In these NGSS aligned activities/assessments, students investigate sand to find out how its properties reveal where it came from and what type of environment it traveled through as a result of weathering and erosion. Sand is defined as sedimentary particles between 0.025 (1/16) mm and 2 mm in diameter that result when rock is broken down due to weathering. The sand study begins by assessing students' prior knowledge using descriptions of events and having students classify each event as weathering, erosion, or deposition. Students observe the size, roundness, and sorting of the sand to uncover the history of the sand such as whether it has been in high energy or low energy environments. Students identify the minerals in sand grains using a mineral key to gather clues to figure out where the sand came from. The activities/assessments include readings about what sand is, what it is used for, and what the size, roundness, and sorting reveal about the history of the sand. The culminating activity involves writing and illustrating a sand story to demonstrate student understanding of weathering and erosion. Teaching tips, extensive teacher background, student recording pages and rubrics are provided for all NGSS aligned activities/assessments.
4-ESS2 Earth’s Systems
4-ESS2-1. Make observations and/or measurements to provide evidence of the effects of weathering or the rate of erosion by water, ice, wind, or vegetation. [Clarification Statement: Examples of variables to test could include angle of slope in the downhill movement of water, amount of vegetation, speed of wind, relative rate of deposition, cycles of freezing and thawing of water, cycles of heating and cooling, and volume of water flow.] [Assessment Boundary: Assessment is limited to a single form of weathering or erosion.]
A slideshow of all pages in this bundle is available under the Earth Science tab at http://scienceandkidsactivities.com