Environmental and Outdoor Education (EOE) Model Lesson - Local Weathering and Erosion

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These model lessons were created by teachers participating in the Minnesota Department of Education's 2011-13 project, "Integrating Environmental and Outdoor Education into Grades 7-12" with funding from the Minnesota Environment and Natural Resources Trust Fund as recommended by the Legislative-Citizen Commission on Minnesota Resources.

Title of lesson: Local Weathering and Erosion

Content area: Science
Grade level: 5
Learning objective: Students will identify signs of erosion and weathering as well as ways people engineered stopping erosion at local sites.
Standard or benchmark addressed:

Description of lesson and how it is adapted for EOE:
- Students will investigate weathering and erosion using stream tables. They will learn to change one variable at a time while engineering solutions to slow the effects of water.
- Students will take a bus tour of a river, a farm field, a marsh and a lake shore. Students will map out the erosion the see, as they did on stream tables, and note how people attempted to slow the erosion.
- Students will complete a choice activity applying how they would slow erosion at one of the bus sites.

Teacher's role (i.e. specific activities and instructional strategies):
- Teachers ask leading questions which facilitate students ability to notice and document how the water moves soil as it flows.
- Teachers will lead students on the bus tour. They will ask students to point out areas of interest.
- Teachers will provide students with the time and guidelines to safely search the bus tour sites for more signs of erosion and engineering.

Other resources needed:
Stream Tables, bus, river, lake, marsh, contour farmed harvested field, student packet,

How students are assessed:
See rubrics and choice activities

Time considerations:
Three week unit
Three hour field trip (depending on distance traveled)
Two 75 minute periods for assessment

Environmental and Outdoor Education (EOE) Model Lessons are freely available for use by all teachers for educational purposes only.

Patricia Heldt, Clearwater Middle School, Waconia, MN
Topic Areas: 
Target Audience: 
Grades Pre K-12
Geographic Location: 
All Minnesota
Enhancements / Connections: 

Analyze topographical maps of the local sites.
Draw in predictions of erosion or where they saw erosion.

Date Produced/Published: 
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