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Exploring Erosion, Deposition, and Their Impact on Earth's Surface

This activity leads students to a rich understanding of both the erosion and deposition processes and how they change the Earth’s surface. Students will: 1) relate erosion and deposition to how Earth is changed by the building up and tearing down of its surface, and 2) identify unique landforms that are created as a result of erosion and deposition.


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90 Minutes
Whole Classroom and Groups of 3-4 Students
PTI Inquiry
1.3, 3.1, 3.7, 4.2, 5.2, 5.8, 7.2, 7.5
Lesson Components Time Inquiry Skills Tech. Used Engage Level Brief Description
Engage 5-10 min 1.3, 3.7, 5.2, 6.1 none 3 Students will tear up pieces of paper, then blow and record observations in science notebook. Observations will be revisited after lab. Alternative assignment is a scenario where students will discuss what they think caused the sand to be on the beach.
Explore 40 min 1.3, 5.8 , 3.1, 3.7 none 3 Students will use sand or sediment mixed with rocks to investigate agents of erosion (ice, wind, water, and waves) and their impact on the land.
Explain 15 min 4.2, 5.8, 7.2 none 2 Students will collect data and reflect on their experiences with erosion and deposition during their investigations.
Expand 20 min 7.2, 7.5 Computers, Personal Electronic Devices 3 Students will research how erosion and deposition cause different landforms and agents that cause them to change.
Evaluate 5 min 7.2 none (Computer optional) 1 Exit slip will check for student understanding.

Level of Student Engagement
1     Low     Listen to lecture, observe the teacher, individual reading, teacher demonstration, teacher-centered instruction
2     Medium     Raise questions, lecture with discussion, record data, make predictions, technology interaction with assistance
3     High     Hands-on activity or inquiry; critique others, draw conclusions, make connections, problem-solve, student-centered

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