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Weathering and Erosion Model Project


Weathering and Erosion Clay Model Project


            Sixth grade science students are expected to understand how the processes of weathering and erosion can affect the surface of the earth as well as other geographical features.  Also, they need to understand the connections between weathering, erosion, and soil formation.   This corresponds with GPS S6E5 f, h, i, and j.  First, students were expected to research and record information about weathering, soil, and deposition.  They recorded notes in a three-column chart along with sketches and diagrams.  Both textbooks and internet sites were used for research.  Students were then given the task of designing and creating a model out of clay, showing how the earth’s surface and geological features are affected by weathering and erosion.   As a class, we spent time with Ms. Thornton in the art room constructing the clay models.   As evidence of learning and connecting with the standard, students were then required to develop a presentation explaining how their models demonstrated weathering and erosion.   Students could choose a variety of ways to create a presentation, including Word documents, posters, labels, Powerpoints, and combinations of these.   


Clay model project Ty, Justin, Austin


Our Clay Model Project: Sierra


GPS Alignment

                        Georgia Performance Standards


                        S6E5. Students will investigate the scientific view of how the earth’s surface

                        is formed.

                        f. Explain the effects of physical processes (plate tectonics, erosion, deposition,

                        volcanic eruption, gravity) on geological features including oceans (composition,

                        currents, and tides).

                        h. Describe soil as consisting of weathered rocks and decomposed organic


                        i. Explain the effects of human activity on the erosion of the earth’s surface.



Student Work

Students created models of landslides, glaciers, waterfalls, mudslides, and beach erosion to show the effects of weathering and erosion.

Clay Erosion Model, Whitley and Mary Kate

Weathering and Erosion Clay Model Project Guidelines


Reflection: Weathering and Erosion Model

Teacher Reflection:  Weathering and Erosion Clay Model


          Before students could begin construction of their clay models, they were required to do adequate research and sketching. Students worked really hard on collecting and organizing the research chart about weathering, erosion, and deposition.  I believe gathering this background information is essential to making connections between the processes of weathering and erosion and the model itself.  Students were excited and motivated to be working with the clay and benefiting from the expertise of Ms. Thornton.  Students really enjoyed painting the models as well.  I continually circulated and conferenced with groups to make sure they were accurate with their creations and had the correct scientific explanations to back up their models.  I was amazed at the hard work the students put into these projects and how they created such phenomenally creative and intricate geographical models.   Working in a group, being able to design a model and use clay, and creating an accurate scientific presentation addressed many of the important designs qualities that increase student engagement and produce meaningful learning.