Erosion is the process that breaks things down. As far as we're concerned, erosion is the breakdown of the continents and the land around you. The overall effect of breaking down andweathering the land is called denudation. Denudation is the process of erosion. In nature, large things are broken down into smaller things. Boulders become sand. Mountains are rained on and become hills. The pieces of the mountain become smaller pieces and go down the sides of hills. Weathering and erosion always happen in a downhill direction.

Today you will be assigned a small amount of reading from the websites below. Read the directions carefully as we will not be covering all of the material today, only certain parts. Begin with these assigned readings to learn a little more about erosion, then follow the directions below.

1. Erosion explained

Read only this page. Do not click on other links.2.More About ErosionUse the following headings on the left:Introduction to erosionWeatheringForces of weatheringJoints and erosion

Next you will break up into the following groups. Each of you will report to your numbered station.Group 1 Station 1--0 degree slopeKayleeAshleyOwenJacob

Group 2 Station 2--15 degree slopeMitchellCameronAlexandraFrank

Group 3 Station 3--30 degree slopeMiguelPatriciaLindseyMaggieJames

Group 4 Station 4--45 degree slopeStephanieNicoleJonathonSpencerRoberto

Now that you are in your groups you will see that you have the following materials:1. Stream Table2.Sand3. Protractor4. Data recording sheet5. Water

This is a stream table. Each group will have a different slope of the stream table and we will make one data chart with all of the class data collected. Each group will have the same amount of sand and water at their table. These will be our constant variables. The different slopes of the stream tables will be our independent variable. That leaves the rate of erosion to be our dependent variable.

You will begin by placing all of your sand at the top of the stream table BEHIND the white line that I have marked for youNext you will slowly pour your water at the top where the sand has been placed. One group member will be the time keeper. Each trial uses one cup of water that should be poured out at a constant rate so make sure the same person pours the water each trial, to make sure our results will be accurate.
The sand should move towards the bottom of the stream table and excess water into a bucket at the bottom.Using a meter stick, measure how many centimeters the sand moved down the stream table.Each group will start with 3 cups of sand and 1 cup of water.
Be sure to record your results. The formula that you will use to calculate your groups rate of erosion is Average Distance (cm) divided by Average Time (seconds) = Velocity cm/s

Each group will do this 3 times.After this is complete post your data into the class table. The link to get there is below.Be sure to clean up your station when you are finished!Sand will go back into the big red bucket and all water must be poured into the sink.

Group Data Log
Completed log

After everyone has cleaned their stations and entered their data into the table, take a minute to look at the data.Now visit my blog to answer a scientific question!


After you have answered the scientific question on the blog follow the link below to take a short quiz to tell me what you have learned about erosion!


Content Standard:

4.3.a.6 Water circulates through the earth's crust, oceans and atmosphere. The speed of a river’s flow depends on the slope of the land, the amount of sediment it carries, and the shape of its channel (straight or meandering).

Technology Standard:

3. Research and Information Fluency

d. Process data and report results.

4. Critical Thinking, Problem Solving, and Decision Making
c. Collect and analyze data to identify solutions and/or make informed decisions.


Students will conduct basic experiments using standard measuring tools to calculate the rate of erosion at different slopes using a stream table. All results will be compiled into one data chart and students will analyze the data through a blog post.

Student Scoring Rubric : RubricLesson Plan