The Earth Changes Slowly


                                       Student quote

Take your class on a field trip to the beach by bringing beach rocks to your classroom. Watch as students excitedly search the samples for signs of the species that once lived in them. Students collect seven POCKETPets and learn about animals in the intertidal zone.

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Class Movie

teacher Prep

Lab Prep Movie

Lab Assistant 

Lab sheet & activites

Lab Activity

Lab Materials:

- Koa - "Holes in the Rocks"

- 1 Maggie Magnifying Glass per child

Running the Lab Activity: 

1. Give each student a Rock and a Maggie Magnifier and let them search their sample for evidence of animal homes.  

2. As they discover the critter homes they can cut and color the corresponding species POCKETPet cards.


(Give students 30 to 40 minutes of observation time to observe and share and exchange multiple rock samples)

Preview land formations with your class before making them in the lab

The Earth Changes Slowly with


Water Erosion

V-shaped Canyon

A V-shaped canyon is the most common result of water erosion. Water can quickly remove the sediments it displaces by washing it downstream.


Pour water on your dirt mound with Tedros to form a V-shaped valley.

River Delta

All the sediment carried by river water is washed downstream. When a river meets the ocean, the sediment drops out and settles near the river mouth forming a delta. Look carefully at the photo and you can see the muddy river water forming colored ribbons in the ocean water.

Make an ocean of clear water in your bin and see if you can form a delta with your little river.

Steep-sided Canyon (Slot Canyon)

A Slot Canyon is the result of water eroding a very soft rock like sandstone. Water can erode soft rock quickly and deeply making cliffs in narrow slot canyons.


Pour water to see how steep a valley you can make in your sand.

Coastal Erosion

The constant action of waves forms sea cliffs.

Rock the water in your bin gently back and forth to see if you can make sea cliffs in your sand.

Glacial Erosion

Ice is dense and heavy and can fill a valley. When enough ice builds up, its weight will cause it to flow downhill in a river of ice. The ice only moves a few inches per year, but over millions of years it breaks and moves a lot of rock. These valleys full of ice are called glaciers.

Make an 

When a glacier melts, it leaves a U-shaped valley. When the ice melts, it drops its sediment and rocks into piles that can be as big as a hill. The pile of sediment is called a glacial moraine.

Use the bottom of a cup to push a valley into your sand. See if you can make a U shaped Valley. Did a moraine pile up at the bottom of your valley?


NGSS 2-LS4-1


In-Class Movie