Author:
Carrie Robledo, LARA CABANISS
Subject:
English Language Arts, Science
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Level:
Upper Primary
Tags:
  • 4th Grade
  • ELA
  • NC Engineers
  • Science
  • Stem
  • k5engineers
    License:
    Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial Share Alike
    Language:
    English

    Education Standards

    Mountain-Top Millions

    Mountain-Top Millions

    Overview

    Students will use stream tables to create a landslide and explain why erosion changes the land on mountaintops.

    Instructor Directions

     

    Mountain-Top Millions

    Submitted by Lara Cabaniss

    Cabarrus County Schools

     

    Driving Question / ScenarioYou know that the land is always changing, and that this property is vulnerable to landslides.  You must do your research and convince the firm that building on a mountaintop is not a good idea.  You must present the facts and demonstrate your findings at the next board meeting.
    Project SummaryStudents will use stream tables to create a landslide and explain why erosion changes the land on mountaintops.
    Estimated Time90 minutes
    Materials / Resourcesstream tables, flood cups (cups with holes on the bottom to allow for rain), soil,  connecting cm block cubes
    Grade4
    Subject(s)Science, ELA
    Educational Standards

    Science:  4.E.2 Understand the use of fossils and changes in the surface of the Earth as evidence of the history of the Earth and its changing life forms.

    ELA:  W.4.1  Write opinion pieces on topics or texts, supporting a point of view with reasons and information. • Introduce a topic or text clearly, state an opinion, and create an organizational structure in which related ideas are grouped to support writer’s purpose. • Provide reasons that are supported by facts and details. • Link opinion and reasons using words and phrases (e.g., for instance, in order to, in addition). • Provide a concluding statement or section related to the opinion presented.

    Classifying ObjectiveScience:  4.E.2.3 Understand changes in the surface of the earth.  Give examples of how the surface of the earth changes due to rapid processes such as landslides.
    Project Outline
    AskYou are a member of the planning board for the city of Portland, Oregon.  You are also a civil engineer who knows that the earth is constantly changing. The president of a new development firm is asking permission from the board to build an apartment complex on a nearby mountain.  They want to add to the millions they have already earned with this new expansion of their business. 
    ImagineYou know that the land is always changing, and that this property is vulnerable to landslides.  You must do your research and convince the firm that this is not a good idea.  You must present the facts and demonstrate your findings at the next board meeting
    PlanProvide a research opportunity so that students can determine how to design their stream tables for a landslide to occur.  They will use cm block cubes to create their prototype hotel on top of the mountain before the rains fall.
    CreateUse your stream table to set up a model of the apartment community on the mountain.  Allow flooding rains to come and observe what happens.  Take pictures before and after the rains come.  Write at least three bullet points to help you explain to the president why you cannot grant permission to build his new mountain-top development.  
    ImproveStudents will take pictures and improve responses as necessary to convince the builders not to use the mountaintop location.
    Closure / Student ReflectionsStudents will complete a self-assessment rubric and answer an exit ticket essential question.
    Possible Modifications / Extensions