Earth's Changing Surface: Sculpting the Landscape

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Science Objects are two hour on-line interactive inquiry-based content modules that help teachers better understand the science content they teach. This Science Object is the second of three Science Objects in the Earth’s Changing Surface SciPack. It explores the landforms we see on Earth today and the processes that create these landforms. Landforms are the result of a combination of constructive and destructive forces. The Earth processes we see today, including erosion and the movement of lithospheric plates, are similar to those that occurred in the past. Some changes in Earth’s surface are abrupt such as earthquakes and volcanic eruptions. Other changes shaped in part by the motion of water and wind on weathered rock act over very long times to level mountain ranges and through sedimentation create new forms elsewhere.

Grades
  • Elementary
  • Middle

Community ActivitySaved in 6045 Libraries

Reviews (13)
  • on Wed Oct 31, 2018 7:02 PM

Upon looking over the Science guide, I found that the information enclosed was relevant, properly organized, and easy to follow. The details and the reviews/reminders truly help the observer to understand the complexities of Weathering and Erosion. The section on rivers was informative with a lot of pictures to help make connections with the materials. The part about the speed of erosion is also great, as it addresses a misconception about how erosion is a slow process.

Travus Houghton  (New Philadelphia, OH)
Travus Houghton (New Philadelphia, OH)

  • on Mon Mar 20, 2017 4:47 PM

This resource does an excellent job explaining and defining weathering and erosion. Describes how Earth's landforms are formed and the processes that it goes through.

Maried R
Maried R

  • on Mon Mar 20, 2017 4:47 PM

This resource does an excellent job explaining and defining weathering and erosion. Describes how Earth's landforms are formed and the processes that it goes through.

Maried R
Maried R

  • on Tue Mar 31, 2015 12:16 PM

This might be my favorite science object and I have watched a lot of them. The object covers a wide range of explanations for why the Earth looks the way it does now and helps predict how it may look in the future.

Robin Willig  (Rye Brook, NY)
Robin Willig (Rye Brook, NY)

  • on Tue Sep 02, 2014 5:31 AM

I really enjoy Science Objects. In 1-3 hours, the Earth's Changing Surface: Sculpting the Landscape Science Object will help me re-learn, refresh, or learn for the first time some critical science concepts I will have to know to obtain my Science Educator credentials. I appreciate that I can complete them at my own pace, and that, if used as park of a SciPack, I have access to a content expert to go to for help. The NSTA Learning Center Science Objects are really beneficial!

Naomi Beverly  (Marietta, GA)
Naomi Beverly (Marietta, GA)

  • on Tue Sep 02, 2014 5:31 AM

I really enjoy Science Objects. In 1-3 hours, the Earth's Changing Surface: Sculpting the Landscape Science Object will help me re-learn, refresh, or learn for the first time some critical science concepts I will have to know to obtain my Science Educator credentials. I appreciate that I can complete them at my own pace, and that, if used as park of a SciPack, I have access to a content expert to go to for help. The NSTA Learning Center Science Objects are really beneficial!

Naomi Beverly  (Marietta, GA)
Naomi Beverly (Marietta, GA)

  • on Tue Jul 29, 2014 11:23 AM

This resource and the ones like it are particularly valuable for me for several reasons. First, I like the table of contents off to the left, which all ow me to keep track of what is coming up and see the entire lesson at once. Also, it is multisensory..enaging several senses. Finally, they are self paced, which I really need with my busy lifestyle.

Naomi Beverly  (Marietta, GA)
Naomi Beverly (Marietta, GA)

  • on Wed May 28, 2014 6:58 PM

This was excellent!

William Netsch
William Netsch

  • on Thu Apr 04, 2013 8:28 PM

This was an excellent and most interesting science object! I have completed the "Rocks" scipack and found this to be a great addition to that knowledge. I especially enjoyed the interactive comparison activity that compared how rivers change arid environments versus wet ones. The use of the Mississippi river delta and the Grand Canyon as examples of each was very effective in illustrating how vegetation and rainfall affect the way the landscape is sculpted.

Amber S
Amber S

  • on Thu Apr 04, 2013 8:28 PM

This was an excellent and most interesting science object! I have completed the "Rocks" scipack and found this to be a great addition to that knowledge. I especially enjoyed the interactive comparison activity that compared how rivers change arid environments versus wet ones. The use of the Mississippi river delta and the Grand Canyon as examples of each was very effective in illustrating how vegetation and rainfall affect the way the landscape is sculpted.

Amber S
Amber S

  • on Tue Dec 27, 2011 8:09 PM

This resource does an excellent job explaining how weathering and erosion help to ‘sculpt’ Earth’s landscapes and the landforms formed by running water. The viewer is taken on a journey to see the results of both physical and chemical weathering, and erosion (detachment, entrainment, and transport). Good material to use as a refresher, or with the class to help scholars develop enduring understandings of landforms and how they are created.

Lorrie Armfield  (Laurel, MD)
Lorrie Armfield (Laurel, MD)

  • on Mon Feb 17, 2014 12:45 PM

This Science Object deals with the processes involved in forming the parts of the earth that we can see. For me, this is one of the most interesting parts of geology, because we can observe the effects of these processes just by looking--no microscopes or telescopes needed! This Science Object does a good job at tying together the various factors and processes involved in landscape formation. The study begins by examining the necessary academic vocabulary for discussing the processes at work: for example, physical versus chemical erosion. It then examines common processes by which erosion and land sculpting takes place: flowing water (rivers), wind, ice (glaciation), ocean waves. Finally, the conclusion of the science object is a very interesting comparison of the eroding process of two different rivers: the Mississippi and the Colorado. I found this section to be the most fascinating, because it illustrates the dramatic differences that two rivers, similar in some respects, can have on a landscape due to varying factors (such as whether the surrounding environment is wet or arid, or what the gradient of the the river is). Overall, I gave a high rating to this Science Object because I appreciated the way that it brought together many aspects of earth science (the water cycle, rock cycles) and showed how they fit together into this larger picture of how the landscape of the surface of the planet is sculpted. At several points along the way, there were also various "Common Student Misconceptions" that were offered, which would be helpful were I to incorporate this information into a curriculum (they were also a good check for my own misconceptions!).

Philip Neilson
Philip Neilson

  • on Sun Jan 15, 2012 11:53 PM

This Science Object was very informative, as well as interesting to read and follow. I particularly liked the real world connections to prominient and popular geographic features on Earth - it relates well to curriculum that I currently teach and was presented in a way to me as a learner that I would present to my students as learners! Wonderful!

Brandy Stewart
Brandy Stewart


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