Wind Erosion Lab and CER Activity Worksheets NGSS 4ESS2-1 MS-ESS2-2

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Grade Levels
4th - 8th, Homeschool
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6 pages
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This is a FUN and ENGAGING cross curricular lesson that incorporates language arts into science through writing using the Claim, Evidence, and Reasoning format aligned to 4th grade or middle school. This CER WIND EROSION digital activity and lab worksheets explores the effects of wind erosion on life during the Dust Bowl. Students read excerpts from the novel, Out of the Dust, and gather evidence on how wind erosion changes the land in the absence of plants or water by blowing air through a straw over different "areas" using sand and toothpicks.

This lesson and lab is aligned to the Next Generation Science Standards including the 4th grade and middle school Performance Expectations:

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.

MS-ESS2-2. Construct an explanation based on evidence for how geoscience processes have changed Earth’s surface at varying time and spatial scales.

Lesson Overview

Day One. Students:

  • Are introduced to the Dust Bowl and Great Depression
  • Listen to excerpts from Out of the Dust and make predictions about what life was like and how they were affected by wind erosion
  • Record what they learned in a chart

Day Two. Students:

  • Draw a wind erosion experiment (pan of sand with and without toothpicks standing)
  • Make a claim on what will happen if air is blown across two different areas (with and without toothpicks in sand)
  • Gather evidence
  • Write their conclusions and reasoning on what happened and why using evidence from the lab

What’s Included in this Resource:

  • Student Worksheets
  • Tips for the Teacher
  • Answer Sheet

Materials Needed:

1. Out of the Dust book by Karen Hesse. You can check it out at your school or town library or follow the link below to purchase from Amazon:

Out of the Dust Novel

2. Pan or container half-filled with sand (one per group and one for teacher demo) one side labeled side A and one side labeled side B

3. 1-2 packages of Toothpicks (sticking out in the sand placed close together)

4. Spray bottle of water (for teacher demo)

5. Straws (one per student)

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Interested in other Earth Science/Geology products?

Weathering Mini Unit/Investigation

Plate Tectonics Stations Labs

Erosion and Soil Conservation STEM Project

Rock Cycle Projects

Introduction to Rocks CER Lab

Scale Model of the Solar System Lab (FREE)

NGSS Unit Planning Template with EXAMPLE

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Total Pages
6 pages
Answer Key
Teaching Duration
2 days
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to see state-specific standards (only available in the US).
Determine a theme or central idea of a text and how it is conveyed through particular details; provide a summary of the text distinct from personal opinions or judgments.
Determine a theme or central idea of a text and analyze its development over the course of the text, including its relationship to the characters, setting, and plot; provide an objective summary of the text.
Determine the central ideas or conclusions of a text; provide an accurate summary of the text distinct from prior knowledge or opinions.
Follow precisely a multistep procedure when carrying out experiments, taking measurements, or performing technical tasks.
Compare and contrast the information gained from experiments, simulations, video, or multimedia sources with that gained from reading a text on the same topic.


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