First, we made a model of Earth with clay. I saw this idea at Meet the Dubiens who completed their model with Playdoh.
Our third graders made their models with VanAken Plastalina modeling clay. As long as you keep it in a baggie, it will never dry out. My son still has his Earth Model from 5 years ago!
Next we studied landforms and a Landforms Salt Map Project was assigned to be completed at home. I will have pictures of them later this week!
For our Science Notebooks, we completed a Landforms Flip book created by Ginger Snaps Treats for Teachers (click on this link to get a free copy).
I adapted it for the landforms that we were required to teach. The kids loved making it and it gave them the perspective of elevation. Once finished, we glued it into our Science Notebook.
Next we discussed weathering and made a foldable to go in our Science Notebooks. The little pictures are from a Mailbox Magazine worksheet that was shrunk down to fit the foldable.
Next, we set up hands-on Weathering Stations for each of the ways Earth is weathered.
Station 1 - The students hammered a rock (inside a zip lock bag) while wearing goggles to demonstrate weathering by living things. I recommend using sandstone as it breaks easily.
Station 2 - The students weathered their rock piece by rubbing it
with a 2" x 2" piece of sandpaper. This simulated the wind driving sand against a rock of a long period of time.
When the shaking was done, the rocks were smoother and rounded. We also observed sediment on the bottom of the jar to show the bits of rock that had weathered away.
Station 4 - The day before this lesson, you need to completely fill a glass bottle with water, place it in a plastic bag, and freeze it. When we took ours out of the freezer, the lid was forced off and the water had frozen in a column coming through where the cap was. The expanding ice broke out the bottle of the bottle, too. There were also noticeable cracks in the bottle from the expansion of ice. Because broken glass was involved, I walked around with the bag to allow each table group to view it.
How do you demonstrate these topics in your classroom? I would love to hear your ideas!
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