Title: King of the Mound#132

National Standard: 7 The physical processes that shape the patterns of Earth's surface.

State Standard: 12

Teaching Level: E

Lesson Introduction: This lesson deals with water as an agent of change. Agents of change include, rain, snow, wind, glaciers, etc.

Materials: a large mound of soil (preferably outside), tongue depressors (one per student), markers, watering cans, at least six blocks of ice (which can be made from student milk containers)


1)Distribute the tongue depressors. Have students write their name on the tongue depressor in marker. Have them mark and label the tongue depressor in centimeter measurements.

2)Go outside and ask the students to place their stick in the mound of soil at least 6 centimeters deep. Ask them to record the depth of their stick and make some observations.

3)The following day have the students observe and record any changes in the depth of their stick. On one side of the mound place the ice blocks, relatively close together. These are to represent a glacier. On the other side of the mound pour at least two liters of water on the mound. This is to represent rain.

4)After the ice has had time to melt, return and ask the students to record their observations.

5)Ask the students to share their before, during and after observations. Compare what happened to the sticks on each side.

6)On a paper divided into thirds, have students draw a picture representing the changes that took place on the mound during the three observation periods. Have the students identify the agents that caused the mound to change.

7)During a class discussion identify other natural processes that act on the physical environment.

Evaluation/Assessment: Students should be able to explain what caused the mound to change.

Extension/Enrichment: Begin this activity in the fall. Observe, measure, and record changes in the mound over the school year.

Reflection: How successful was this lesson? Did all students benefit? Were there any surprises? What might you do differently another time? Please note any changes that will make this lesson more effective and useful in the future and pass them along to the NHGA. We appreciate your comments.
Thank you.
The authors

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