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Where Oh Where Did the Sand Go

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Keywords: Flip Video, science, erosion, movie maker,
Subject(s): Science
Grades 2 through 5
NETS-S Standard:
  • Creativity and Innovation
  • Communication and Collaboration
  • Research and Information Fluency
  • Critical Thinking, Problem Solving, and Decision Making
  • Digital Citizenship
  • Technology Operations and Concepts
View Full Text of Standards
School: Coral Sunset Elementary School, Boca Raton, FL
Planned By: Cynthia Robertson
Original Author: Cynthia Robertson, Boca Raton
Materials: Flip Cams
Meter Sticks (one per group)
Bucket & shovel (one per group)
Sand and soil
Other random material: sticks, rocks, leaves, etc.

Objective: Students will be able to identify different reasons and what happens to sand/soil as it erodes.

Teacher Preparation:

Teacher will select an area of the campus where the students can build an erosion mound.
Teacher will have to have buckets and shovels for each group. Teacher will need to find sand and soil students can use to build mounds. Each group will need a meter stick. Students will need to bring their science journal and pencils.

Teacher will direct the students to select an area to build a mound (at least 50 cm high).

Groups of 3 or 4 students will build a sand/soil mound around a meter stick. The mound should be large enough to hold up the meter stick. Students can also add other material to their mound such as sticks, rocks, leaves, etc.

Each group of students will take a picture with a flip cam of the mound (from several angles) right after it was created. One student will then take a video with a flip cam of the other students giving the height of their mound (at its highest peak) and how they made the mound including why they choose the area to build their mound and if they added any additional material to their mound such as sticks, rocks, etc. and why they used the additional materials.

Students will then record their measurements in their Science Journal under the topic Erosion Experiment - Day 1 they record the highest peak of their mound in centimeters.

Day 2 Students will go out to their erosion mound and take a picture of their mound. Students will take a video of the students giving the height of their mound and explaining what has happened to the mound. The teacher may want to prompt the students by asking them if the weather that has happened over the last 24 hours would have had an effect on the height of the mound. If there has been very little change to the mound, the students should explain that as well. Students will record the new height in their Science journal under Day 2.

The students will continue observing their mound, taking pictures and video every day. It should take between 7 and 10 school days to have a substantial change to the mound (fewer days if there has been any harsh weather, such as downpour of rain or gusts of wind). On the last day the students should be sure they explain on their video if their additional material and location of the mound made a difference in how fast their mound eroded.

The students will then take the information on the heights of mound and create a graph to show the erosion of their mound. The students will then take a picture with the flip cam of their graph.

Students will then place their pictures and videos on the computer into a movie program. The students can then view their pictures and movies in a time lapsed fashion as the movie runs.
Cross-Curriculum Ideas
Writing - Students can be asked to write an expository composition explaining how people can slow or stop the erosion of sand/soil. They can also explain why it is important to stop erosion of soil.
Students will use the pictures and videos to create a power point presentation to present to the class with explanations on any differences they observed in the erosion mounds.
Materials: Flip Video
Other Items: 4 Buckets and Shovels, $1.50 each, total of $6.00
4 Meter Sticks, $2.00 each, total of $8.00