Lesson Transformed: Grade 5 Science

This is the second lesson in the series, Lesson Transformed, in which traditional lessons are transformed into engaging experiences for students which exemplify the premises of the Visioning Document.

Lesson #2

Topic: Earth Science, Landforms/Deltas

Grade Level: 5

Content Area: Science

Traditional Lesson

Objective: The students will be able to recognize that water that flows over Earth’s surface can cause erosion and deposition.

Warm Up: Compare and Contrast 

Students will compare and contrast images from National Geographic’s Encyclopedic Entry: Delta.  Using a two-column chart, students will list common features and uncommon features of the images.

Read: Students will read about Erosion by Streams.

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Link to Lesson

Independent Practice: Erosion by Streams Practice (CK-12.org)

Transformed Lesson

Objective: The students will create evidence of understanding how landforms such as deltas, canyons, and sand dunes are the result of changes to Earth’s surface by wind, water, and ice.

Explore: Allow students to explore NASA satellite images to identify landforms on Earth and or near Texas or your school.  Two possible options include the links below.

  • NASA Earth Images (website)
  • NASA Earth as Art (app)

Connect: Use Skype in the Classroom to connect your students with classrooms outside of your district, state, or country to discuss how landforms differ.

Interested about learning more about possibilities for Skype in the Classroom?  Here is a link to a blog post by Pernille Ripp that may provide some insight.

Create: Using a stream table, students will create a delta and capture the process with a time-lapse video.  Directions for this activity can be found here (link) and an example video is below.

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Link to Video

*Note: This hands-on, inquiry-based experience has been intentionally designed to create opportunities for engagement by all students.  Resist the temptation to simply have a teacher demonstration of this lab.  Allowing all students to serve in one role or another is important for engagement.

Produce: Students will use a presentation app (such as Keynote, Haiku Deck, Explain Everything) or their own portfolio (using Seesaw, Bulbapp, Blogger, or other portfolio platform) to demonstrate understanding of how landforms such as deltas, canyons, and sand dunes are the result of changes to Earth’s surface by wind, water, and ice.  The time-lapse video of their stream table or images from National Geographic’s Encyclopedic Entry: Delta may be used.

*Note: The independent practice has been transformed to include a task for the students to produce evidence of understanding as well as choice for platforms.  As a teacher, you will be able to gauge a more thorough level of understanding by hearing or reading your students words, viewing their selection of images, and recognizing the connections they made with the concepts.  This task is also more accessible for all students, as those with gaps in their understanding will be able to create at least some minimal product and those with a rich grasp of the concepts will be able to show more than could be demonstrated on a correct/incorrect worksheet.

This transformed lesson was inspired by TASA on iTunes U: Intermediate Science (Grades 3-5) – Earth Science (Landforms, Erosion and Deposition).

It is the goal of this blog series to equip teachers with skills to transfer understanding and transform their own lesson design.


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