Erosion Simulation

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Students will simulate erosion process to see their effects in a short period of time.

Big Idea

Students will understand the processes of erosion.

RAP - Review and Preview

5 minutes

I call students to the gathering area and we review their idea trees from the previous lesson. We talk about potential solutions to our erosion problem.

Guided Investigation

20 minutes

Students move to groups at tables where there is a plastic tub, pitcher of water, and several cups of gravel and soil. Students are asked to construct a landscape made from soil and gravel to show plains, valleys, and mountains. Once students have constructed their landscape, I give them an ice cube and place it at the top of the slope. I tell students to push it down the slope and observe what happens to the earth materials. Students should see the processes of erosion that we have talked about. I ask students to reflect on how this process can or cannot be remediated. Students will usually come up with the fact that glaciation cannot be remediated as it is such a huge issue.

Independent Investigation

20 minutes

I ask students to set up their landscape again and I give them water to run over their landscape. I ask them to record their observations and reflect on how this erosion process may be remediated. On a side table in the classroom, I have small pieces of wood for students to construct barriers. I also have a square of sod that I have purchased. Students can also think of other ways to remediate their erosion, such as building a rock barrier or offering the water a channel to move through that is stringer than the natural materials in some way. Students build their remediation ideas and test them in their erosion tables. Students record their observations and reflections on the possibility of these remediating our community issue.

Wrap Up

5 minutes

Students come back to the gathering area and we discuss their observations. We make a pros and cons list of how each idea would help remediate our community problem. As a group, we decide which remedy we think will be best.