How Can Water Change the Shape of the Land?

Contributor
Jeri Faber, 2nd grade teacher
Type Category
Instructional Materials
Types
Lesson/Lesson Plan
Note
This resource, vetted by NSTA curators, is provided to teachers along with suggested modifications to make it more in line with the vision of the NGSS. While not considered to be “fully aligned,” the resources and expert recommendations provide teachers with concrete examples and expert guidance using the EQuIP rubric to adapted existing resources. Read more here.

Reviews

Description

In this lesson plan children investigate water erosion. Students make a sand tower and observe the erosion as they drop water on it. Students  observe, illustrate, and record notes about the process. Short videos and a read aloud also further support understanding of the Performance Expectation.

Intended Audience

Educator
Educational Level
  • Grade 2
Language
English
Access Restrictions

Free access with user action - The right to view and/or download material without financial barriers but users are required to register or experience some other low-barrier to use.

Performance Expectations

2-ESS1-1 Use information from several sources to provide evidence that Earth events can occur quickly or slowly.

Clarification Statement: Examples of events and timescales could include volcanic explosions and earthquakes, which happen quickly and erosion of rocks, which occurs slowly.

Assessment Boundary: Assessment does not include quantitative measurements of timescales.

This resource is explicitly designed to build towards this performance expectation.

Comments about Including the Performance Expectation
Teachers should make use of the engaging videos in the lesson because each one clearly supports the Performance Expectation.

Science and Engineering Practices

This resource is explicitly designed to build towards this science and engineering practice.

Comments about Including the Science and Engineering Practice
The teacher should circulate as the investigation is taking place, assessing for student understanding. The students make and record a prediction about what might happen to the sand towers. To explicitly address the Performance Expectation, have students record and compare different amounts of water and ways that the water falls on the sand tower to observe and compare the changes that occur. Students would need to observe slowly dripping water vs. a downpour. Students then record, draw, and discuss what kinds of changes happened when water was slowly dropped or poured quickly on the sand tower. Having the students contrast the slow drops and rapid pouring of water helps provide evidence that events like rain can cause changes to the Earth that occur quickly or slowly. By having the students share out their observations and discuss the results of the investigation, students can make the connections to the new concepts. Teachers would have to develop formative and summative assessments and rubrics for this resource. Anecdotal notes could be taken of each student as the teacher circulates during the investigation and the turn-and-talk activities. Students’ notes and discussions could also be monitored to check for student understanding throughout the activity to allow for teacher guidance as needed. The students could also make a journal entry about their personal understanding of water erosion.

Disciplinary Core Ideas

This resource appears to be designed to build towards this disciplinary core idea, though the resource developer has not explicitly stated so.

Comments about Including the Disciplinary Core Idea
To explicitly address the entire Core Idea, students need to investigate slow and rapid events along with small and large amounts of water being dropped on the sand tower. This lesson could be extended into another investigation where the students use straws to blow on the sand towers to illustrate wind erosion. The video clip of the beach erosion clearly shows change over time. The video takes pictures each day for a year of the same beach to show the erosion slowly over time. Further investigations with wind erosion can show students that wind also shapes the land.

Crosscutting Concepts

This resource is explicitly designed to build towards this crosscutting concept.

Comments about Including the Crosscutting Concept
The Wrap-Up section of the lesson allows the teacher and students to analyze what was observed and learned. This is where the teacher evaluates the student learning and reinforces the concept of stability and change.

This resource is explicitly designed to build towards this crosscutting concept.

Comments about Including the Crosscutting Concept
Complete the whole investigation and share the video clips to further illustrate the effect water has on the land. The concept of patterns can be observed as all students have similar sand erosion results in the investigation. Patterns in erosion of the land are supported in the read aloud and teacher demonstration. It is important for the teacher to facilitate discussions to enable students to not only identify patterns in the erosion of the Earth but also to describe why these patterns might occur and apply this information to new learning later when investigating wind erosion. Additional videos or pictures of different environments could initiate more conversations.

Resource Quality

  • Alignment to the Dimensions of the NGSS: The context of water erosion is addressed through teacher guided questions and an investigation which motivates students to engage in three‐dimensional learning. Students engage in multiple practices of developing models, asking questions, investigating, and analyzing data that work together with the Disciplinary Core Idea to make sense of erosion by water. The Crosscutting Concepts of patterns and of stability and change are used to support students in making sense of erosion.

  • Instructional Supports: The investigation is engaging and motivating for students. The creator has included multiple videos for the teacher and students' benefit. Videos of the students completing the investigation, making observations, and recording the results, assist teachers in the implementation of the lesson. Photos and video clips show the students how to count the drops of water and the creation of their sand tower. Anchor charts could be created and posted at the end in the classroom to remind students of their new learning.

  • Monitoring Student Progress: Teachers would have to develop formative and summative assessments and rubrics for this resource. Anecdotal notes could be taken for each student as the teacher circulates during the investigation and the discussions. Students’ notes and drawings could also be monitored to check for student understanding throughout the activity to allow for teacher guidance as needed.

  • Quality of Technological Interactivity: Excellent videos address the Disciplinary Core Idea. The video clips of student work also provide teachers with more information about the investigation and lesson design. The students do not interact with the video, but do use it for discussion.