Take a Tumble: Weathering and Erosion Using a Rock Tumblerby: Steve Mattox and Patrick Coffey

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The subtle effects of weathering and erosion are difficult to convey to students. However, through this activity, students can use a rock tumbler to gain a personal and scientific perspective on weather and erosion. Students have the opportunity to demonstrate their understanding of these concepts and work with geologic materials as they make predictions and measurements, record data, and do simple calculations (McKnight 1989).

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Reviews (2)
  • on Tue May 05, 2015 6:14 PM

This is a great activity to do in the classroom. I remember doing something similar to this when I was in 5th grade. The authors explain that there will need to be some background knowledge of rock types known by the students. The students will also need to know a little bit about weathering and erosion (and know the difference). The lesson involves using multiple types of rocks which will show how each rock type holds up in the rock tumbler. The students will also be able to hold and closely observe the rocks which are great for visual students. The activity involves measurements, data collection, predictions, and some calculations.

Laura W  (Holt, MI)
Laura W (Holt, MI)

  • on Fri Jan 14, 2011 11:27 PM

This would be a good activity if you have a tumbler and the other suggestions were very valuable for modifying the activity.

Nikki T
Nikki T

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