- Grades: 3–5, 6–8
Earth is change! The rock that you pass on the way to school each day and the mountains you see in the distance may look like they've been there forever, but the truth is that they are slowly disappearing. Each time it rains and every time the wind blows, tiny pieces of sediment get taken away. This process, known as erosion, is gradually wearing down the surface of the earth. While it may work fast, given enough time, erosion can move mountains and dig holes as big as the Grand Canyon!
Erosion not only shapes our planet's surface, but it affects the environment in numerous ways as well. If you are teaching a unit on erosion and its causes, check out these Web sites from around the world!
Dirtmeister's Science Reporters: Erosion
What better place to learn about erosion, soil, and "Dirt" than with The "Dirtmeister" himself! On this Dirtmeister's Science Reporters page, kids investigate one way that erosion shapes your neighborhood and report on it. As always, there is an informative background section on the causes and impacts of erosion, and a Teacher's Guide to make lesson planning a breeze!
The Start of Utah and Its National Parks
If you're looking for the effects of long-term erosion, then this is a great place to start! While the state of Utah may not have the Grand Canyon, it has three truly great places that display some rather spectacular erosional topography. From this introductory page, you can zoom into Zion, Bryce Canyon, and Arches National Parks, and learn about how they developed and what forces are still at work today. Your students can discover for themselves how "hoodoos" form and what makes a "natural bridge." By comparing the features at the different parks, kids can develop a good understanding of how the forces of erosion shape our earth!
Louisiana Coastal Erosion & Beach Erosion Investigation
Louisiana, like many coastal areas, is losing its coastline due to the process of beach erosion. The effects of waves coupled with increased development have exposed areas that were once protected. With the prospect of rising sea levels in the next century, this process promises to get even worse! By logging onto this site, you and your students will not only get the facts about coastal erosion, but a great hands-on activity that demonstrates how waves work to reshape a beach.
Soil Erosion Demonstrations
This site offers a great overview about how soil loss can be prevented by using some basic conservation practices. Using some simple materials, both you and your students can get "down and dirty" with some hands-on activities that clearly show how soil erosion can be reduced and in some cases, almost eliminated.
State of the Land: U.S. Erosion Facts
If you're looking for the real "dirt" on soil erosion, then this is the place to go! Here, you can get the inside story on just how bad the effects of soil erosion can be and what several agencies are trying to do about it. Quick links give you access to all sorts of data as well as to maps showing where soil erosion is most severe. In addition, your students can learn about official policies concerning different types of erosion and where the federal government's priorities lie.