Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Weathering and Erosion

This year, I've been working on curriculum mapping out lessons, so I have a better idea on how the year flows-and make it easier to plan for years to come!

During our parent-teacher conference day, I took some time to plan out my Science-making it easier for me to teach the same thing three times and making sure the kids had consistent information!
We start our science off with Weathering and Erosion-which is broke into two multi-day labs.

I introduced them to the topic by doing a thinking strategy-Zooming In.

I took pictures of rocks that had been weathered, and cropped and zoomed a tiny piece. We talked about what they thought it was and why before showing the 'full' picture.

I tried to show different examples for the different kinds of weathering-and I had to stick in the Old Man in the Mountain-a New England favorite (although his face fell off in 2003!)
The next day, we drew a model of the weathering and erosion cycle, with examples of the different types (gleaned from the Study Jams video we watched the day before)

Now we moved onto the labs! I do a skittles lab-to simulate weathering, as well as a soil lab-to simulate erosion.

For our skittles lab, we use skittles, vinegar (chemical weathering) and water (physical weathering) to slowly wear away the skittle. Kids love seeing what happens!

I have everything set up on trays before hand, and students work in partners.
 They use an eye dropper to concentrate the liquid.
 Some of them get really into it!
For erosion, we do a soil lab.
Students 'erode' the soil by being the wind (THAT was a messy day-but I got smart and had them do it on the floor this year so it could just be vacuumed up!)

Or a glacier

We had 'fake' glaciers-the ice would have melted before we did the lab!

And water-which I set up a little differently (and emphasize that the color change, nor the dact that turns to mud are acceptable answers on why it erodes!) so they can really see what happens.

I have them suction out the excess water so they can see what the water did!

After each step, we talk about that happened and how the soil was eroded.

Then, we test! Students do get to use the model that we drew at the beginning of the unit. Overall, they do a very nice job, and they love the hands on part of it.

Now we shift to states of matter-another fun topic!

Smiles and Sunshine,

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