Erosion Webquest

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SWBAT identify causes of erosion and research possible erosion solutions

Big Idea

Scientists build background knowledge for erosion solutions to prepare them for developing their own erosion solution models.

NGSS Connections and Class Preparation

30 minutes

This webquest helps prepare my students for the lab they will be creating to solve an erosion problem. I wanted to be sure they had some background as to possible solutions for erosion so that they had something to work from when setting up their lab in the coming weeks.

NGSS Standards

2-ESS1-1.      Make observations from media to construct an evidence-based account that Earth events can occur quickly or slowly. 

Students look at animations and read image captions to help them decide if the landforms were created quickly or slowly.

Science Practices

- Asking Questions and Defining Problems (SP 1)

Teams discuss webquest questions and consider possible erosion solutions.

- Constructing Explanations and Designing Solutions (SP 6)

Teams review images and captions to explain the cause of erosion.

Cross-cutting Concepts - Appendix G

- Cause and Effect (XC 2)

Through a webquest, teams consider different solutions  to help slow or stop erosion.

Lesson Preparation

Establish the Erosion and Solution Webquest Blue Print directions and links. The links will be available once you download the document.

Copy the Erosion Research and Solutions for each team

Coordinate the use of computers and have access to wifi;

Plan for at least two 45 min. computer sessions for teams to work on the webquest, or select some parts of the webquest to do as a whole class.

Group students; 4 students / team


Each team will need a worksheet, pencil and computer

Question for the Day

10 minutes

Science starts with a question, usually written on the board.  This allows students to time to consider today's topic before the lesson has officially begun. 

Students meet on the rug to read our 'science question for the day'. I have established this routine with the kiddos to keep transition time short and effective and redirect student's attention back to content while allowing time for focused peer interaction.

Question for the Day: Why do engineers, hydrologists, geologists, study erosion?

Before students discuss the question with their classmates, we review the terms:engineers, hydrologists, geologists.

I listen to discussions and redirect conversations to consider our lab from last week. "What happened to the bike path, beach and mountain? How might erosion affect the water and/or communities and habitats that may be close by?

"Cities may hire companies that deal with the problem of erosion. In fact, for the next couple of weeks you will be working as Erosion Solution Companies to plan ways to stop erosion. As a new company, it is important for you to know have a strong background in causes of erosion and what solutions are already out there so that you can build on these ideas."

"To earn your 'Erosion Specialist' license you will need to complete your webquest and submit the webquest paper work' to the Erosion Board to apply for your license. Then your company will be ready to work with a community to solve some of their erosion problems. "

I post the teams on the board and ask the students to sit with their team on the rug.




Erosion Causes and Solutions Webquest

50 minutes

So I do not use up the students' computer lab time, I review how to run the webquest and provide time for students to choose their 'company position' for the webquest, before our computer time. 

I show students how to access the webquest on the classroom webpage and how they will keep track of their research on their team packet.

Remind students to read their job tasks before clicking on the link.

I inserted the webquest as one of my classroom web pages. You can use the Webquest Document that is in the resources, under the section: NGSS Connections and Class Preparation. The document can be copied and pasted into your web platform. The links are embedded in the document.

It is possible to do this lesson as a whole group activity and project the activity through the Smart Board or similar device.

Next I pass out the worksheet and ask teams to sign up for the job they want.

I expect there will be some negotiating as individuals work out who will do what. I move around the room to listen to conversations, and congratulate students who compromise and/or work out solutions to make the job assignments work for everyone.

Once jobs have been delegated, I use the document camera to show how the worksheet matches with the titles on the webquest. Then we go to the computer lab to work on the web quest.

In the computer lab, students are sitting in their teams of 4 with one computer. I move around the room to answer questions and check their work. I use this time to discuss with teams how they may want to test a way to slow erosion.

It was a little tricky having 4 students around a computer, but students worked it out.

When we return from the computer lab, teams turn in completed worksheets. If there are teams that need more time, I will plan time in the week for them to finish.

All the teams needed more time to complete the webquest.

I direct students to sit on the rug and ask what we learned about erosion solutions that we could add to the KLEWS chart.

Afterwards I share what I saw that went well when they worked with their teams.

When the webquest packet is complete, team's turn in their work. I check work for completeness, and any misconceptions to address with teams and/or the class. Later in the week we have a little celebration and Company Licenses are passed out.