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ExplorA-Pond: 5th Grade Soil Erosion

Time Frame:
1 class period that runs 45 minutes.

Group Size:
Small Groups


Students will compare erosion of water on bare soil with water on vegetated soil.

2 meter sticks; six buckets; pond with a variable shoreline or a stream with a variable shoreline;

Background For Teachers:
In this activity students explore soil retention properties of plants. Guide the students to choose areas 1-4 in a place that does have a bit of a slope towards the pond or stream. The soil areas ought to erode and cause dirty water to enter the pond. Planted areas ought to allow for a more gentle impact of the water and allow less dirt to travel into the pond.

Intended Learning Outcomes:
Students will use integrated science skills to observe the effects of plant life on soil erosion.

Instructional Procedures:
Follow along the shoreline of the pond area and find at least two different areas of shoreline. The first area should be free of vegetation and like a beach have soil running down to the water's edge. The second area should have plant life covering the spot right down to the water's edge. Draw the two areas of shoreline in the lab booklet. Pour six buckets of water directly over area 1 and observe the the flow of water. Back up 1 meter and pour anothe six buckets of water onto the ground. Draw the results of pouring water into area 1. Note any dirt that appears to flow into the pond. Repeat step 2 for area 2. Compare the drawings of both areas. Write a hypothesis about the impact of plant life on soil retention based on your observations.

Created Date :
Mar 19 1999 13:38 PM