Content Area/S: Weathering and Erosion, Soil

Content Area/S: Weathering and Erosion, Soil

Lesson Plan

Title: Chapter 5, Lesson 7, Slow Changes on Land /

Content Area/s: weathering and erosion, soil

Grade level: 3

/ Time Frame: 45 minutes-1 hour / Date: April 22, 2011
SOL: 3.7 The student will investigate and understand the major components of soil, its origin, and
importance to plants and animals including humans. Key concepts include
a) soil provides the support and nutrients necessary for plant growth;
b) topsoil is a natural product of subsoil and bedrock;
c) rock, clay, silt, sand, and humus are components of soils; and
d) soil is a natural resource and should be conserved.
Related SOLs:
Technology SOLs:
Lesson Objectives: Students will explain how soil forms over time from weathering and erosion, using the From Rock to Soil activity with a plastic egg and sugar cube. / Resources (Text & Technology):
Graphic organizer
Plastic eggs
Sugar cubes
Paper towels
Instructional Procedures:
(Number steps beginning with Initial Activity and ending with Closing Activity.)
Student’s desks will already have a paper towel, one plastic egg and one sugar cube.
Opening activity: Gather students to the front of the room, and review what we have been discussing this week about soil: soil profile, soil horizons, weathering, erosion, leeching etc. Talk about the pictures they viewed the day before, and review what was discussed in a previous lesson about “weathering,” “erosion,” and “soil development.”
-Remind students that today they will be investigating and observing how soil is created through the weathering and erosion process. Explain to them that they will be forming a hypothesis about how soil is formed before they begin their activity.
-Tell students that the main supplies for this activity, a plastic egg and a sugar cube, are already on their desk, and that the sugar cube represents a “rock.” Dismiss them to their desks by table groupings.
-Ask them how they think the plastic egg and sugar cube together can show weathering and erosion. Discuss their answers and explain to students that they will be putting the sugar cube, which represents a “rock”, in the egg and shaking it to simulate weathering and erosion of a rock by the action of wind, water and plant roots etc. over time.
-Ask the class helper to pass out the graphic organizers. Explain to students that they need to fill out their graphic organizer as we go along, beginning with their name and date. Review the term hypothesis, and remind students about the bubble gum experiment they completed at the beginning of the year.As a class, formulate a hypothesis using an “If, then” sentence. Instruct students to write their observations of their sugar cube, and draw a picture of what it looks like in the box on the first page.
-Instruct students to put the sugar cube in the egg. Set the timer for 30 seconds. Have students shake their eggs until the timer goes off, and then instruct them to pour out the contents of their egg, or the “soil”, onto their paper towels, write their observations, and draw a picture of what their sugar cube or “rock” looks like now. Instruct students to place the larger portion of their “soil” back in the egg and repeat the shaking process again for one minute (set the timer).
-Instruct students to examine their particles of “soil” to identify the smaller soil particles, as well as the larger “pebbles” and “rocks.” Explain that their observations from this “erosion” and “weathering” are very similar to what happens to rocks over time. Give students three or four minutes to answer the “Conclusion” and “Application” sections on their graphic organizers, reminding them to write at least one complete sentence. Instruct them to buddy share their answers, and then call on one person from each grouping to share an answer.Walk around the room to monitor the activity and help as needed.
Closing activity:Instruct students to complete the last summative assessment section of their graphic organizer and pass it to the appropriate person at their table grouping. Collect these to read at a later time. Review with students what they learned, and ask them if they have a better understanding of the weathering and erosion processes, and how soil is formed. Write their answers on the board.
Instructional procedures Cont’
Questions asked and answered by students
Descriptions and pictures drawn on graphic organizers
Summative assessment section on graphic organizers / Extension Activities/
Interdisciplinary Links:
-Student designed PowerPoint presentation about weathering and erosion
-Student designed experiment about weathering and erosion
-Student created collages depicting weathering and erosion
Differentiation Strategies/Activities:
Whole group instruction
Small group instruction
Independent work
Modified graphic organizer
Buddy helper
Observations/Recommendations for Future Use: