

After this portion of the presentation, I ask the class what I did. "Right I explained my model and what it represented in nature and how I did the lab."

I start the Presentation Anchor Chart:

- describe the lab / model (what it is, how the lab was done)

- what does the model represent in nature


I share the next part of my presentation, summarizing my observations. Then I stop and ask the kiddos what I shared

"What did I share next? Yes, my observations, but I did not explain all my observations. I summarized them like when we write our lab results.

I add the following to the anchor chart:

- summarize the observations


For the next part of the presentation, I show my images and explain the trend I see happening. I use the images to demonstrate how the model is changing each time the ice moves. Then I connect this model to what is represents in nature. I explain what I learned about glaciers and how they can erode the land.

Again I call on volunteers to explain what I did in my presentation.

"Right I used visuals and noticed the pattern that was happening each time I moved the ice."

"What else did you hear me say in this part of the presentation?"

"Yes, I explained what I learned about erosion based on my lab."

I add the following to the anchor chart:

- visuals used to support the presentation

- connected the model to nature

I attempt to keep the "Presentation Anchor Chart" generic so students can refer to it during other science presentations.

I review the anchor chart with the students and check for understanding.


Presentation Workshop

40 minutes

"O.K, the Presentation Anchor Chart helps you know what you need to say in your presentation, but it does not explain who will say which part or how or when you will show your images."

"Let's list some ideas on how your team could prepare for your presentation. What tasks or jobs could you do to help your team get ready for your presentation?"

I ask for student suggestions for presentation tasks and materials to encourage them to take ownership of their presentations.

I list student ideas on the board and share my expectations; everyone contributes, no one is done until the team is done.

"What materials will your team need to help you prepare?  Yes, your team observations and your photos you took on the iPad. Are there other materials you may want?" I list these on the board and make sure they are available for the kiddos.

The students were excited to get their photos and to write on the index cards.

It was an extra step to get the images printed but I like the idea that the kiddos were able to handle the photos and decide which ones they would show. In a language arts block students could create a digital narrative to explain their lab.

I walk around to listen to groups, ask questions, and note how individuals are participating. I prompt teams to be specific with their observations. For example one student wrote that the road would get 'messed up'. I asked what he meant, encouraging him to look at his observations to say exactly what he thought would happen to the road.

When teams finish preparing their information for their presentation, I encourage them to practice their presentation.

Expert Panels

20 minutes

I have written 'Welcome Erosion Experts' on the board to encourage students to see themselves in this role. Desks have been arranged in 2 circles; one circle for each expert panel.

After checking in with the teams to see that they are ready to present, I signal for students to meet me on the rug. "Welcome scientists, so glad you could participate in our expert panels on erosion. I know we are all looking forward to hearing about what you learned."

I point to the order the teams will present and answer questions.

When I dismiss you from the rug, the presenting team will stand at one end of the table and the other, teams will sit at the desks. Teams will present once they see that their panel is ready.

"After the presentation, scientists may comment if they agree or disagree with your conclusions and why. When there are no more comments or questions, the next team will present."

Next time I will emphasize this aspect of the give and take of the discussion with the listeners to encourage both sides to support their claim.

"Listening teams' your job is to learn from the experts presenting. You will learn how waves, wind or run-off can change the land. Taking notes helps you remember what you learn."

I project the 'note paper' students will use and explain the parts.

I  chose to include the note form to encourage active listening, and to help evaluate what the presenters shared since there will be 2 presentations going on at once and I will not be able to listen to each one completely. 

I move to each panel to watch presentations and listen to discussions. After all teams have presented, I direct the students to meet me on the rug and discuss how the presentations went. "What seemed to be the trend or patterns with all the erosion models?"

I ask what they noticed that went well and what they will try next time when they do a presentation. I thank my experts and then enlist their help to move the desks back.

I collect presentation notes, photos and the note paper that the listeners filled out.

I review the notes to verify participation and understanding and most importantly to celebrate all that my students have accomplished.