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Work of Water Unit
How can you stop a landslide?
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DISCUSS:
What do you think happened here? What is this called?

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DISCUSS:

What do you think causes landslides?

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DISCUSS:

Why do you think landslides happen more often after there's been a wildfire?

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DISCUSS:

How could you stop erosion from happening?

Is there anything that would work like plants do to protect hills from getting washed away?

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You've completed the Exploration & Activity!

If you have more time, view the assessment, reading, and extension activity in the extensions.

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Extensions

Below are ideas for extending this topic beyond the Exploration and Activity you just completed.
  • End-of-Mystery Assessment and Answer Key
  • Readings: Online readings to spark questions and discussions about erosion.
  • Video: An excerpt from an episode of Bill Nye the Science Guy explains how rocks are always changing because of erosion.
  • Video Discussion: Discuss what you notice as water floods a dry riverbed.
  • Activity: A creative activity about erosion, done with simple materials.
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Readings

These online books are free with registration as an educator on Epic!

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Video Discussion

Watch this video of a riverbed flooding, and discuss what you notice.

  • What happens when water rushes down the dry riverbed?
  • What happens to things that are in the path of the water (the rocks, the logs, and the barrel)?
  • What do you think it will look like after the water is gone?
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Activity

This fun erosion activity shows how a rock could be broken down in a stream.

For safety reasons, we recommend using a plastic jar instead of a glass one.

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Overview
Grade 2nd
Topic Erosion & Earth’s Surface
Focus Erosion & Engineering
Print Prep
Activity Prep

In this Mystery, students compare multiple solutions for preventing erosion. In the activity, Erosion Engineering, they design and test ways to keep water from washing away a hill modeled out of cornmeal.

Preview activity

Number of students:
Erosion Engineering Prep Instructions worksheet Print 1 copy
Save the Hills worksheet Print 30 copies
Clean-up Supplies (Eg. Paper Towels)
1 roll
Containers of Cornmeal Land from Mystery 3
If you have not yet prepared Cornmeal Land, you can find instructions here.
Details
8 containers
Drip Sticks from Mystery 3
If you have not yet prepared "drip sticks", you can find instructions here.
Details
15 drip sticks
Solo Cups from Mystery 3
45 cups
Table Covering (eg. Trash Bags)
16 bags
Aluminum Foil
1 foot
Cotton Balls
150 balls
Dixie Cups (3 oz)
30 cups
Paper Plates
30 plates
Paper Towels
15 sheets
Plastic Plates (10")
30 plates
Toothpicks
150 toothpicks
Prep Instructions

You will need access to water for this activity.

Students will need to cover their workspaces with a table covering (e.g., trash bag) in case of spills.

We suggest students work in pairs and share materials with another pair of students at the same table. Homeschool students can work on their own.

Prepare the Cornmeal “Land” and “Drip Sticks” Before Class

For each group of four students, you’ll need a container of the cornmeal “land” that you made for Mystery 3. Each pair of students will also need a “drip stick" that you made for Mystery 3. (If you have not taught Mystery 3, you will need to make cornmeal “land” and "drip sticks." Here’s how .)

Prepare Aluminum Foil and Paper Towel Strips

Each pair of students will need two small squares of aluminum foil (about 1½” squares), and four paper towel strips (each strip should be about 1” x 5”).

Organize Materials for Distribution

We suggest that you create supply distribution stations for students. In the first part of the activity, each student will need the following supplies:

Erosion Engineering Pt 1 Supplies

In the second part of the activity, students will work in pairs to protect their cornmeal hill from erosion. To create their erosion protectors, each pair of students will need the following additional materials:

Erosion Engineering Pt 2 Supplies

In the third part of the activity, students use "drip sticks" to create rainstorms over their cornmeal hills. Each pair of students will need the following additional materials:

Erosion Engineering Pt 3 Supplies

Overview
Grade 2nd
Topic Erosion & Earth’s Surface
Focus Erosion & Engineering
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