Erosion – Background

The landscape around us is a patchwork of mountains and valleys, steep cliffs and gentle slopes, lakes, ponds, and puddles, stitched together with a network of rivers and streams. The features of our landscape tell a story about the process of erosion, in which landforms are worn away and their fragments carried off to another place. Jagged mountains became rolling hills, flat plains became deep river gorges, steep bluffs crumble into the sea.

Erosion is the process by which rocks and sediments are loosened and moved to different places on the Earth’s surface, where they may be deposited and become parts of other landforms, or buried to eventually become solid rock again. The agents of erosion – wind, water, ice, and gravity – are powerful forces constantly at work shaping and reshaping the land. Continue reading Erosion – Background

Erosion – Activities

FOCUS: Our study of the geosphere begins with a look at how, over time, the powerful agents of erosion have shaped and formed our landscape. Gravity, water, wind, and ice are constantly weathering, wearing away, and moving rocks, soil, sand, and sediments and depositing them elsewhere. We’ll also consider the impact humans have on erosion, deposition, and our ever-changing landscape.

Objective: To begin to explore and ask questions about erosion.

Find a good example of erosion on the school grounds for children to visit, and ask children what they think is going on.

Objective: To use a model to investigate the effects of water drops falling on bare soil.

Ask the children if they think that a drop of water could be an agent of erosion – could it move soil, sand, or fine sediment around? How could we find out? Continue reading Erosion – Activities

Erosion – Standards


The activities in this unit help children understand the basic concepts in the Disciplinary Core Ideas listed here. You can use the following list as a guide for lesson planning. These Disciplinary Core Ideas are taken from Grade Band Endpoints in A Framework for K-12 Science Education. Additionally, our activities give children opportunities to engage in many of the Science and Engineering Practices and reflect on the Crosscutting Concepts as identified in the Next Generation Science Standards. Continue reading Erosion – Standards